February 20, 2012
Thinking about where you will end up, who you will become and what will be made of you. The thoughts seem endless. The thoughts that run through my head are like an endless road. It’s like a road that goes on and on, spiraling around obstacles. A road that is deserted and left alone. Like the thoughts in my head being forgotten or ignored. I think about one day… the one day that affected my life forever. A thought that I wish I could change but something I never want to forget.
The day started off the same way it has been for months. The sound of his agonizing moans as he just barely breathes. I rush to him hoping to see that he is better than the day before. However, my hopes are always but down. Everyday he is getting worse, growing paler and weaker as he struggles on and on, day after day. I try to out the thought of that one day in the back of my head. The day I have been dreading for months…the cancer will win and he will have to give up; the same day that he will leave me with no one and nothing but distant memories. The memories of us only having each other to tell and do everything with. I always dreamed about, being with tons of people out partying and having fun and living a fun, careless life. Then, waking up into reality, realizing I don’t need all that. All I need is my dad to be here with me. I am here for him and I will be whenever he needs me…until the end.
Walking into his room, I hear the gasps of air that he struggles to take into his body. I think today is going to be like it has been on and off for the last few months…another trip to the hospital. I rush over next to his bed side and help him sit up. He groans on excruciating pain. I tell him we need to go to the hospital because he was worse than I’ve ever seen before. His skin was pale, his eyes sunken into his face and his hands felt cold and clammy on my warm skin as I helped him up. He insisted he was fun and there was nothing for me to worry about. I knew not to listen to him; he said this every time a trip to the hospital was mentioned. I felt terrible for making him go somewhere he hated when he was in so much suffering already. But, I couldn’t bear to see him the way he is. Though he mentioned he was fine, he didn’t fight me like he usually does when I try to help him out of the bed. He slowly climbs out of the bed and uses me as his weight support. He’s lost so much weight the past few months it feels like nothings leaning against me. We make our way out of the room and into the long hall leading to the front door. The hall seemed so narrow when we tried to go down side by side. We stepped outside into the warm, moist air. The wind blew hard, the air stayed warm, moon and stars when down and the sun came up. The air stayed warm and the wind sat still. We walked out of the house we’ve lived in forever. Walking past the familiar yard reminded me of when I was younger and my dad and I sat out here for hours laughing and having fun. Now, I walk through it, holding my dads’ side, anxious and worried. I help his fragile, helpless body down into the car. The screech of pain he lets out is heartbreaking. I start to drive having constant negative thoughts about today run through my head. This is the time we normally would get into a conversation, but today was not like that. He didn’t have the strength to talk he barely had the strength to breathe. I tried to stay focused, and ignore the gasps that filled the air around me. It was the sound I would have to listen to for the next hour, it eventually became less noticeable.
We started to approach a road that seemed too familiar in our lives. A road that was, long and winding that seemed to go on forever. A road filled with memories. A deserted road surrounded by desert and off into the distance went into mountains. Approaching this road made my dad speak for the first time today. He also let out a small chuckle. He recalled all of our fondest memories that happened on this road. Here is where he taught me how to drive and I learned I didn’t want to end up in the hot sand. This is where he took me, the night my mother left us both for something better. It’s the road that held all my life’s best memories. I laugh and smile with him; we continue to travel down the long road remembering everything happy in our lives. But soon, the happiness ends. Dad has no strength left to smile, laugh and talk and the happy atmosphere comes to an end along with the road that contained it all. We slowly approached the hospital and my dad was getting weaker.
We walk up to the large building going into the front doors. Right when we walked in we were surrounded by the white rooms and we were immediately hit in the face with the overwhelming smell of cleanliness. It seems so sad that I am greeted by people who know me because we’re here so often. It’s sad that I know exactly where to go, what to do and usually what to expect. I walk my dad down the familiar halls and bring him where he needs to be. I hand him off to the nurse than make my way down to the waiting room. All I do there is sit anxiously for hours, and wait. I slowly doze off into a dream.
On my 8th birthday, my dad woke me up…with his singing. Though he was not the greatest he made me smile, he was giving an effort. I climbed out of bed and ran down the stairs nearly being blinded by the sun shining in form the large front window at the bottom of the stairs. I walk into the kitchen to see my dad smiling with a big cake in his hands. He set it down on the counter as I ran to give him a big hug.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” he shouted.
I looked up at him giving him my toothless smile. I slid around the hard floors in my footie pajamas anxiously searching for my presents. My dad knew exactly what I was doing and stood back watching me with a wide grin on his face. I slowly turned my head and squinted one of my eyes, “Where are my presents?”
He laughed loud and hard. He walked through the kitchen acting as though I wasn’t there and ran right into me a few times laughing. He walked up the stairs and came down with a pile of presents. My eyes grew wide as he drew nearer and nearer. He set them down on the floor in front of me. I immediately dropped to my knees and tore them all open. Everything I asked for. I couldn’t believe it. I stood up and ran to my dad, running into him so hard with my hug I thought he might fall over. I felt his big warm arms hold me tight, and his chest go in and out against my head as he breathed. I felt as though I never wanted to let him go. He was the only person I had in my life…and I was all he had.
One of my best memories was interrupted before I even got experience the best of it. I woke up to a nurse hovering above me. Her eyes were wide; they looked worried and my anxiety rose. The words she spoke so gently seeped into my ears. “He isn’t doing well. I don’t know how long he’ll last.” I jumped out of my chair, now fully awake and ran to his room. I stopped in the doorway. His face was pale and his breathes seemed to become more of a struggle each time. Tears started to slowly bleed out of my eyes as I walked over and sat down next to his bed. I reached over and held his bitter, boney hand. He turned his head to look at me and smile; it was a smile I was so use to seeing every day of my life and it faded away a few months ago. He turned his head away and closed his eyes. I looked at him sincerely and realized how important this moment was. There was no way of avoiding this obstacle in my life; my road has ended. I closed my eyes and laid my head on his chest remembering my dream about the happy times years ago. Then, it came; my head was not slowly moving up and down anymore…it was still. I didn’t move my head. This wasn’t happening; it didn’t seem like the time. I was remembering what I always thought when I hugged him…I never want to let you go. I am here for you, forever and always. I kept my head there as my eyes acted as a faucet; tears poured out uncontrollably and soaked up into his hospital gown. I lifted my head up and it felt heavier than ever. I looked down at his lifeless body with my blurry eyes. I sat there for a good 15 minutes before I was kindly asked to leave. I knew it was the best for me to just leave but I felt as though I could not just leave him there…he was my best friend and I didn’t feel it was right to leave. I woke up to him every morning. I was with him every minute of the day; he was my only priority in life. I came here with him and now I am leaving without him…leaving him forever. Now would be the last…very last time I would ever see my dad, best friend and most of all…the only person I’ve ever truly loved. I stopped myself in the door way. I wiped away my tears and slowly turned around to face him again. I ran back over and hugged his fragile, limp body tight, and let my tears absorb into his clothes. I gave him a kiss on his pale cheek, held his boney hand one last time and said “I love you. Forever Never going to leave.” And I walked out of the room. Driving back home on the road I lost it. That long road is like my life. Contains almost all memories with my dad and it’s never ending. I smiled and cried as I drove through the winding road, remembering a few hours ago, the last moments I had with my dad. I drive home as the wind blew hard, the air became cold, the sun went down and the moon came up. I walked into the house that seemed so vacant now without my dad filling up the empty, hushed space. I walk up into his room where he lay just this morning, and sat down on the unmade, messy bed. I sat and thought to myself amidst the silence surrounding me. I thought about where I will end up, who I will become and what will be made of me without him. The thoughts seem endless. The thoughts that run through my head are like an endless road; a road that goes on and on forever, spiraling around obstacles. A road that is deserted and left alone in some areas. Like thoughts being forgotten or ignored. However, the thoughts that cannot make it around the obstacles are the ones that stay in my mind.

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