Dad This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Patrick, your father has cancer."

These words spoken by my mother are forever etched on my memory.

"It doesn't mean that he is going to die," she promised.

She was wrong.

Nine months later, he died in his hospital bed, half of the man he was before. Cancer had eaten away at him.

He was thin as a rail and he couldn't even walk by himself. My mother had to have a nurse visit the house during the days to help my father out. The last few months it was unbearable for me to spend time with him. Every time I saw him, I wanted to cry, remembering the sturdy man that he once had been. Every night I spent a little time with him, fearing that he would be gone the next morning.

I wasn't at the hospital the day it happened. I was working. My aunt came into the store and told me that Dad had died. I still hate to admit it, but I didn't cry when she told me. God, I wanted to cry, but the tears and the sadness never came.

It almost came as a relief: no more suffering, no more hospital bills, no more false alarms. It wasn't long before the memories came back like a runaway train. I probably wouldn't have made it through the ordeal without my friends and my mother. Thoughts of killing myself were quickly dismissed. Suicide never solves any problems.

I became embittered after the funeral. I didn't share my feelings and I blew off anyone who tried to care. I never told my friends how much their support meant to me. I just hope they all understood what I was going through. I should have let them know. I should have shared my feelings with them, but I was too stubborn and I was afraid they'd feel uncomfortable. Talking would probably have helped me get over the pain more quickly.

On December 7th it will be eleven months since my father passed away. The pain has slowly ebbed away only to be filled by an emptiness in my heart. I've learned to accept it all, but it's tough. It's still hard to believe I'll never see him again. We'll never get to do all the father-son things that other kids will do with their dads, but I'll never forget the man my father was.

Although he's not going to be there for me anymore, I will always look up to him and try to emulate him. Before he died, he said to me, "I might not be the most holy person in the world, but I've never done anything that I'm ashamed of." These are words that I'll always try to live by. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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J.P M. said...
Feb. 15, 2009 at 12:33 am
This is truly amazing. My deepest sympathies for your loss.
 
Cassie32 said...
Dec. 17, 2008 at 3:45 am
Wow. I read this and I am just in awe. This is good writing. I don't know you, but I am so sorry you had to go through that. So sorry. I can't say I know how you feel, because I know that only makes it worse, and I don't know. But I can say, you're friends and family can help you through those things, especially if your friends are real. Be strong, and hold on tight. Be there for your mom. I'm sure you're doing great.
 
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