Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dad Number 3 - Not Natural or Adoptive...Step

The phone rang, with an unexpected, yet familiar number. I was about to head out the door to 5,000 stairs that lead down to the boat dock to go jet skiing when my cell phone rang. I looked over at where my phone was, trying to decide if I should answer it or not. I walked over and looked at the number that was calling…I knew it…but it did not register, I thought to myself that If it was someone that I really did not want to talk to, I could just say that I was on vacation or busy and get rid of them. This was NOT the case, It was my older sister. I had not spoken to her on the phone for some time now so she we went through some mild formalities about life and how things are going. Then she said, “Well, I am calling for something pretty specific.” My mind race. What could she be calling about? She never calls me for nothing. It has got to be big.

She then proceeded to tell me that my father (he is actually my step father, but he raised me and I refer to him as my dad) was going into the hospital for exploratory heart surgery. Coincidentally, at that point…my heart stopped. I expressed my surprise, fear and anxiety over what she was saying. This all coming after I finished saying that things were so good and I was f-ing around on the lake and basically doing nothing for ten days…. And that MY life sucked due to all of the stress I’VE been going through lately. Then I went on to tell her about the pregnancy of one of my childhood friends…what an ass I am. Why didn’t I just ask what was wrong from the beginning?

So I asked her what was going on…has he been sick? How long have there been symptoms, etc. She explained to me that for the past few weeks, he had been experiencing some stress and mild chest pain…but nothing major. After she filled me in and I had a basic idea of what was going on, I thanked her for calling, told her that I’d keep in touch and then called my mother. Dialing the number, I had, yet another, brain vomit….I had no idea what to say. I have been through so much lately that I felt as though I have used up all of my “It’ll just come outs”. As I heard her voice, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt on top of an, almost, uncontrollable urge to cry. I knew that me crying would send her over the edge. She is a strong woman, but very emotional at the same time. The guilt that I felt was due to the fact that I never really got the chance to tell my step father (dad) just how much he meant to me…until just recently through a birthday / father’s day EMAIL where I started to tell him about his effects on me.

Anyway, it was her voicemail, I left a message with my mother and then with my dad saying that I was thinking of them and loved them…..I needed to speak with someone!

Then today, I got another phone call, I must have been out …it was a voicemail…This time from my younger sister. I had not hear from her in a while either. I listened to the message and heard that the exploratory surgery that my father had gone in for lead to him having to stay in the hospital for the 4 occlusions that they had found. QUADROUPLE BYPASS SURGERY! Shit!

I called my mother…who was controllably…. FREAKING OUT! I spoke with her for a while and she seemed to be doing ok, but I could tell that she was out of her mind worried. I felt as though I was going to explode. Over the past 2 weeks, I had been through divorce court, meeting my birth mother and now this. I could hardly hold back the tears.

I know that I would have a hard time explaining my father to you so, I’ll just say that he is the guy that has always been there…has always been strong…has always been logical…and ALWAYS loving. But at the same time…very factual and particular. The kind of guy that makes it hard to say things like “I love you” or whatever the sentiment. In the days that I was just coming to be able to express these things towards him….this happens.

After hanging up with my mother, I quickly dialed the number of my father in his hospital room. As per the norm, he answered by saying his first and last name. Very typical for him…I just did not expect that from his hospital room. We spoke for a few minutes and went through the procedure and what led up to it. He seemed in good spirits, informed me that this would in no way transform him into a “vegan” and that my mother’s plans of implementing a strict diet were far fetched. I only agreed with him. I wanted to make him feel as comfortable as possible. I could sense that he was nervous and that he was scared about the procedure. After letting him know that I loved him and that we were thinking of him I asked if there was anything that I could do or if he needed anything. He just replied with, “ no….everything will be fine and we’ll call you after the surgery.

I have to say that I feel like a complete asshole. I don’t know that I ever, sincerely told him that I loved him or how much he really meant to me....as an adult. I have been beating myself up all day because of that and that fact that I have not been closer to him over the past few years. We have kind of drifted apart. He is one of those people who appears to be very opinionated and through all of the shit that I have been through over the years…I felt scared and uncomfortable opening up to.

I then called and talked to his son (my step brother) who was doing a horrible job disguising his anxiety…actually, he was completely flipping out. I did not know what to say to him other that my lame attempts at reassuring him that everything was going to be fine and that dad was a strong guy and he would be ok.

This whole thing has really taken its toll on me as I was completely unprepared for it and I am here, on vacation, with IM’s family…trying to laugh, play, and have fun on the lake for the week. While everyone is running around playing and having a good time, I have been trying to hide the shut down that I feel coming on. My stomach is in knots, my head is back to spinning and I seem to be just going through the motions with the rest of the gang here. I will find out today what happens. He goes into surgery in about an hour.

I think that I will “check out” for the next few hours as to not think about it. It seems to be my only option right now.

5 Comments:

The Mom said...

Prayers for your dad, that was a well-written emotional post. Glad you decided to answer the phone.

Kandace said...

Life smacks you in the face sometimes, doesn't?

I'm glad to hear he is doing fine.

I think things happen for a reason. Now you know how it would feel if you never expressed those feelings of love towards him.

My Dad has had 2 quadruple by-pass surgeries since I was 3 years old and you know what? He's healthier today than he was 15 years ago.

Please know this isn't the end, it's the beginning.

leezee52 said...

So sorry about your Dad I'm sure everything will be ok. Please post and let us cyber-friends know how he's doing.

Take care,
Lee

Swirl Girl said...

I am sorry that you and your dad are going through this. I wish I could say I didn't know how you feel - but I do.

well wishes from your cyber swirl

www.swirlgirlspearls.blogspot.com

Mama Dawg said...

Keep us in the loop!

 

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