So, if you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that my dad has prostate cancer again. And that I’m the only one in my family that knows. I’m the only one who knows period (except that I told my husband and a very few close friends, hey, a girl needs to talk to someone).
It’s horrible. I’m worried about my dad and about his state of mind. I’m worried about my family and if they’ll be angry if they found out I knew and they didn’t. And I’m just worried for myself. My dad is a constant and I’m not sure I can handle him not being constant. When he told me his cancer is no longer in remission, well, it shook me to the core.
My family is not close. We’re not affectionate. We don’t confront problems. We’re very dysfunctional. I need them. All of them. Family is so important to me. I love them no matter what. I need them even when I hate them. When they’re selfish and dickish and evil, I need them. When I don’t talk to them for 6 months, I need them.
In a way, I’ve been groomed to be the secret keeper, the one who will keep the peace (or the one who will not care and just do what needs to be done), the one who will organize everything, the middle child who fixes everything. I don’t know how else to be.
I need my father to fight. I need my father. I am so scared. I don’t know what to do for him. I need my brothers to help. I want us to be whatever it is he needs. I’m afraid I’m not good enough to do that. I am the solid one who will follow directions, who will work hard, but I am not the one who ever made him happy.
My brothers were the ones that he was proud of. My older brother is the athlete. The golden child. The child who could do no wrong.
My younger brother is the baby and the one who looks just like my dad. And my dad’s only biological child.
I am not any of the things my dad values. I’m not his biological child. I’m not an athlete. I’m not exceptionally thin or exceptionally pretty. I’m emotional and chatty and …. and I’m me. I’m not sure why my dad confided in me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I will always love him and do what he asks. Even when it’s so completely nutty that I’d be embarrassed to ever commit it to paper (or blog). But I’m just not the reliable one. Or maybe I am and I’m just scared.
The less worried my dad is, the more worried I am. He seems so over it. He told me he isn’t even sad this time. I am sad. I can’t lose him. I’m not ready. I haven’t told him I love him enough. I haven’t told him how much I admire him., how much I wish I was more like him. How much I need him to fight to stick around.
He’s so alive. How can he have cancer? How long do I have him? Why, god damn it? Why does he seem so resigned?
Please, don’t call me to give me account numbers and locations again. Please don’t remind me where your will is. I can’t handle it. I can’t handle any of the things that you did last time. It didn’t seem real then. It was 12 years ago. Nothing was truly fatal then. But now I understand, that things really do end. In a way that I couldn’t 12 years ago. And now, I am afraid. I am not the strong one, Dad. Please don’t make me be. Please fight. Please fight. Please let my brothers help. Even when it’s just to down a few at the bar while you check out the women. Even when it’s just to spend that extra hour Rummicub with you.
Please tell my brothers. Please get that treatment. Please.