I bottled up my feelings for years until they just came flooding out, and this is my way of...
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Is this what the end is like?
My heart is hurting. What is this feeling? Salty water drops are pouring out of my eyes like a faucet that won't shut off because someone broke it, that's me. I'm broken. Images of memories are rolling past my mind like a collage of anguish and throbbing. There teasing me. Dad? Come back! He's fading away... Where is he? He's gone, Dad? He's gone. Does that word still exist in my life anymore? Dad...
The hospital is cold. Is it always this lifeless? Its almost like a prison, there's old men sitting in their wheelchairs outside there room, I wander what their thinking, "When will I get out of here,"
"So this is what the end feels like."
Some I predict are thinking absolutely nothing. I have almost become pro at reading people's feelings, but I have hope when I see the one smiling old man all alone with tubes up his nostrils' and machines seem to be crowding around him making all kinds of beeping noises, but it doesn't phase him. Where's the peaceful silence everyone promises? He reminds me of Morrie Schwartz from "Tuesdays with Morrie," except this wasn't a Tuesday.
“You can come in now,” the lady says. I am very confused, I am staring at this door not knowing what to do, there’s a button, and do I press it? I press it anyways, what’s the worst that could happen I am already at the edge of darkness. The red, greasy button makes my hands feel dirty and immediately makes a loud, obnoxious ‘beep’ noise when I push it and the same lady says,
“Yes I said come in!”
She unlocks the door for us, our family of five crowds through the door,
“Only two people,” the annoying lady says.
I go in with my mom and while she asks for her name I tune her out, I already do not like her attitude, and I think how could she act like this when my father is in there dying? My question never gets answered. My eyes almost constantly turn to the pink flowers on the counter, they are for my daddy. I wish I could go back in time and show my daddy these, whenever he said’ “I don’t have any friends.”
He did. These flowers, ill never forget these flowers. They seemed to be the ONLY flowers that had a sweet smell, a smell that wasn’t combined with the smell of death. They were pink, and probably had more green leaves to it then the flower but I got lost in them. The name of the flowers didn’t matter to me, who they were from, it didn’t matter. I got lost in the smell of life. I immediately get sucked back into the world of darkness when I get tapped on my shoulder and told it was time to go see him.
Was I ready? I never had time to answer that either as I was already walking inside the door. It was like a door to a portal of a completely horrible world. Beeping noises, circuits, plugs, the noise of the plastic sheets being crumbled when I lean on it annoys my ears. It smelled of day old pee, and nothingness. I smile anyways, I look at my precious daddy who was once so much stronger then me, he now had the bones of a child, and a scruffily beard that poked me when I kissed him. He feels cold and hard when my soft lips touch his dry chapped ones. He isn’t talking, but he is awake. I rant about how much I love him but my words slur so much from my tears and my short breaths that make me sound like I am choking. He mouths the words,
“I love you.”
Where is his voice his sweet serene voice but yet a weird masculine voice, I think he has one of those celebrity voices that reminds me of Axl Rose. There is a tube down his throat. Imagine. Not being able to speak, eat foods that make your tastes buds explode, no more ice cream, no more water, the drink you never realize you like until you don’t have it anymore, and never being able to say the words I love you. We have to hand feed him water, I never do it, it hurts too much-. I watch my mom as she dips an overly sized, sponge-like, pink queue-tip inside a plastic cup and move it in a circular motion inside my daddies mouth, his mouth is black inside. I wander from what, and remember the same process being done with my grandma Scering a couple years back. Is this what the end is? Being cut from all independency, and not even being able to go to the bathroom in a toilet or speak for yourself.
The ‘speaking’ becomes an issue, I don’t know what he wants. He wants some water? No! Some ice cubes. I am clueless, I do not know what else to do except for cry. We try to brainstorm ideas to understand him not by hearing him. We try having him write it down, but his weak hands can’t seem to make up a letter. This is so hard. What have I gotten myself into. He is so frustrated and I just want to know what he wants! Oh god! Just tell me what he wants. So we move on and we do not give up. We make up a card game with five cards and each card means something different but explaining this idea even gets me confused. So we do not move on, we give up. Time is running out, and then he says,
“Just shoot me.”
Why is it that that is the one thing we can make out. We couldn’t hear his I love you’s, his I miss you’s but his ‘Just shoot me.’ It is so clear but yet I wish it wasn’t as clear. My daddy, my best friend, my mentor, my role model, he is suffering and he is so young. Is this how it is? Being at the end… The end….
We are about to leave for the day now, and I walk past the flowers and want to take them with me. The annoying lady, whose name I refuse to ever hear, demands me to leave them be and says I can not take them.
“But they are my fathers,” I reply. “I have a right.”
She nods her head, no, and takes them from my hands. I can feel the darkness spread around the life of the flowers by her one touch. Doctors. They worry about flowers when my father is dying on a crunchy bead. What kind of hospital is this, it reminds me of a prison, never allowing happiness to their patients.
“He can only have one popsicle a day.”
“Don’t do this and don’t do that.”
So I leave, leave the prison-like door and run past the ugly stained couch that smells like rotten cheese and impatient people. I get outside and smell the air and my nostrils’ are free from the overbearing smell of hospitals. I am suddenly surrounded by eyes, eyes watching me, following me, the eyes have faces and they say,
“I am so sorry,” when my family and I walk past. They feel as if they NEED to say something. I would have been better off if they didn’t. One of them asked me if I needed a hug, yes I did, from my father. Not from the stranger who needed to mind his own business, his breathe reeked of cigarettes and vodka. What is with the word sorry? The pity makes me feel exposed to all of human nature. My mom holds my 17 year old sister, Ashley, while they cry together and talk about my daddy. I do not want to be talked to or touched. I do not know how I feel or what I should do. I walk a couple feet behind them and reject there invitation to join them. That car ride was the most awkward car ride I have ever been in and there wasn’t any way out of it.
That night I go to bed making up an alternate life where my dad pops up from the hospital bed and says,
“Got you! Your just been pranked!” The T.V producers would pop out smiling and laughing and life would be perfect again. The life I make up always seems to beat the one that is really happening. My life.. Why mine?