The more ill Dad became the more I was at the home of the girlfriend. I tried my best to be smiling and talk about nothing but it was strained. Dad was fearful that he or I would say something wrong and he would be sent home packing.
Many times I heard B threaten to send him home if he didn’t behave. I felt so sad for Dad. I always knew that he was not one of those take-charge men. Mom did everything. She paid the bills. She made the better money. She was very involved with the city of our home town.
Dad stayed in the background. He had plenty of friends himself. The guys he worked with, and there were some from his church that he hung around with, but Mom always seemed to outshine on most things.
I always believed Dad had issues with Mom making more money and I feel that this hindered him taking a front seat in their marriage. So seeing this woman bully Dad when he was dying broke my heart.
Many times I ate over at B’s house. She was an excellent cook. Her home was spotless. Her dog was cute, the property she lived on beautiful. But she lacked in humanity. Her life revolved around her and we were the tagged children, and Dad was her puppet.
The minister started dropping over at B’s house to see Dad more often. Dad made it a habit to read his Bible after breakfast each day. When the minister would stop by B made a fool out of herself my making rude comments to the Reverend. She would say, “he reads his Bible but he doesn’t follow a damn thing in it.”
I used to want to just walk over and slap her silly when she talked like that. I am sure both Dad and the minister were embarrassed, I know I was. After the visit was over she would pounce like a cat all over Dad. “How can you be such a hypocrite? Reading that damn book and then not living like it says. You ought to just put it a way somewhere and forget trying to look like something you aren’t”
I don’t care if she was right or wrong. She should have never voiced her thoughts to him. I have known our Dad much longer than she has. I remembered a time when he would not step foot inside a church door. He had changed. He needed and wanted to read his daily devotions. He counted on it. Dad did not want to die. He wanted to live. He did everything in his power to keep living. I think he clung very tightly to what he read each day.
Plus, she and I nor any of us have any right to judge another human’s thoughts. Who are we to throw stones when we have not looked in our own glass mirrors first?
I stayed with Dad pretty much through the week days. I went over in the mornings and stayed until after the supper dishes were done, then I would go home. On the weekends I had to trust that B would behave as I worked all weekend long.
Spring, summer had passed and now it was fall. Dad wanted to go to a flea market. B drove and I tagged a long in case Dad needed attention. When we arrived in the parking lot and we were ready to take off B let us know that she was going on ahead. She didn’t have time to wait for Dad who was slow and using a walker.
Dad and I went into one tent and looked around and then he could go no farther. He and I sat in the shade of a hot fall day and talked while we waited for B to have her fun. On the drive home I was very quiet. B talked and Dad listened.
That was the last time I went anywhere with Dad other than his doctor appointments. I am glad I had that time with him. While we waited on the bench our talks began to become on a more personal level. Dad and I both knew he was not going to make it.
Thanksgiving came and it was a nice fall day. Of course I was supposed to be there that day. Who else would give Dad his shots and medications? Who would help him to use the bathroom facilities?
I had a terrible time because I knew that my brother and half-sister were not with us. Thanksgiving Day to me means a day of being thankful. A day of being with family. My siblings were not allowed over. Oh how I hated her for this.
I got a hold of Al and made sure he was not going to be alone on this holiday. I discovered he had been invited by Dad’s sister to be at their home for dinner. For this I was very grateful. I explained to Al how I so wanted him to be with me, but because of B’s attitude it just wasn’t going to happen. I apologized to him over and over and I don’t think he understood or does to this day why he was left out.
The dinner table was filled and over-flowing with a turkey and all the trimmings. At this point in Dad’s life food was the last thing he wanted. He would rather be sitting in the pillow based recliner that we had designed for his body.
When you are dying from Bone Cancer, even a button on a recliner touching your skin can cause great pain. There were many times that I could no longer give Dad a hug. The cancer was eating holes in his bones making him in great pain and very delicate. But this didn’t matter, he had to be at the head of the table. He was to pretend that life was great and the food divine.
If I remember right he ate a small helping of Turkey and a teaspoon of mashed potatoes. Dad ignoring the home-made chocolate pie told any of us that knew him well that he was very sick.
He didn’t want to stay at the table. He begged me to take him to the recliner. Although B was bitching about him leaving, I took him to his chair. On the way from point A to point B, Dad quietly asked me, “did you make sure Al is alright today?”
I said,” yes he is. He is at your sisters.”
It made me feel good that Dad inquired about Al. Things were changing inside Dad. He was beginning to take stock of what he had done in his life. What kind of father he been to Al. I think it was eating him up about certain things that had been left undone or unsaid. He touched my hand and said, “thanks Terry for making sure he is alright.”
- Chapter 14 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 13 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 12 (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- “Yes, God Is Holding Us Accountable!” (ourdailybread101.wordpress.com)
- Why Do I Read The Bible? (timpollick.wordpress.com)
- Study the Bible for Yourself (justanotherdaysjourney.wordpress.com)
- 10 Things I Have Learned About Going To Church (lightningrodofgrace.wordpress.com)
- God Helps Those Who Help Themselves (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)