Everyone says now is the time I really should be focusing on my writing.
This is a “proper outlet” for my feelings.
“Oh, the beauty you could create with your words and feelings”.
Well, first of all there is nothing beautiful about these feelings.
Secondly, my dad reads this blog. How am I supposed to write how I’m feeling without causing him to crumble?
Third, I can barely say anything out loud. I struggle talking to my own loved ones about how I feel. I cry over a passing thought that flickers through my brain, silently. How am I supposed to sit at a computer and type my feelings without causing some sort of hypothetical flood across my keyboard?
But honestly, all the people who have said this to me… they’re probably right. I should be writing my way through this. Even if I’m not writing about this, I should be writing. This is how I’ve gotten myself through everything that has happened in my life.
I am perfectly aware that how I feel is exactly the same as how everyone feels when they’re in similar or equal situations. Everyone suffers through a family member who is ill, or has died, or has had some terrible thing happen to them. Grief is felt by everyone in this world.
My feelings aren’t different. My feelings that nothing I do matters right now, that every single step I take each day is hard, that my motivation has completely depleted because nothing matters to me right now except my dad and my family… those feelings are widespread felt across the world to anyone who has ever loved anyone. My feelings come in waves through the course of many days. Some days I’m honestly just so happy for the time he has left. Other days I’m angry… at him, at doctors, at cancer, at the world, at myself. Most days I’m just sad. My eyes became tear-filled wells when imaging the future or remembering the past.
How is anything that I do in the future significant if he can’t be a part of it or be there to hear the story of it? How can I have a husband someday if there is no father to ask permission or walk me down the aisle? Who are these children I could have someday if they won’t have their grandfather to tell them life lessons? Why will a promotion be exciting without my dad there to be proud of me for it?
My dad has stage four lung cancer.
“Stage four”: Literally the only thing I see when I close my eyes. The last thing my brain hears before I fall asleep and the daily reminder that I am awake and this is not a dream.
After 30 days since his initial diagnosis – through pneumonia, strep and staff infections in his lungs, and a 21 days hospital stay between two different hospitals… tomorrow is finally his first appointment with an actual oncologist.
Tomorrow is the day we will probably hear all the details. All the things we think we already know, all the tiny pieces that will play out the rest of his life.
My mom keeps reminding me that “this is the new normal”.
My dad keeps saying “I feel like I had pneumonia, I beat it and now I’m fine. I was sick and now I’m not. And then I remember the rest…”
Tomorrow we might hear his estimated life span. Tomorrow we might hear that chemo is no longer an option. Tomorrow we might hear the worst of all the news.
Tomorrow we could hear that the tumor is relatively manageable and he has a long happy life ahead of him.
Tomorrow we could hear a lot of things. I’ve tried my best to not focus AT ALL on the unknown since this started, but tomorrow we learn the unknown. We get the hard facts. We face the future – whatever it may be.
At the end of the day, I’m alive. I’m healthy. I have the world ahead of me. I walk tall. I stay strong. I have the best, BEST support system. I have the most amazing family, friends, boyfriend and even workplace and coworkers and supervisors who have taken amazingly good care of me through this entire situation.
I know I have made my dad incredibly proud already in my life. I am far too young to lose him, and will still be far too young to lose him anytime in the next twenty years, but eventually everyone loses a parent. My time might come early, or maybe it won’t. Every cross-able region on my body is crossed that I wont, but at the end of the day I will always know and be happy for the amazing relationship I have with my dad, how proud of each other we are for the lives that we have lived, and that the rest of my life will be lived to its fullest because he taught me to strive for happiness and accept nothing less.