I really do want to post fun things, and I will in the coming days.
But today my father, my biological one, the one with whom I've been basically estranged and whom I've not actually spoken with in years, called me. He called in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, I think thinking that I wouldn't answer and that he'd just leave a message. During this 15-minute conversation, it was revealed that he is dying. He is 54 years old. He will be 55 in a couple of weeks.
And so I found this out, and within the hour I had to go to campus for meetings and class prep and etc. Which was kind of good as it was a way of not thinking about things in a concentrated way.
And then I had to come home and call my mother and tell her, hoping that she would be able to leave bullshit behind and just ask me how I was and care about me, although that hope was not to be realized. I ended up having to hang up on her. My mother's default mode is bullshit and blame. And I know that comes out of upset, but I honestly don't give a shit right now. This is not about her. It's about the fact that I'm going to lose my father. She needs to grow the fuck up.
But G., who is honestly the best of all of my parents, called about 15 minutes later and was perfect. He loves me most of all. More than bullshit, more than betrayals and fuck-ups that are more than 22 years old, and more than the fact that these things aren't even anything to do with him and that he's always been in second place because they're not. Without him, well, I wouldn't be who I am. Thank god for him.
And thank god for my friends. K. and BFF and A. and FB, maybe especially, FB who was the first person whom I talked to after hearing this news who said everything right and who gets it all even though he can't. He's entirely on my side, and he entirely cares. You know, it's funny, G. and FB both probably should get it least of all, for various reasons, and yet both of them.... Well, they both suck with travel and they both challenge me in ways that I find annoying, but both of them.... I depend on them. And neither lets me down when I need them. Ever.
But so my dad, from whom I've been estranged, is dying. And he's not old, and he has two kids who are just barely teen-aged. And I don't quite know how to say goodbye to a father who doesn't even know me, and who's last communication to me before this phone call was to send an email in which he said, "Hey Crazy, How's your career? Love, Dad," and whose communication before that was a forwarded joke email last thanksgiving. I haven't seen him or actually spoken with him since 2004.
I'll admit, I feel better (although I feel guilty for feeling better about this) about the whole "how's your career" business precisely because I feel like it was the only thing he knew how to say instead of saying, "I have pancreatic cancer and we have a fucked up relationship and so since I'm likely to die I need to talk to you."
The doctor said he has 6-18 mos. to live, and the sense that I get was that he was diagnosed at least 3 mos. ago, though I don't know, because it was so hard just to get him to tell me what was going on that I didn't ask for details beyond what he offered.
And I feel guilty because I know that this has to be hard on my mom, but I can't take care of her and be on her side, because my father's fuck-ups aren't really the central thing right now. It's not that he's not an asshole - he surely is - but he's my father, and I need to make him understand that I love him and I've made my peace with him. And what I need right now from her, and from the people who do know me, is comfort and support, because I can't expect that from my father or from his family. All I can do is to make him know that I love him and that things are ok, whatever things have been between us. And I can't expect my stepmother, or my half-brothers (who are fucking children - I mean, Jesus, they're 14 and 12), or my father's siblings or mother (who I'm not even sure know about his illness) to care about how I feel because seriously, those people don't know shit about me. They don't know me. And that is the fault of both my mother and my father, whose inability to hang meant that it was always a competition, a competition that they expected me to pick a winner out of. And it was also the fault of my stepmother, too, who thought I was a threat when I was fucking 12 years old. The only person who's not to blame there is G., who never asked me or expected me to choose. With him, it was only about me and him. And that is why he's the best of all my shit-ass parents.
So I don't even know how I feel, other than that I feel awful. And I don't know how I will handle this, other than that I will, because it's the only thing to do. And so I can't write a fun and frivolous post right now, although I will do in the coming days because I'll be trying to pretend that this isn't happening. 2008 has been a shitty fucking year. I'm done. I need good things, and I need not to have anybody else die or to be terminally ill or whatever.
But on a brighter note, when my dad finally got out the business about what's going on with him, he noted that in addition to the chemo, that the doctor also put him on oxycotin. Let me recount the conversation:
Crazy: Well, that is a silver lining on an otherwise dark cloud, right? At least you're getting good drugs!
Crazy's Dad: (chuckle) He also has me on percoset. That's some pretty good stuff!
Crazy: Well, see, at least you get good drugs!
Crazy's Dad: Totally!
So yes, he's like a 19-year-old prescription drug addict, but the point is, this is my dad. And he sucks, and it's been shitty being his ignored daughter, but I love him. And he's only in his mid-50s, and he's likely going to die very soon. And it's hard and it's awful and my mother sucks. But at least somebody is getting good drugs. I just wish that person were me.
4 years ago