Saying Goodbye

Published July 25, 2017 by dividinguplife

“Dad I know you’re trying to fight when you feel like flying…..”

 

July 25th, 2016

My dad had surgery to remove the tumor from his colon. The prognosis of Stage 4 Colon Cancer happened suddenly, and without much warning. My dad wasn’t even supposed to need a colonoscopy for another year. You don’t need those until you’re fifty. He had just turned 49 that June. 

We weren’t allowed to see him that night, so I stopped by the hospital the following morning, before I went to work. It was my birthday. July 26th. I had just turned 31. 

I went around to the left side of the bed. I watched him for a moment as he slept. So peaceful and unaware of what the future held for him. I tried to find parts of myself in his face and his facial expressions. I wondered how much alike we were. I realized that I know nothing about him. Sadness washed over me when I understood that I was staring at a perfect stranger. 

I gently picked up his hand and held it in my own. He immediately woke up with a confused expression before recognition settled in. His smile lit up the room, and line of perfect white teeth gracing me with their presence. Hey sweetheart. I was the first person he saw after surgery. It’s something he has reminded me of many times over the past year. 

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I’ve watched my dad struggle for the past year. He has done holistic treatments, changed his way of eating, He has tried to live as much of his life as possible in the short time that he has left. He bought seasons tickets to a hockey game that he will never get to go to. He didn’t plan to die this soon, but God has other plans for him. 

Last week, things turned south very quickly. Sunday he was checked into a Hospice facility that will keep him comfortable until he transitions from this life to Heaven. He isn’t a religious person, but he’s spiritual. His girlfriend of five years has been tireless in her efforts to make sure that everything goes the way that it should, and that he is comfortable throughout the transition. She is amazing. 

Be prepared for what you are going to see when you walk in here. His girlfriend gave me fair warning. Not to fear, I have been through this death stuff before. First with my grandmother and then with my Uncle. The past seven years have been full of loss in my family. 

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I took an early lunch on Monday so that I could see him and assess how bad it is, and where he’s at in his transition. He’s breathing from his stomach rather than his chest. Bad sign. His feet and hands aren’t cold yet, so at least I know the blood isn’t traveling to his organs before everything shuts down. I felt his pulse. Nice, strong pulse. His breathing is heavy, but it isn’t labored yet. There’s still time. Maybe a week if we’re lucky. I racked my brain for the statistics of how long one can go without anything to eat or drink. I developed a raging headache and wondered if the methadone was giving him a headache and I was empathing it in. It would certainly be the first time I’ve been able to feel anything from him directly. I love you, dad. 

His girlfriend asked me to go into the sitting area and talk to her for a bit. Not long after she started talking, she stopped suddenly and tears sprang in her eyes. My god, you look just like him. I’ve heard that one before – at least a million times. I look just like a man that I hardly know anything about. The first 31 years of my life I have seen him a handful of times. We talked about other things regarding estate matters and what to expect. My dad didn’t think he would get this sick so quickly. He never finished his will. I don’t care either way. 

I looked at his girlfriend, debating on how to say what I wanted her to know. I had lunch with dad a few months ago. He told me that if he started to feel better, he was going to ask you to marry him. That’s how much you meant to him. 

She started sobbing at the table. I had no idea. Thank you so much for giving me that. She needed to know that this man, someone who has shut everyone out of his life, wanted to open it up enough to make her his wife. But life has been slowly seeping out of him. It will never happen. But at least she knows that he wanted it to. That’s the only gift I could give her. I will never be able to repay her for everything that she has done. 

My dad and I weren’t meant to have some awesome father-daughter relationship. I will never know what that is like. But it’s okay. I have had my closure with him, and he has explained his version of things. He told me that he wished he could wave a magic wand and take it all back. 

On June 29th I sent him a text to tell him I loved him and was thinking about him. He said he loved me too. That was the last time I will ever hear it from him. I’ve been able to tell my dad that I love him for a solid year. 

On Thanksgiving he brought me flowers and kissed the top of my head while standing at the kitchen sink with his arm around my shoulder. 

On Christmas he gave me a Visa Gift Card inside of a card that said “Thank you for everything that you do.” It was the first card or present I ever received from him. It was also my last. 

We had lunch one-on-one earlier this year. It was the first and last time we sat down together, alone and just …. talked. 

We had a lot of first-times that unknowingly turned into last-times. I will miss him. I will miss what we will never have. We had only begun to scratch the surface of our relationship, and now he’s unresponsive and unaware of what is going on. I still talk to him and hold his hand, hoping that he will at least know I’m there when he starts to transition. I know that I will see him again one day. And I’m just glad that if he has to leave this earth, he at least knows that I hold nothing against him. 

The Heat is On

Published July 17, 2017 by dividinguplife

Last weekend our AC went out. It happened to go out when it was 97 degrees outside. Humidity in North Carolina is atrocious. You can’t breathe outside. I called our landlord three times last Sunday, telling them my grandmother lives with me and has asthma. It did no good. By the time my husband figured out what the problem was, all of the stores were closed, so we had to wait until Monday morning for someone to come out. Saturday night it got up to 78 in the house (I keep the house at 70-71), and Saturday night the house got up to 86 degrees. I slept in the sunroom on Sunday night because it’s closed in with sliding glass doors that are screened, and we have a futon bed out there.

I thought I would be sad sleeping alone in the sunroom last Sunday, because I don’t like sleeping away from my husband. But, I realized that it was no different sleeping out there, than sleeping upstairs with him. We go to bed at different times (him much later than me), we stay on our side of the bed, we have our own comforters. It’s no secret that my husband does no cuddle, so there is no coming to bed to spoon. So, it made me sad to realize that sleeping away from him for the night didn’t bother me because it was no different than both of us sleeping in the bedroom. 

But, I knew this was how he was, going into our marriage. I discovered his lack of physical affection not long after we started dating almost five years ago. It’s still lonely a lot of the time – because we talk all of the time, and laugh and get along – but the physical aspect of our marriage is missing and will always be missing. I try not to complain, because he’s such an amazing guy, but I can’t help how it makes me feel sometimes.

Last night I had a dream about The Abuser. We were in a mall that was getting awfully close to closing time. I remember the food court was dark and it was just all-around eerie. Then suddenly we were in a field full of beautiful purple flowers, and I kissed him and said “I love you” and this his wife opened up some door to somewhere and saw us standing together.

I woke up feeling guilty, even though I can’t control my dreams of him, or what happens. Usually when I dream of him, it’s of his softer side (yes, abusers have softer sides) It may be because yesterday I got a text message from a number I didn’t recognize saying that they didn’t recognize my number and wanted to know who it was. I replied back with my name and asked them who they were. It was The Abuser’s wife. Apparently I wasn’t in the phone under my name. Maybe a different name? I don’t know. I can’t get away from her. I was just like “Oh, okay” and that was the end of it. But she bugs me so much, I just wish she’d walk off the edge of the earth with her homewreckin’ self. After nine years, I should be over what she did, but I don’t think you ever get over it.

We went to pick up my step-children on Saturday. We thought we would have them for three weeks, but my husbands ex-wife is a bitch and only sent enough medicine for my step-son for two weeks, knowing that we would have to give them back if he doesn’t have his medication. That was a bummer. We had a lot of plans for three weeks (originally we were supposed to have them for seven weeks, but she enrolled them in summer sports on purpose.) Now, we are going to take the kids to a water park on Saturday, but that’s about all of the time we will have to do something with them since I work during the week and my husband works until seven at night. 

Women like these two remind me of why I don’t get along with women.

 

Men Aren’t the Only Cheaters

Published July 9, 2017 by dividinguplife

Currently, my husband is watching YouTube videos on cheating wives/girlfriends that get caught. These guys get pretty inventive in how they catch their partners in the act, or how they reveal to their partner that they know. One guy was suspicious and flew his drone high above the house when his wife left one morning, and caught her walking to a CVS for her boyfriend to pick her up. 18 years of marriage, just gone. 

There’s so much stigma attached to cheating, and men that cheat. It isn’t talked about as much, when it’s the woman having an extramarital affair. 

My husbands ex-wife went to another city and fucked a guy she was “dating” on their seven year wedding anniversary. She took her kids with her and did God only knows what with them while she was with this man. My husband had planned to take her to dinner that night, stay in a hotel in town just to get away for the evening – but those things wouldn’t happen. She came home that afternoon, and her son let it slip up that mommy had been hanging out with another guy that day. Despite the proof that was there, my husband refused to admit what was going on, and they continued on with their marriage. A couple of months later, on New Years, while my husband was at work, she packed all of her things, took the kids and moved out of the house. She sent him a text message as she was on the way to her mom’s house, with their kids, three hours away. It destroyed him. 

I remember seeing posts on his Facebook where he said “I just want my wife back” and I sympathized with him. This was way before I had any romantic interest in him. I just knew that Blue Eyes brother was in a lot of pain, and I hoped that he and his ex-wife could work things out. I recall talking to him online briefly about it, and telling him how sorry I was. 

He drank a lot after she left. He went to a lot of bars with friends. He tried to numb the pain. He logged into some online account that was hers (my yearbook, I think) and read where she told all of these men how horrible he was in bed, how boring he was, how much of a piece of shit he was. It destroyed him. She made herself out to be the victim, meanwhile the man she was sleeping with while married to my husband, left her ass high and dry. The grass ain’t always greener, folks. 

My husband and I have been together four and a half years, and married for sixteen months. We’ve known each other for nineteen years. There are still times that the demise of his marriage affects him. He doesn’t think I can see it, but I can. I can see the pain in his eyes. Sometimes he will just want to talk about what she said and did to him – I guess so that I can give him confirmation that he isn’t horrible in bed, that he isn’t some asshole guy. Fact is, he really is fantastic in every department. 

He was married to a woman that worked twenty hours a week, sat on her ass and played video games all day. She never wanted to go on vacations, she never wanted to go out of town, she never wanted to do anything except play Call of Duty or what the hell ever. She didn’t cook, she didn’t clean. My husband worked 50-60 hours a week so that she didn’t have to work full-time. He got up with the kids when they were baby’s and fed them. I will never understand why she left him. He tells me all of the time that it hurt when she did it, but he is glad that she did, because now he see’s what a real marriage is supposed to be like. 

So, these videos are hard to watch, but I guess they are therapeutic in a way for my husband. I think it helps him realize that this hasn’t only happened to him – that there are a multitude of women responsible for the demise of relationships. 

He came home early from work on Tuesday, I guess because he was in the area and took an early lunch, but when he walked in the house, I was sitting in the chair, in the living room painting my nails and watching Riverdale. But as soon as he came in through the kitchen, I could see that he was looking for me. And I could see in his eyes that “look” … you know the one that someone has when they’ve been cheated on before? The unease of not knowing what the hell you’re going to find when you walk in. That’s how I know that he still has some kind of weird PTSD. Like he walks in and wonders if all of my shit will be gone, or if I will be locked in the bedroom with some man. I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t trust me – I think he was just hurt so bad, he almost dreads surprising me by coming home and not knowing what he’s going to walk into. But he has nothing to worry about. He never will. Not when it comes to me. 

The Curse of July 4th

Published July 4, 2017 by dividinguplife

I used to enjoy July 4th for a multitude of reasons. I love the summer, I love fireworks and how they light up the night sky in a beautiful display of color. As I got older, I loved that I had the day off of work to do nothing – which is exactly what I’m doing today. 

But last night, as I sat in the sunroom with the windows open, and listened to the crickets and cicada’s singing their nightly song, I realized just how cursed July 4th has become for me. Not all memories are bad, but the residual leftovers are sad.

 

July 4th, 2004

My daughter was a month old. My husband at the time (her father) and I were on a trial separation. Probably from the lack of sleep in a colic baby, probably because I was nineteen and had no business being married in the first place. Probably because neither of us had yet to grasp the idea that parenting meant we had to grow up.  The night before, my ex-husband had gone out with his friends while I sat at home with our daughter. This night would be my night to go out and do what I wanted. I was staying with my mother for this period of  time, while my ex-husband and I tried to figure out what our next steps would be. 

Naturally, I ended up at my current husbands house. My need to see Blue Eyes (Now, my brother-in-law) fueled my desire to reclaim some of my freedom. It was at a time that I still drank when I had a free weekend (and before the legal age to do so). Blue Eyes had just moved back to this state from his home state, and I hadn’t seen much of them for six years. I was convinced that he was the love of my life and that I would find a way to make him see me. I wasn’t a scared thirteen year old anymore. 

The party became a neighborhood party. Somewhere inside my mom was getting drunk off her ass, which would later having her clinging to the toilet, wishing for death. I stayed outside in eye-proximity to Blue Eyes, watching him with a fondness that I had always had for him, but staying aloof because I knew that being clingy would just push him away. Playing hard to get really was the answer to this puzzling game of men and women. The more he drank, the more his eyes found mine in a sea of people. I tried to act like I didn’t see him or notice him in the least, but my heart pounded in my chest every time I could feel him looking at me. 

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Eventually he pulled out a huge tarp that covered most of the backyard. He poured Dawn Dish Detergent all over it, sprayed it down with the water hose, and made a neighborhood slip-n-slide. Clothes were shed, there were naked drunk people running all over the yard. Blue Eyes launched himself down the slide, a free bird of balls and biceps. He threw himself on the tarp with so much speed that he kept going once the tarp ended, which resulted in a white ass in the air, face-first in the bushes that lined the woods. 

Meanwhile, my current husband had shut himself in his room to game on the computer with his friends. That is how he spent his time. Eventually it got late. The cops were called for disturbing the peace, and Blue Eyes walked around with a towel wrapped around his waste. The neighborhood dispersed and went to their respective houses. Blue Eyes and myself sat on the front porch, while he massaged my feet, and I half-slid out of the chair. We were both past the point of drunk, but I had his attention. At some point my current husband came outside and looked at me and told me that I needed to go home. Blue Eyes told him to take his ass back inside to his room and to mind his own business. This was back in the days of my not being able to really tolerate my husband very much. I never understood his hostility towards me. It kind of hurt my feelings that he wouldn’t want me around. 

Eventually, Blue Eyes and I crawled our way into the living room and made it to the couch where we collapsed and tried to keep the room from spinning. Some time passed, but I remember becoming coherent because his proximity had lessened. Then he was over me, and his mouth was on mine. His lean body was pressed into me. I told him that I wanted him and heard him groan under his breath. He told me he would take my ass into his bedroom if I didn’t watch what I said. I told him I dared him to.

I don’t remember getting to his room, but I remember clothes being shed, and his ceiling fan being on high, because as he approached me, the air was blowing my hair in my face. He brushed his hand across face to move the hair, and his mouth claimed mine again. 

I remember parts and bits of having sex. I remember falling asleep afterward to “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees playing on his computer. I remember waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning and stumbling around to drive home. I remembering thinking that this was the start of something I’d always wanted. 

I wouldn’t see him again for another six years. 

 

July 4th, 2005

It took me an entire year to get over the fact that Blue Eyes and his family moved away again, without saying goodbye. This was the second time they had done this to me, and I was just as devastated at nineteen as I had been at thirteen. At the end of that July their house had caught fire, and they decided to return to their home state, ten hours away from me. 

My ex-husband and I had split up for good after we realized that we couldn’t make our marriage work, no matter how hard we tried. I was finally owning up to the fact that being a mother meant my kid came first. He hadn’t quite gotten there yet. I moved out and into my own place with our daughter. He got her every other weekend if he could manage, or if he didn’t have plans to go riding with friends on his motorcycle. (Now, he’s a fantastic father. It didn’t take him very long to get his shit together and figure it out.)

I signed up for match.com and put my profile picture out there. The night of July 3rd I received an e-mail that piqued my interest. This man was recently separated. His wife packed all of her things and moved out while he was at work, leaving him devastated. He liked my picture. I replied back explaining things about myself, and also told him that I was a bigger girl – to not be fooled by how photogenic I was in my picture. He said he didn’t care about that. We agreed to meet in the Circuit City parking lot the next day since we were both spending the 4th of July alone. I was still heart-broken over Blue Eyes leaving again, but I had a determination to move on from him hurting me again. 

I arrived first, and waited a short time for him. He looked angry and awkward. I could tell that when he pulled up, he wasn’t very impressed with what he saw. My heart deflated. I was going to have a difficult time finding someone to love me. Still, he got out of the car and we talked for a bit, then I got into his car and we went to Subway and had lunch. We went back to his house and sat there in awkward silence for a bit, and then he drove me to my car and that was it. I knew I would never see him again. That night while I was at the store, my phone rang, and it was him. He asked me if I wanted to come back over. He was lonely and he enjoyed talking to me. I agreed and thanked my lucky stars that someone was interested in me. This is the man that I refer to affectionately as The Abuser 

Today would have been our 12 year anniversary. I spent last night digging through old pictures on photobucket. His login crept into my mind – and I’m sure he hasn’t even used photobucket in ten years. But I tried logging in, and I was able to. Immediately I was overwhelmed with pictures of us. 

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There are days (like today) that it still hurts. I don’t miss his abuse, and I don’t miss him. I don’t regret my marriage to my husband in the least. But I will always feel like a failure with this one. I don’t know if it’s residual emotional abuse from him. I don’t know if it’s my overachieving ways that my ego is still bruised from not being enough for someone. I don’t know if maybe it’s because he was the first person I loved in my adult life that had such a pull over me, that I will always think about him. 

He beat the shit out of me for three years, and then he cheated on me and threw me out on the streets. He never loved me. He moved on to marry someone else and have a child with her. Someone that treats him exactly how he treated me. He had it good with me and didn’t realize it until he had thrown me away.

I find myself wondering if he even remembers what day this is. If I was enough to cause him to remember this day for the rest of his life, like I do. 

 

July 4th, 2015

On June 25th, 2015 I was sitting in my living room, scrolling through Facebook when a picture of my uncle popped up on my wall, from my Aunt’s boyfriend. All it said was “Please pray for Dennis, he has been in a serious accident.” My face paled and I immediately sent a text to my Aunt. I was confused as to why nobody had reached out to me. My aunt was in a daze when she answered the phone. They were up at the hospital. She apologized for not calling me, but said she couldn’t even think straight. I rushed up to the hospital that night to sit with the family.

I returned nearly every day for the next week. He was in critical condition. His brain was swelling, but he was responsive to commands. He could move his hands when asked, and make a peace sign when prompted. His eyes were still swollen shut, but he knew we were there. His fifteen year old daughter, my cousin, stayed glued to his side. She was about to be sixteen. She said she didn’t care if she had her sixteenth birthday party in the hospital as long as she could celebrate it with him. They were inseparable. 

My Uncle had a craniotomy done to allow his brain to swell comfortably. Shortly after that he was brain dead. I went in to see him one last time before they pulled the plug on his life support. His hands and legs were still doing involuntary twitching, giving us false hope that he would recover. The nurse explained that it was just his body’s response, but that there was nothing going on in his brain. When we pulled the plug, he would be dead. 

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His organs went on to save six people. Everything had changed the moment that seventeen year old didn’t check his blind-spot and sent my Uncle careening into a telephone pole. Our lives were affected. He left behind two kids, and a grandson that was a month away from birth. He was 45 years old. A survivor of cancer, a business owner, an incredible human being. 

That night, my husband and I took his kids downtown to see the fireworks. I stood there in awe and shock, wondering if any of this was actually real. I prayed that my Uncle had a better view of the fireworks from Heaven. I prayed that he would always be around us. I prayed that his children would recover from losing a man that was so incredible. 

 

Today, I’m staying home. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not doing anything. The memories of years past are enough to make me want to shut myself away from everything. My husband is working until five. I have no desire to celebrate this stupid day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Days Seem to Blur

Published June 29, 2017 by dividinguplife

Yesterday, I finished helping my grandpa pack the rest of his things for his move today. I have spent three days a week for the past five weeks packing up his entire house, laughing with him, following his instructions (He’s always been a business owner, so he’s more of a point-and-order kind of man, and you just do what he says), and just spending quality time with him. I had to reassure him a hundred times that everything would get done before his big move. I was supposed to go over there this Saturday to help him finish, but his son moved up the date by two days, so we had to crunch big time to get it all finished. Who knew a thirty-one year old and a seventy-six year old could pack an entire house of thirty years? I’m still pissed at his other family members for not helping him at all. He sent his sister a check for five hundred dollars because she needed new glasses, but she didn’t once offer to come over and help him in the least. 

Mine and my husbands joint account is still levied, though we did find out exactly why. My husband lived in his home state the year of 2012. He moved down here at the beginning of 2013. By the end of 2013 he moved back up to his home state. The State Revenue assumed that because he didn’t file taxes in that particular state in 2013, that he just didn’t file taxes at all, and put a levy on our account for an estimated amount of what he should owe them. When my husband explained that he lived in a completely different state for the year 2013, they said he needed to provide proof. We dug through boxes Saturday night and finally found his 2013 W2 and emailed it over. Of course they are taking their sweet time reviewing the documents. The levy remains, and they don’t seem to care. I didn’t even know it was legal to put a levy on an account based on an assumption. I had to open my own account separate from our joint account so I can continue to pay bills. 

My dad’s health continues to decline. He weighs next to nothing. He’s on three different pain medications, including a morphine patch. I saw a text in my grandma’s phone where he was asking if she had any extra Percocet. Apparently, the pain is so bad that he’s eating through his like candy. Stage 4 Colon Cancer is no joke, my friends. 

I think my husband and I are going to have a lunch date on Sunday and then go to the shooting range to take out some of our frustrations from the past month. There is nothing more therapeutic than firing a weapon repeatedly at a target. Plus, I need to get myself more familiar with my gun and my aim. It won’t do me any good to have a gun if someone kicks the door down at home, and I can’t shoot them correctly. 

Life continues to move forward at an alarming pace. Here we are, more than halfway through the year. I look forward to summer so much, and June is already over. 

It’s too Much, Sometimes

Published June 22, 2017 by dividinguplife

I realized on Tuesday that my husband relies on me more than I ever realized. It’s not a bad thing, but more of an eye-opener of this man that I view as such a strong presence in my life. 

I received a “low balance” account notification Tuesday afternoon at work, which puzzled me. I mean, we didn’t have a lot of money in the bank, but we had enough to where I shouldn’t be getting an email telling me that our account is below 25.00

I logged into our bank account and saw that it was at over negative sixteen hundred dollars. The only thing it said was “account hold”. I called the bank and told them that I thought someone had gotten hold of our account information, and asked them to check into it. 

The lady looked at the hold, and told me that it was a levy on our bank account from the Department of Revenue. Specifically the Revenue Department from the state that my husband lived in before he moved back here two years ago. I called my husband and told him what was going on, and then asked him if he had received any letters in the mail from the State Tax Department. His answer? Yes. Did he read them? Not really. I knew he hadn’t, because had he of read them, he would have known that they were going to put a levy on our account. They give you fair warning. I gave him the number to call the Department to see what they could do. Well, more specifically the creditor that has the account that works with said department. I went back inside to work with the wheels turning on how we are going to make it for another week without money, now that our account has been frozen.

He text me and told me that they won’t release the levy until we pay eight hundred dollars. Well, we don’t have that. Even after we all get paid, we don’t have eight hundred bucks left over once the bills are paid. Back to square one. 

My husband is a very smart man. Let me say that. But things like this? I think the mechanical wheels that turn in his head don’t apply to stressful situations. I think everything just kind of shuts down. Like “Well, we’re screwed. Oh well!” Meanwhile, I’m shuffling possibilities through my head like multiple tabs being open on a computer browser. If we do ‘this’ and ‘this’ will that solve the problem we have of paying our bills? Is it possible to do something like ‘this’ and work around this unfortunate situation?

I put a phone call into a tax attorney for information. I called the bank to find out if I could open up a separate account in my own name (I can), and then told my husband to login to his employer and have the direct deposit stopped to our account, and opt for paper checks instead. 

The attorney called me back yesterday and told me that it wouldn’t financially benefit us to hire them because of the cost associated with that. But he told me exactly what we need to do to work around the creditor with the levy, so that we can have it removed. He was super helpful to me and assured me that they can’t touch my account when I open it, because my name isn’t tied to my husbands tax levy. So now I have to go to the bank on Friday or Saturday morning and get a new account open so that I can provide my employer with an updated direct deposit account. My husbands paychecks will arrive later than the Thursday’s he get’s paid since we have to switch to paper checks. It’s going to screw up our flow a little bit, but we will manage. I’m just thankful this happened after we had already paid our first round of bills for the month. Had it of happened when we had money in the bank, I have absolutely no idea what we would have done. We could have potentially lost our house if I wouldn’t have been able to make the payment.

I take care of my husband’s every need. I fix his plate at night before I go to bed, since he eats later than I do. If I’m still awake when he eats, I heat up his food, or fix it. We spend all of our time together and I have no desire to hang out with people outside of our family. I’m faithful and devoted to him, always. And I know he is to me, as well. In return, he helps with more than his fair share of the household chores. He kills the nasty bugs that I scream and run away from. He gives me space for quiet time when I need to recharge, and we never fight or argue about anything. One year and three months of being married and we haven’t had one single fight. I’m proud of that. 

I just wonder if he realizes how much I take control and solve things that happen. This isn’t the first fire that I’ve had to put out. He owed back taxes to the IRS, and I opted to file together and just get it paid, rather than file as an injured spouse so that I could keep all of my refund. On the flip-side, when I was surprised with that faulty check arrest warrant from 2009, he did everything he could to calm me down and make me feel better – though the thought of going to jail or having anything on my pristine criminal record, nearly sent me into an anxiety attack. 

Even though I don’t have to, I try to prove in small ways that I will never be like his ex-wife. When things get hard, I’m not going to pack up and leave and blast his name all over the state like he’s this horrible person. He isn’t. And he’s now starting to see that his ex-wife is a miserable cow. She’s engaged to some useless blob of a man that won’t work, and is content sitting on his ass and letting her work sixty hours a week. When she was married to my husband, she barely worked twenty hours a week, and played video games all day while my husband worked all day. The tables have turned on that miserable cow. 

Sometimes being the reliable one gets tiresome. People at home, at work, and random strangers often lean on me for support and advice and seem to suck my strength away from me and take it for their own. I take care of my grandmother and all of her medical needs, I’ve packed my grandpa’s house on my own for the past month – I think we are at 75 boxes packed at this point, I pay the bills, I work 40+ hours a week. I have a patient of mine that has cancer and doesn’t have any family. I will pick up and take her medication to her sometimes when she’s too sick to leave her house. You know, things like that. Like, how much can I be stretched? Is there going to come a time when I just crash and fall to pieces? Will there be anyone there to help me if I do? If people lean on you during times of crises, what do they do when the leanee becomes the leaner?

A Letter My Father Will Never Read

Published June 19, 2017 by dividinguplife

Dear Dad,

I find it ironic that your cancer is what pushed us together as the end draws near. How much time do we have left? Three months? Six? More? Less? Every time I see you, your face has become more hollow. You can’t even sit in a chair comfortably anymore, because there’s no meat there. You are a walking skeleton that pushes away any help extended towards you. By “growing closer” I mean that I have seen you more in the past year than I have in my thirty-one years of life. How many times has it been since last July? Five or six, maybe. Five or six times we have been in the same room together, laughing at the same things. Five or six times in a year, which is more than I ever saw you before. 

There’s no time left. Not when you shut us all out. How can their be dignity in dying alone? Whenever I ask you if you need anything, you tell me that you have everything you need – and yet there is nobody there to help you. When you eat, you throw up. When you take your medication, you become constipated. You refused chemo and radiation, and then when it got bad, you wanted it … but it was too late. Why are you so stubborn? 

The other day I had chest pain from a pulled muscle. Rather than bothering my husband, I drove myself to the emergency room to be checked out. I laughed to myself because I had just jumped on your ass about going to the emergency room without letting anyone know. it made me sad to realize that I am so much like you, and yet I am just learning these small things that genetically, yet uniquely match us together. 

I know that I like to write, like you do. I know that I’m stubborn and very introverted, like you are. 

But I also know I am unlike you in so many ways. Unlike you and my mom, actually. I never abandoned my daughter. My grandmother (your own mom) lives with me and has for almost five years, because you wouldn’t let her live with you. I wouldn’t have it any other way, either. I’ve dedicated my life to healthcare so that I can have a small role in helping others. I’m not selfish in the love that I give to other people. 

I forgave you years ago, though the pain has always lie dormant in the recesses of my heart. Your explanation of your abandonment was sufficient enough for you to have the forgiveness you needed before you passing, but a small part of me will never understand why I wasn’t good enough for you to want. You say you love me, and yet I feel nothing from you. What’s worse is that I feel nothing towards you. I feel sadness that you’re dying. I feel sadness that we have a small amount of time left, and yet you still won’t let me in. I feel even more abandoned than before. We have opportunity to spend every minute together that we can, and you still don’t want to. Why? 

My handsome, introverted, selfish, stubborn father. How you have molded and shaped the person I am today just by simply not being there for me. I became stronger because of it. I learned what not to do. I learned that sometimes someone needs the forgiveness you aren’t sure you can give – but you give it anyway. Selflessness thinks of the other person, always. That’s what I have done. When you die, you will be able to go knowing that I don’t blame you for the choices you made in regard to me. You will die knowing that I will be okay, and that I will take care of your mother until she dies. When you die, you will leave behind a lot of unanswered questions because of your refusal to open up to any of us. 

And somehow, we will all still be less, because of your absence. 

 

-C