Bittersweet Symphony

Published November 27, 2016 by dividinguplife

One major holiday down, two more to go. 

I spent Thanksgiving morning cooking my ass off. My grandmother decided that we were going to have my dad and his girlfriend over for Thanksgiving. Normally I would protest this and give a compelling reason that we should just go to Golden Corral for dinner, but since my dad has cancer, she doesn’t know if this will be his last Thanksgiving, and she wanted to make it memorable for herself and for him. 

So, we cooked and cooked. I made a chocolate coconut cake for him. We had all of the regular Thanksgiving stuff along with sweet and sour cabbage and god only know what else. Before my dad and his girlfriend got here, I went upstairs and took a nap. 

When they got here, I came downstairs half groggy and mad that I had to get up from my warm and comfortable bed. My dad had brought me and my grandmother each a dozen roses. He brought Pink  Moscato Champagne and Orange Juice for me.


He gave me the usual hug, and we went about setting everything up. While my husband was putting the roses in a vase, my dad came up beside me and wrapped his arm around my waist and I leaned into him and he kissed the top of my head. That sounds like normal father-daughter shit right?

I mean, it was as natural as breathing. But other than a few awkward holidays spent together, we really just never see each other. For the first time in thirty-one years, my dad kissed the top of my head in like …. a dad way, you know? 

I still don’t feel a bond to him. He is still very much a stranger to me, but I know he’s trying. He’s trying harder than he ever has with me. I have seen him three times in the past few months, which is more than I’ve seen him consecutively in the past ten years. Usually I would see him every other year, maybe once a year for some holiday. We would sit there awkwardly while my grandmother tried to chat and break the silence. 

Now that he’s dying, he’s making every effort to get some quality time in. I can’t say I blame him. It’s like my boss said; sometimes the end is when the most clarity comes into play. My boss asked me to have an open heart towards my dad, and to give him whatever forgiveness the man thinks he needs. Stabe 4 Colon Cancer is no joke. I don’t know how long he has, but his doctor told him less than a year. Every time he eats, he is in pain and has to immediately go to the bathroom. Even though the tumor was successfully removed from his colon, and half of the tumor removed from his liver, apparently it wasn’t enough to keep him alive. Otherwise, I don’t think the doctor would give him such a grim prognosis. 

Yesterday, my husband and I did a little shopping. I noticed that a shirt I haven’t been able to comfortably wear in a couple of years, fit with extra room. It was a nice feeling. 


It was also nice to not have my stomach hanging over my jeans. My jeans fit comfortably with a little room to give. The area around my neck has a lot less fat than it did. I can see some outline of my collarbone, and I can feel it without pressing on the fat layers, when I touch it. 

It’s almost one in the morning. I can’t hang like I used to. It makes me sad that my thirties have proven to be the be-all-end-all of my late night internet browsing. The bed calls my name a lot earlier than it ever did when I was in my teens and twenties. *sighs* 


One comment on “Bittersweet Symphony

  • You are looking good! I know it feels a bit forced, but try to be glad that your father is attempting to make amends in the way that he knows how. I agree with your boss. I have seen employees over the years with a terminal diagnosis finally “get it” and change their behavior to be the person I would have loved to have known all along. I imagine it is tough to face the realization that you have not been a good father all these years, so the good part of this is that he isn’t continuing to try to run away from it. Maybe someday soon, you could take with him about those feelings. It might be good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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