Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Father

This post is something I wrote a several months ago. I often write things and never post them or share them. It is cathartic to me just to put what I am feeling into words. Often it just lets me put things into perspective or get them off my chest. I can't recall the number of emails, posts, etc that I wrote and never shared.

You will see it mentioned below but it bears repeating, or would that be pre-repeating? I don't like airing some aspects of my life. Yet I saved this. And revised it. And saved it again. And forgot about it. And remembered it. And re-revised it. And ignored it. And forgot it. And remembered it. Ok, enough, you get the idea. It goes against the grain but I am going to post this.


As I mentioned in another post, I don't like airing some aspects of my life publicly. Even if it something that happened many years ago. Sometimes I do find myself willing to talk about it. As I write this I don't even know if I will post it. Sometimes I like to write things out because it lets me work through them.

I was channel surfing tonight and came upon an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. He had gone back to Israeli to meet family (brother and sisters) he didn't know he had and visited his father's grave. He hadn't seen his father since he was about 7 and had a lot of hard feelings because of it.

It made me think of myself and my father. Dad wasn't perfect and god knows I'm not. He had a lot of issues going back to his childhood. It wasn't always easy to get along with him especially the last few years of his life, until the last year. Actually, before that last year, actually 10 months, we almost came to blows a few times.

Dad had cancer. The doctors figured that he must have had it for quite a few years before it was detected. When they found it they thought they had detected colon cancer early and could nip it in the bud. When they went to operate they opened him up and closed him. He was riddled with cancer. They gave him a month or so to live and he lasted 10 months.

A few years before the cancer was detected he went through a big personality change, for the worse. This caused a lot of problems in our relationship. If it wasn't that he was my father I probably would have taken a swing at him a few times. Odds are he would have kicked my ass but he pushed me to that limit. A lot of words were said between us that usually can't be taken back.

The doctors asked about a personality change in the past. When we mentioned it they seemed to expect it. The cancer was up into his head and he was in pain. Dad was the type of person that believed you never showed your pain. He had a high tolerance, as do I. His must have been phenomenal. The day before he went in for the surgery he used an auger and we put fence posts in. The doctors, based on how much pain he should be in, were astounded that he could do that let alone function. They said the big personality pain was probably due to the pain and the cancer getting into his brain.

I was torn. On the one hand I hated Dad at that point in life. If you think I am angry because of posts I make know I probably would have scared the shit out of you back then. I was fueled by my anger at my father and forgiveness was not something you would find with me. Then I found out that the last years were not all his fault or mine. (I blamed myself at times for the rift that developed with my father even if I couldn't pinpoint what it was I said or did that caused it. I felt guilty for being angry with him and hating him. It hurts to say it but at that point in time I pretty much hated him.)

Then Dad went on the pain meds. In retrospect I would like to think it was BOOM everything is sweetness and light and we all kumbayad and things were normal. Unfortunately, that is not reality. It wasn't as quick and I was still dealing with, and in some ways suppressing, my old feelings. He did change a lot as his pain receded, the old dad that I knew and loved started returning. Maybe facing his mortality had something to do with it too.

In the first couple of weeks, of what we thought would only be 4-6 weeks, Dad and I talked. We started working things out and I did something I didn't think I was capable of. I forgave him for what happened and he did something I didn't think he was capable of, he apologized and forgave me. It wasn't an easy 10 months but we salvaged our relationship.

Seeing Gene Simmons crying at his Father's grave and beating himself up because his anger and pride wouldn't let him reach out to his father hit me hard. Knowing my temper and temparmant at the time that could easily have been me with my father. If we hadn't made up I could quite easily have finished University and cut him out of my life. We made up in time for me to lose him.

No comments:

Post a Comment