My dad is in the hospital, YET again. Here we go. . let the fun and games begin. I wonder when it will stop, when it will end. I have no answer for that, no one does. This is dad's second visit this year, and we are not even to the 1/2 way point. His first visit lasted 6 weeks, involved surgery and a steel pin in his hip, DT's, nicotine with drawl, not fun. There were 2 visits last year, with more of the same. There is no-one that can answer the underlying question, how long this time? Is this the beginning of the end? Or is it simply round.. what ever # it is? Will he even come home? Or will we be playing this game for awhile longer? We certainly do not know, the doctors do not know, this is the slow, unpredictable, and painful death that is alcoholism. We were told years ago that it could be quick or it could be slow and painful, there were symptoms, ugly symptoms that would start appearing, they have, they are growing in intensity, and it is as the doctor said ugly. Despite them all he chose to continue down the same path, choosing the easy road, drinking to forget, drinking to avoid living life.
For those of you who know me know that for lack of a better words my relationship with my dad is at best strained. For those of you who do not I will ask you to trust me on that one. For years I held onto hope... hope that one day he would see the light, see that there is life beyond the beer bottle, local bar or 19th hole at the golf course. I guess until the last breath is taken there is always hope, and I will hope that just once he will want to see me, to talk to me, to repair what was broken long ago - hope is all I have. BUT ?
Is it wrong to hope that it is over soon? Is it wrong for a daughter to hope that time will be short for her dad. It sounds so cold, so wrong but I want this roller coaster ride to be over! And sadly it is not because I do not want him to suffer, which I do not, it is a selfish wish, I just want it all to be over, finished for once and all. For the games to stop, for the lies to stop, for the weariness to end. I am tired of wondering when it will end. Just plain tired of it all. Tired of the sorrow I see in my mom's eyes, the evasive answers when I ask her how she is doing, tired of seeing her held back to care for him. Tired of how his choices even now shadow my life.
I know that there are those of you out there that would not even remotely understand those questions, those of you who have great relationships with your fathers, those of you who will feel a hole when they are not here. Those of you who have lost your daddies and wish for just one more moment with them. For you who are in those shoes, you are blessed beyond measure, hold on tight, treasure that! It is a gift of gigantic proportions. I wished, and I dreamed of that for years, but I am not one of those girls.
I will always regret the fact that my dad chose the beer bottle over relationship with his family, that the draw of the drink was a greater draw than his children. I will always regret that, but I refuse to let my life be guided by regret, especially regret that was way way beyond my control. Forgiveness is a gift I gave myself a long time ago. Forgiveness for missed dance recitals, school programs, teacher meetings, promised rides or trips, I let it all go realizing that it was way out of my control. That there was nothing left for me to do to repair that relationship, it is crazy out of my control and only he could make those changes.
The whole thing just makes me sad, that deep in your heart achy kind of sad...sad for what should have been, could have been, what would have been if he made different choices. Yes I want it to end, but mostly I wish it could have been different.