I’ve been wearing down over the last few months thinking about my Dad.

He’s bedridden in Richmond, Va. in a one bedroom apartment. He’s got severe emphysema and gets winded just getting out of bed. He’s on the second floor of this apartment building, so laundry, food shopping, getting his mail, going to the bank, are impossible because those stairs present too much of a challenge for him. I pay his rent and attempt to get things done for him from Ma.

dadwithlincoln.jpgMy father wasn’t the best Dad on the planet, in fact, he was pretty lousy at it. There was alcoholism and some minor drug use, physical abuse and abandonment but through all that I still care for the man and he’s tempered in his old age. There have been several medical emergencies and even once where I was about to make the dreaded decision and he came out of is coma. Never a fun time but I was there to make those decisions when they had to be made and I was ok with that responsibility. I failed to mention my older sister and older brother that live within 30 minutes of him that won’t take the time to help him out, which kind of burns me a bit. I can’t blame them completely because we all went through those tough times and were disappointed time and time again with the drama that was my dad.

My Dad certainly has some positive qualities. He’s outgoing and could charm the snake out of any basket. He was a consummate salesman and he could sell ANYTHING. He always had a great business sense and gave me lot’s of advice about running my own business. I still get that feeling that I’m with my DAD…even though it hasn’t always been nice he’s ALWAYS been my Dad.

dadwithcat2.jpgI’ve been trying to the landlord of my Dad’s building on the phone to get him moved down to the first floor but they simply won’t return my calls. It’s hard because my Dad does need to be cared for but I simply can’t do it to my satisfaction. I can’t leave my son and my job, heck my whole life move down to Virginia. I’ve contemplated moving him up here but I live in an apartment and I can’t figure how that would work out. It’s sobering to think that he’s going to die alone in that little apartment with no one to check on him. It’s my greatest personal fear…and seeing it lived out with him is almost more than I can bear. It’s sickening to think that the vultures would swoop in and pick his apartment dry before I could even get down there to bury him. He’s given me all the instructions on where he wants to be buried and what he wants on his stone.  No one else knows or cares to know what his final wishes are and for me it’s a huge responsibility.  I feel that weight all the time.

I’ve always felt sorry for him and now even more so. He’s had a harsh life and didn’t get many of the breaks and he himself was abused. All those memories of ghostly relatives that he’s known…He’s the only one who remembers them and he’ll be gone soon to. How can I expect any different for my life if I just sit back and watch it happen to my own flesh and blood? I feel like I’ve got to do something, and I don’t feel like I do enough already.


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One thought on “Guilt.

  1. Hi Mookie! Just letting you know that I feel for you. My dad died of emphysema and I was not there. To this day, I regret that. He wasn’t the best of dads either but still, he was my dad and I loved him. Still do. Always will. All I can do is share my hind sight with you and that is that I really wish I had moved him across country to my house or that I had taken a medical leave and gone to him so that he would have had someone there with him. It would’ve been so wonderful (hind sight 20/20 and all) if I had just taken that time out of my life, sat with him and asked him to tell me all about his life and how the world was from his birth to his end here on earth and to have chronicled those “stories” for him and for the family. Now, today, I have emphysema and am also on my own. So you keep plugging away at that apartment manager and give some thought to finding a way to spend some real, quality time with him so that he will have love to ease his passing when his time comes. Everyone, I don’t care who it is or what they have done, everyone needs to know love.
    Good luck to you and your dad, Mookie. You are in my prayers.
    Hugs and sweetest blessings,

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