Chapter 15


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…

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Chapter 15


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.”

Mind Over Body


How can a person who has what they need in life be so emotional? I woke up this morning

After Dorothy's departure, Blanche, Rose and S...

early to the bell jingling from Al, letting me know he is awake. I have never done this before, but I told him it is so early, couldn’t he just go back to sleep for a tad longer? He said nothing but the room got quiet and he did not get up for another forty-five minutes, so I lay back down in my bed and snuggled up under the warm blankets.

I lay there, but immediately my mind started doing the same crap it does so many times when my body is not physically busy. It spins, it won’t settle, it starts going back in time and moving quickly, like watching a tornado come your way, to the front and center.

I hate it, I hate it so bad. I never go back in time too early. I never revisit my childhood. It always goes back to the time when dad was ill. I relive the wonderful times that I was privileged to take care of him while he was sick. My mind goes over the mean woman, that went from nice to meaner than the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard Of Oz, when she found out he had bone cancer. I relive every word, every action she did  and I watched my father fall between the cracks with her, while I tried so hard to remind him that he could leave her clutches and go back home, that I would care for him.

I then move up to five years ago when I started caring for my brother. The guilt that I carry because in the beginning, it was not the special love I had for my dad that would keep no one from doing what I was doing for dad, but now I was caring for my brother, because he needed me.

There was never a great bond between my brother and me growing up, and I can not feel guilt over this, as we were taught not to bond, to just sit and behave. Now four years later, I will do anything to keep my brother happy and safe, even tell dentists off!

How can I sit here only being up two hours and want to cry my eyes out? How can I feel this way when I have my bills paid, and Al is confused but in good spirits, and there is food on the table, and I have so many good friend. How can I be so darn selfish?

It is a pity party, isn’t it? Sometimes I believe it is, and other times, I am not so sure. It seems to be something that just pops up out of nowhere. Maybe it is the holidays coming, maybe it is the stress of wondering how I am going to buy groceries for the Thanksgiving meal, or get the items needed for our new make and bake Christmas.

I worry too darn much, but can’t seem to quit doing it, and I get so disgusted with myself, I want to just go hide under my blankets and go back to sleep. I have no right nor reason to feel this way, but here I am, ready to sob but can not force the tears to come.

I am doing a load of laundry, and I have gotten Al through his breakfast and medications. I even have my favorite television running in the background, The Golden Girls, and I have changed Al’s wet bed and have emptied and cleaned the commode, but inside, I want to sleep.

I have so much to be thankful for, so where is my smile. I so wish I would knock this crap off. I am mourning, I am mourning for the loss of my parents, the loss of a once close sister, the loss of all that was once so common and familiar.

I can not change it, I can not bring back what once was, and I know as I sit here, life will never be the same. I just want to stop, pick up my heart, lift the corners of my lips into a smile, and get excited about the day, but so far it is not happening.

So if I know what I have, why am I allowing this to happen. Hopefully, it will change before noon arrives.