Monday, August 31, 2009

Worried about seeing my father tomorrow

My father is in the hospital and is not doing well.  My sister sent me a text this evening and given the description, I knew that I needed to come.  Gess also decided to call and the first thing that he said after hanging up is "he's dying."  Gess was crying (I am still not sure why--he has probably seen my father 3 times ever).  Apparently my dad did ask for me to come, so I dropped what I was doing (which was making peach jam), and made the 3 hour trip.  Gess came with me (against my protests).

You'd think that going to the hospital would be nothing big for me now, specifically since we have practically lived at one this year, but I am worried about this.  For one, I only have bad memories associated with this hospital.  Basically, something "bad" happened with my mother here (and she doesn't know that I know about it) and so just being in the building triggers something with me.  Second, I haven't seen my dad in probably 7 years.  I have exchanged letters with him a bit, but haven't seen him face-t0-face since my last year of law school.  The reasoning behind this is pretty complex...or maybe not complex but difficult for me.  Long story short, my dad was not a great guy (abusive alcoholic) and left my mother (pregnant with three other children all under the age of 7) when I was 7.  I hardly ever saw him in the next 10 years.  I had assumed that he moved away, but found out that he in fact lived in the same little town that I lived in.  He just never cared to see us.  So, that hasn't sat well with me.  

He came back around just as I was graduating from high school and I had a semi-relationship with him during college (mostly at the urging of Gessner).  But he really just made excuses about what he had done, etc.).  So, finally I had enough and just stopped responding to his letters (letters have been our main form of communication).

About a year and a half ago, I wrote him again, worried that he would get sick and then I would regret not trying harder.  So, we again exchanged letters.  He seemed better this time.  I also found out that he was sick...diagnosed with COPD (which is no surprise since he has smoked since he was like 10).  There was an issue that came up because I didn't feel comfortable going to a family reunion with him, so I pretty much stopped communicating with him again.  I was too overwhelmed with what was going on with Gess and some other stuff and at the advice of my doctor and therapist, I really needed to cut out people that were "energy drainers" etc.  He was definitely on that list, so I really haven't had much contact with his for the past year of so.  

Today there was no question that I needed to come to see him even with all of this.  I am not sure why, but my gut told me  I needed to, so I followed.  I am a bit worried about the toll this is going to take on me.  My dad is old.  He will be 69 in just a few days.  He smokes and also drank for many years.  I am sure that his liver is bad, as well as his lungs (which rubs me the wrong way considering Gess's health at the age of 32 not because of stupid lifestyle choices, but because of CF...but that's for another day).  

He has a wife that I think I met once.  And a daughter that he adopted (which is a very touchy spot with me since he abandoned us and yet voluntarily took on someone else) and I imagine she might be there.  I haven't been around and I don't know if that was the right certain seemed like the right choice and I don't know where I will fit in tomorrow.  

I don't know exactly what is going on, though the explanation given by both my sister (to me) and my dad (to Gess) sounds like it could be a terminal situation.  

Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I am going to try to keep my wits about me and just be there if he needs me (regardless of the past and all of those issues that cannot be changed).  At the same time, I will not accept anyone attempting to place blame or guilt on me for the past (not that I expect that to happen, but if it does, I will stand up for myself).  And above all, I have to try to keep myself from getting "sucked" into any drama that is just going to be stress causing.

For now, Ambien take me away....


jordysmom said...

What a mess of emotions you must be feeling.

Any updates?


Sandy said...

My dear Lisa, Can I once again tell you how proud I am of you and the wonderful person that you have become? As soon as I heard you guys were coming over, I immediately started praying for you in the area of your relationship with your Dad. I know it hasn't been easy - and you have had to be the adult in the family. I hope that as this "situation" takes its course, you can find peace within yourself, to get through it. Know that you are loved, more than you can ever imagine, and this to will make you a stronger person. Big hugs to you sweetie.