Sad . . .

Between a lack of sleep and my thought process brewing from the early evening hours, I found myself awake, eyes wide opened, hoping at any given moment, the sandman would come find me. I tried chamomile tea, reading long painstaking articles and even tried deep breathing, visualization type of stuff. Nothing worked. I feel “change”, and no - not the menopausal type of change, but change in means of how I think and how everything around me and in my life has taken a slight shift. Change is good, but often at times can leave me scared and questioning every single thing in my life. Years ago, if you told me my dad cancer, I’d know without a doubt that he wouldn’t give up. He’s a fighter. I looked up to my dad because he was so strong, brave and nothing ever got him down...except for this. Not even a year ago, I couldn’t imagine him giving up. His positive attitude, his energetic spirit and laughter were all ingredients to kick this thing. Now, when I walk into the room where he rests his tired body on the recliner with an oxygen tube wrapped around his nose, I noticed that his eyes are lifeless...and ashamed. He’s ashamed to “appear” weak - vulnerable to anything beating him. As he takes his oxygen tube off, he picks up the very thing that gave him cancer: a cigarette. To me, it’s like a big “fuck you” to the ones he loves.

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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