Thursday, October 18, 2012

The two of us


There are four different routes that I take to get home from Club Fed.  I like variety. Sunday morning I'm on the route which takes me past  St. Joseph's Villa nursing home which was Biodad's home for several months as he adjusted to life with an artificial leg. Now I am thinking about him  for the remaining three minutes of the trip home.

Though we resided so close I did not once visit him. We have not spoken in two years. For that three minute drive I ponder the situation. He moved back home five weeks prior and two weeks prior I received a phone call from our mutual friend, his best pal, Vee. Biodad had asked for my phone number. I gave her permission to give it to him. So far he had not called or at least had not left a message. I decided on that Sunday morning drive that I would give him a call.

Why? Because I wanted to see him? Not particularly. But because I wanted to clear the air so to speak. To at least allow him the chance to understand my perspective; that in essence, we have proven ourselves useless to each other.

But I will not be making that phone call. As soon as I arrived home Sunday morning the phone rang. It was my cousin Lisa; always the  bearer of family news. While I was deciding that I would make that call, Biodad was already gone.

Two years ago I walked away from him. There were no sacrifices left  for me to make for him, and he had treated me poorly. I wrote him off for dead and I never thought he'd last this long.

At Grandma's house where the family initially gathered, at Biodad's rental house, where friends gathered, at the funeral and the subsequent celebration; all these people; I had to endure their condolences though I, in no way, was entitled to any comfort.

I abandoned him. I will not miss him very much I don't suppose. I am not deserving of comfort. I must face the reality that there was more I could have done, if I had chosen, which would have made his final days, perhaps months, more comforting. I must not escape the consequences of my choices no matter how much that goes against the standard perversity of our society; a society of constant rationalization.

It is Vee who needs the comfort; her who should have sat in the front row at the service instead of me. I have spent much time with her this week. I went to her not knowing how she would feel about me. If she hated me; if she wanted to take a swing at me, well then I would let her. If that would help her feel better.

She watched bioddad hasten his death for three days. She suffers the perceived guilt that she called 9-1-1 too late to save his life. He fought the authorities tooth and nail, then succumbed just after arrival at the  hospital. And worse; yes, worse: the guilt that she called 9-1-1 too early. Her best friend spent his last moments spitting every vulgar name he knew at her; furious that she ruined everything. He just wanted to die at home with his dog, Charlie.

His only other communication during his final days was a single text  message to a friend. A one-character message. A period.

He emerged into childhood the very same way I did, abandoned by an alcoholic father, and all for the best, so to clear the way for another man, one more qualified, to eventually do the job of  fathering. I know well the bond between a mother and son who form a family just the pair, at least for a while.

Biodad had no savings nor do I. His funeral was inexpensive to say the least. Grandma will keep his ashes and one day they will be blended with her own.

"It started out just the two of us," she said. "That's how it will end."



3 comments:

lauramoreland said...

I get this post.

xo Laura

lauramoreland said...

I get this post.

xo Laura

Michael's Medley said...

Hey are you in the library right now?

I came to see you today.

Mike l