This is the last picture I ever took of my dad. It was Christmas 2000. He passed away January 21, 2001. By then he had already lost both his legs below the knees and had long since lost his will to live.
By the time this picture was taken he had been through HELL!. His liver exploded in 1996 from drinking too much all those years previous. The doctor saved his life and gave him five more years by inserting a shunt into his liver. It had been an experimental procedure and the doctor told us we might have another year with him if we were lucky. There was no guarantee what that year would be like since the toxins already released into his brain were quite damaging. We were told he may live out his remaining days in a state of amnesia, not remembering anything of his past.
Fortunately after almost a month in the hospital and I think fourteen of those days in an induced coma he wasn’t much different than he was before. Although he realized early on that he couldn’t drink anymore. I won’t even get into all that right now.
The next steps were AA and a consult at the University of Penn for a liver transplant. He refused to go to AA, and after the consult he told me not to tell my mom, but he didn’t want to go through that, he would rather die. I can’t say I blamed him. We were at the hospital for eight hours and met everyone that was on the liver transplant team and that surgery sounded horrendous. I wouldn’t want to do it either.
The doctors were amazed that he lived five years after the shunt had been put in. When he was dying they wanted to run all kinds of tests on him to find out why, but I put a stop to that. My dad had suffered so much for so many years, just let him alone.
I guess I’m thinking about him this morning because his birthday is May 7th and the writing prompt this morning took me back to when he was dying in the hospital and my brother and his wife told the nurses not to let my mom and sister in to see him because they agitated him. REALLY?!
I remember all the pain that was going on in our hearts and then to have to deal with that asinine bull—-. I had to fight with the nurses to get my mom and sister allowed back in.
People wonder why I don’t talk to my brother anymore. He caused so many problems in the family over the years. I forgave him time and again and was the peacemaker, but there came a day when he called me a big fat n— lover that I drew the line and never looked back.
Looking back now I see I should have drawn that line a lot sooner. What he tried to do to my mom and sister at the hospital by not allowing them in to see my dad as he lay dying was completely unforgivable. The reason my dad got agitated when they came is because Harry and his wife would stir him all up telling him that my mom and sister were out shopping spending all his money and they didn’t really want to visit with him.
Now that I’ve gotten closer to my mom and sister every now and then these topics will come up, I see the hurt and pain my brother and his wife caused. So much unnecessary pain.
Harry and his wife weren’t happy with me because when they were nosing into my mom and dad’s finances and business I told them it was none of my business what went on in their home. My home is my business, their home is their business. I have enough of my own troubles I don’t need to be sticking my nose into theirs or anyone elses.
I will never understand why some people find their happiness in making other people’s lives miserable. I don’t have time in my life for people like that anymore.
Today I’m grateful for:
1. Finding the last picture I ever took of my dad.
2. The boundaries I’m learning to draw around my heart and life.
3. The books I took out of the library yesterday.