Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's Time

I am leaving today for Arkansas. My brother is going with me this time. My stepmom called yesterday and she's ready to let Dad go. She's called all his family and we will all be there with him tomorrow when they turn off the life support.

I probably shouldn't write this for all the world to see, but here it goes.

I have two memories of you before you and Mom divorced when I was two years old. One of the memories is standing up in the front seat of your big, old car and you were taking us somewhere. I remember you smoking a huge cigar. You told me to take a puff - so I did. My other memory is very faint, but I do remember you taking us to the zoo and us riding some kind of roller coaster. After that, I have no memory of you at all, that's because you never came to pick us up anymore.

I hated you for that 12 years that I never saw you. I hated you because I thought you hated me. I thought you must be living the high life somewhere and you didn't have time for your two kids. Thought that me and Jason weren't good enough for you and that you had better things to do.

It wasn't until I had Maddie that I realized something. I realized it was a lot easier for you to just not call us at all - if you never picked us up, you would never have to drop us off again. How painful that must have been for you.

I've said some harsh words to you before, Dad, and I can honestly say that I meant every single word I said at the time I said them. But now it's different.

I never really thought it was possible that you could really care about us as much as you said you did. I never really believed that all you wanted was for us to call you and that would just make your whole day - hell, it would have made your whole month or year or whatever. I believe that now, Dad.

It wasn't until about a year ago when I started realizing you really did care about Jason and I. I don't know why it took me so long to come to that realization and I am sorry for that.

One of the biggest kicks I get is actually saying the words "my dad". I didn't say those words for 12 years and now they just roll off my tongue like I've said them my whole life. I'll miss saying those words.

I'll miss you, Dad. I love you, Dad.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kiddie Land

While I was in Arkansas, I stopped off at a town called Pickles Gap. No shit, that was really the name of the town. Anyway, I pulled up to Pickles Gap Village and the first thing I saw was this scary-ass clown. All I could think of was the movie about the clown coming up out of the sewer.

Veterans Hospital

I haven't mentioned this before, but my dad is at the Veterans Hospital there in Little Rock. That is sad in and of itself - seeing all these people who served our country walking around trying to get someone, anyone to go buy them cigarettes - they would give you the money if you'd only go buy them a pack of smokes.

There was one man there who told us he was in this country illegally. That he's from the Planet X which is a planet near Neptune which is blue and green - the only planet out there that they believe is habitable. The blue they think is water and the green they think is plantlife. He also said he had a nightmare the night before of Vietnam. I couldn't help but think he'd lost his mind because of his experience in the military.

While I was getting up to leave to make the five-hour trip back home, I said, "Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt y'all. But I just want to thank y'all for serving our country. I know many people don't appreciate it, but I do."

You would have thought I had just given them a million dollars each. You could see the pride in their eyes and hear it in their voices when they said, "You're very welcome, ma'am."

I'm Home...For Now

I just want to say thank you to everyone who's been thinking about me and my family and praying for us and I would especially like to thank the people who left a comment. That was so very nice of y'all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

My dad is still on life support. He is not responding to anything. Doesn't flinch when they squeeze his fingers. His pupils are dilated. He does open his eyes from time to time and kind of move his eyes.

I was able to talk to the neurologist while I was there and the outcome is not good. They like to give the person 72 hours after an event (his heart stopping) occurs to see if they will wake up. They're giving my dad extra time since he had an infection and since he was on some strong medicine before the actual surgery. But since it's been seven days since the event, they don't see any chance of him waking up. The question now is: Would my dad want to be kept alive by a machine. My stepmom said no, but she's just not ready to let him go.

My stepmom, Debbie, is one of the sweetest people I've ever known. I stayed with her the two nights I was in Arkansas and I can tell you, I don't think she ever stopped crying. She's not sleeping hardly at all. It makes my heart hurt to see her and hear what she says to dad when she's in the room with him during the visitation hours at the hospital. It's one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever witnessed. I left Arkansas yesterday with the understanding that Debbie will call me when she's ready to let Dad go. I don't know when that will be, but I want to be there for that.