Tears of Jooy, tears of pain

October 18, 2011
In the beginning of the years 1997, my dad was fine. But then April came around. It happened suddenly without warning. Of course, my mom was frantic and worried. He was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, which makes little hard spots in your lungs and prevents you from breathing properly. This disease usually affects African American women so, this was a total shock to doctors who found it. Of course I was only four then so I only remember things vaguely. Sometimes I felt like a balloon blown up to far and about to burst and let everything out. I guess I can let it out now.

All I have known is my dad in the hospital, coughing, taking medicine, going for checkups, and surgery. “I wish you could remember,” my mom would say sadly to my sister and me, “your dad was so cordial and gregarious. Everyone loved him.” Ever since April of 1997 my dad has been sick and a lot has happened during that time. But one I really remember is this story.

The doctors were trying to rectify my dad’s health and it seemed they didn’t have the right training. They decided to send my dad to another hospital in Minnesota. This hospital is called the Mayo Clinic. It was huge. Though in my memory I think of it as a building in New York though it was not. I think of it as one of those fancy hotels all high class and over the top. I know it was not. I only really remember the pool area though. The outside had a little resting area and had lawns chair sprawled out all over. Then there was the outdoor pool. A little beyond that there was a huge glass, tinted window that barley touched the water surface. When you went under it you came into the indoor pool. That water was so cold. If you got out of the water, if you dare get colder, there was a fitness area. If you did not want to go under the window you just go through doors.

My sister and I just thought we were on vacation. My mom told us dad is sick and needs fixing, as she put it. We did not understand, though we would later in life. We just thought dad needed rest and we should just have fun. That was exactly what we did. We soon forgot about dad, and now that I think of it, was very mean.

When we were not at the hospital I saw kids playing with their dads. I still feel sad that we never were able to ride on his back, play catch, or go to the park. Being able to spend time with my dad is one thing I will miss when I become older. I want my kids to be able to spend time with their dad and not have them have that sadness that I felt.

I remember sitting in local hospitals and smelling that weird clean, disinfecting smell. Smelling the medicine and the sheets newly washed and counted for. Sitting there looking at the wall with nothing, I mean nothing at all, to do.

Most of the time we could not see dad for a couple of days. Which for me, since I love my dad, was very sad and hard. My mom would let us go to our friend’s houses and we would have fun while we were there but when we got back we became sad again. My mom had no clue how to help us become happier. My mom was gone a lot and so we never saw much of her. Which was also hard having a sick dad at home not able to do anything and a mom working two jobs and going to college full time. Even with the two jobs we were broke, with paying the really high medical bills and loans and other bills.

I was always afraid that my dad would die. My mom would say, “DeLaura do not think that way! He will not die!” so I would try to not think that way. I went to the school guidance counselor so she could help me get through this difficult time. We made a book and I still have it. Going there helped me become calmer. Mrs. Harvey, my guidance counselor, became good friends and the years of being in that school, whenever I would see her I would say hi.

My dad is not completely healed but is doing so much better. I am glad he didn’t die. My dad being sick changed my life by making me realize that I have to be thankful for what I have and not excepting more because sometimes you do not always receive want you want. My life would be very dull and boring without my dad. My mom would have to work more and I would not see her ever. But thank goodness that this just was not my dad’s time to go.

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