My dad has been sick my whole life. It wasn't something I regularly thought about. Not until I found out he has to get surgery, now it's the only thought in my head. Now, I have to try and forget.
I've spent a million mornings watching my dad take prescription pill bottles out of the kitchen cupboard and carefully parcel out pills onto the counter.
He'd watch me watch him, which was weird -- for both of us, I think -- and he'd make a joke after gulping them down. He'd say things like down the hatch, or nothing like starting your day with a shot!
I'd laugh, of course, I liked the way he tried to defuse tension with humor. Something I probably got from him.
My dad's been giving me pieces of advice for the past week -- much like the way Uxbal gives his kids stones in the scene above -- and it's been troubling. We'll be standing outside and say something like, I'm not worried. If it's my time, it's my time, or It's in God's hands now.
And, honestly, I don't want it to be in God's hands. I don't want to sit there and wait. I want him to be healthy.
And I spent my weekend, drinking, thinking about this. Thinking about how to process my feelings and my thoughts. At first, I thought this was a great idea. I'll drink to forget, I said to myself.
But I couldn't. My thoughts/worries/guilt/sadness/anger just amplified. Each can that went into the garbage was another regret I couldn't face. I kept asking myself,
Why didn't I help him quit smoking? Why do I give him cigarettes when he's out? Why do I buy him packs when he needs them? What the fuck am I doing? Why don't I spent more time with him? Why don't we talk as much as we used to? Why are we at each other's throats? Why do I...
I let all these thoughts and question spiral out of control until I eventually passed out.
So, you're probably wondering how you actually forget the fact that your dad is dying. Well, the truth is, you don't.
You live with it, everyday. You wake up. You see him and give him a hug. You shake his hand when he extends it. You laugh at every one of his corny jokes. You always ask him if he wants to drink coffee with you. Even though you know he hates leaving the house, you invite him out to the movies every weekend. When he calls you to smoke -- even though you guys shouldn't be -- you step outside with him anyway. You talk to him about spirituality and religion even though those topics make you uncomfortable. You sit down and watch soap operas with him.
You don't forget. You live with it, everyday. And you love him.