I going to visit my parents in a few days. I’m sure we’ll have fun things to talk about, like how my father is dying and his legs are giving out. I also really enjoy breaking my mother’s heart to point out that his condition is terminal; the cancer has metastasized to his bones and they have put him on hormonal (i.e., palliative, not curative) treatment. That he probably won’t die right away, but it’s coming, maybe a couple of years, hopefully more. She will probably outlive the spouse that she loves more than life itself. His last treatment was 10 years ago, so it gave him time. But he is still young, and it is somewhat shocking considering how old his parents were when they died.
Then there is the guilt–the guilt that though I am decent with money, I still don’t have enough to buy multiple airplane tickets or the vacation time to make lots of trips. And though I could do FMLA, that won’t pay the bills that continue on. So I don’t know how much I can see him, or how much I can afford to bring the girls to see him.
And normally, I am good, I am strong, I am the one to ask questions because they need to be asked–but I am tired and spent, and frankly, I find myself crying. I have spent my whole life trying to contain my emotions, containing the feelings that mess with my mind, and rationally I should forgive myself an incident of weeping. But I am a mess, really. Because as much as I may disagree with someone who was a keystone in my life, who could push my buttons like no one else, he was also probably the most influential person in my life. I don’t want him to die yet. But that’s not for me to decide.