I wrote this a little while ago on reddit. I figured I would save it here. Don’t bother reading, it’s sad.
August, 2006. I’m mowing the lawn. I’m excited to goof off with my friends that night. I haven’t had time to hang out for quite a while, I had started a new job that was soaking up most of my free time.
I’m nearly finished when my mother runs out of the house screaming. She’s a fairly calm and collected woman, not prone to fits of hysteria. This is a side of her I’ve never seen.
"It’s bad! It’s bad! Oh God, it’s bad!"
My father worked in Television most of his life. If you’re American, then many of the faces in news broadcasting you know today have worked with him at some time. Times were tough then, as he retired to work on two exciting new projects that disappeared from underneath him. So, after 35 years of Production Management, he had to take a job managing the night shift of one broadcast at the local ABC affiliate for a fraction of what he was worth. It was the only thing available at the time.
He stepped off a riser wrong one night. Figured he might have pulled a muscle. No big deal. He just strapped on a back brace and kept working. Two weeks later, the pain hadn’t stopped. Hell, probably a fractured rib, then. No big deal. He went to a doctor who ordered a CT scan. We waited a week to hear back. They called and left a message at 4:58 pm. I was mowing the lawn.
No big deal.
One week later, he couldn’t walk. The best oncologist in the state was called in. He took the case personally. Called it ‘catastrophic cancer.’ There wasn’t a real term for it. Type 4 of the lung. Type 3 of the pancreas. Type 2 on the liver. Masses at two points of his spine [these grew to a size that pinched off his lower spinal column]. Spots on his brain.
I went to see him every day. Even after visiting hours, since my job had a tendency to work me late. They don’t really adhere to the hours rule on the 4th floor.
My mother went into overdrive, making things as normal as possible. I ripped out the cabling of the built in TV in his room so we could attach a DVD player for him. The staff turned a blind eye to this.
My little brother would visit with him often as well. Mom would bring him out. He would work on his homework in the room, asking Dad for help with his math. Just like normal.
The kicker was my Father never looked ill. He was the same man I grew up with. Quick with a smile. Dry, sarcastic humor, every day. Even when he started chemo and radiation, nothing changed. Sure, he lost a little weight, but that was from laying in a bed all the time.
They made a pressed plastic mesh the shape of his head that would hold his head still while receiving his rad treatments. Once he brought it back with him and showed it to my brother, much like he would show us some interesting bit of camera tech he’d bring home from work.
My brother was at our neighbors house when my father passed. We had received a call from the hospital the night before, explaining that his breathing had become irregular. It was midnight, so we picked my brother up and walked him next door. The neighbors had been very supportive.
When we got to the fourth floor, they were prepping him for a transfer to ICU. As they wheeled him out with a breather strapped to his face, he grabbed my mother’s arm and kept repeating “I love you. I love you.”
"I love you."
4 am. The tech comes into our room, exasperated. Somehow, my father has broken two rebreathers. These are large air pump machines that force positive and negative air pressure in a pattern designed to encourage healthy airflow. My father, far gone on pain killers, was having none of that. He’d breathe the way he wanted to, thank you very much. Stubborn to his last moments.
5:30 AM. I’m watching my father’s heartbeat stagger on the screen. My mother, not known for fits of hysterics, is leaning on the bed next to him, cradling his face, repeating ” I love you. I love you.”
"I love you."
5:38 AM. I’m resting my hand on my mother’s shoulder. I hear myself saying “It’s over now. It’s done.” This is startling to me, as I don’t remember hearing any sound for the past 20 minutes.
I’m 21. It’s been two months since we got the phone call.
My brother is brought to the hospital a few hours later. In the chapel, my mother is keeping calm while talking to him about what has happened. When asked if he understands, he says
"His story is over. Mine is still being written. When my story is over, I’ll be with him."
He is 11.
Oh, look at that. it seems to be raining on my keyboard.
I don’t care what hour it is, I am gonna go to sleep when I damn well please!
glitch-tybalt replied to your post: Fat Charlie the archangel sloped into the room, he…GO TO BED, GODDAMMIT.
FUCK YOU, YOU GO TO BED, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE, MEG ISN’T AROUND TO NEED SOMEONE TO DRIVE HER TO THE AIRPORT, AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANT FRIENDS THERE TO GET BAGELS WITH LOX WITH EITHER!
I WORK NIGHT SHIFTS AND HAVE A COMPLETELY FLIPPED CIRCADIAN RHYTHM NOW, I’VE BEEN WORKING ON SOME ART PROJECTS, AND THE BAKERY IS OPEN SO I WILL DROWN MY SORROWS IN DONUTS AND KOLACHES!
edit: dammit, I originally posted the source. Sorry, two people who saw that.
L̞̲̙̦̱͕̳̽ͨ͗i̱̣͖͙̤̻̹̩͊͛̏ͣḡ͚h͈̝̥̍ͩ̒ͫt̲͛̅ͤ̏ ̝̬̫̖̟̄ͤ̍̎ͤi͕͖̙͔̼̘͍͈͋̒ͯ̇̀͋̌̅n̖̝̞̤̥̞͍̽̋̏ͅ ̳̜̱̞̟̔̊ͅͅt̘̟͎ͮͫͭ̈́ͯ̀͋̈́̏ḧ̳̰̝͓͚̠̫̟̜́̎̚e̘̍ͪ Dark