When my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which is caused by smoking, we as a family all came together and was by his side when he went to get surgery. We spent time with him, we all told him “I love you” - just in case he forgot. His eyes had hope then, it even had fear - but a healthy ‘I’m gonna fight you to the end’ type of fear. His attitude was upbeat and positive, but as time goes on and more doctor appointments to be had, he finds himself having a hard time walking from his recliner over into the kitchen area. He gets out of breath within seconds, yet lights up a cigarette to catch his breath. The last few times I have visited him, the entire house was engulfed with smoke. My mom just looks at me, shrugs as if to say, “What else can I do?” She’s powerless over his determination to finally finish himself off. And that’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s committing suicide and I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off that he’s giving up like that. I’m pissed off that he’s hurting my mother, my sisters, my two nieces and my nephew who love him very much. I’m pissed off because he’s hurting me as well. You can't help someone who refuses to help himself. What scares me the most is that my grandfather (my dad’s father) committed suicide when he was sick, which made my father feel guilt for many years. Why would he do that to us if he knew how much that hurt him?
I guess I know the reason for my recent insomnia. I’ll admit, I have a lot of anger inside of me that I’m trying to deal with. I realize my sisters are more private about this, but I’m very different from them. Now that dad’s weak, why can’t we take control - pull the reins on his smoking habit since it’s only shortening time left with him? I get answers like, “Well, let him do what he enjoys while he still has time left.” But what about us? What about another summer with him? What about another possible Thanksgiving with him?
Or am I being selfish?
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