My Dad is Dying
I needed a break from the death watch. My sister was there and I felt confident that everything would be alright long enough for me to walk away for a few minutes. I walked to the end of the short hall. There was a room set up to look like a living room. A couch two comfy chairs, coffee table and two end tables with lamps. And of course the focal point of the room was the TV complete with a remote control. I held the remote turned on the TV and mindlessly began to stare at it. I tried in vain to find the button that would mute my thinking. I was so tired emotionally drained I wanted off this roller coaster of emotions. All those years of growing up in that mans house all the times I had wished him dead. How ironic that now my wishes were coming true.
My solitude was short lived. In walked a young child. If I had to guess I would say he was about ten years old. He sat down in the chair next to where I was sitting. I asked him if he wanted to watch TV and atomically handed over the remote.
As our hands met on the exchange of the remote he looked into my eyes and blurted “My dad is dying.” In my head I said “ Oh dear God you have got to be freaking kidding me!” “ Like I don’t have enough to deal with right now.” “I don’t know what to say to this kid.” Still looking in his eyes I replied “My dad is dying too.” My new friend introduced himself as Jason and quickly words began to spill out of his mouth. “My dad has brain cancer he is only 35 years old.” “That is him you hear screaming sometimes.” “They tied him to the bed cause he doesn’t know where he is and keeps trying to get up.” My brain was kind to me and shut down my emotions. On any other day I would have been reduced to a bucket of tears. I sensed that Jason did not need me to cry. He needed someone to tell, someone who would just listen he needed to process what was happening by being verbal about it. I waited for him to finish. As he was talking I began to think of how he was the age that my youngest child was when her daddy died. So I approached him with the information that I would of wanted someone to educate my child with. I told him of my children’s fathers death. I told him about the things he could expect to happen and feel. He thanked me and told me that he and his family were going home for the night. He asked me if I was staying the night. I told him I was because I had made a promise to my father to do so. He said he was afraid to leave his dad. He was afraid that his Dad would die with him not there. I said if you like I will look in on him tonight. He said you would? I said I promise you that I will. I reached into my pocket to get a tissue and came out with a handful of candy from the reception desk candy jar. I asked him if he wanted some. He said yes. I told him where he could go to get more. He told me that the lady at the desk had told him he couldn’t have anymore. I said oh really. I was out raged to think that someone would deny a child something as little as candy when their father lay dying in the same building. I asked Jason to walk with me as I marched up to the desk with that held the candy jar. Jason stood back as I swooped the candy jar off the desk and emptied all of its contents into my pockets and hands. I gave the little old lady sitting there the hairy eyeball and walked away. Jason and I walked back to the TV room and I dumped my loot onto the table. He shook his head and laughed at what I had done. I look at it this way all those years of visiting Grandma’s Candy jar had finally paid off.
I kept my promise to Jason and watched over his father that night. Sadly Jason’s father passed away the next afternoon.