I just have so much of it right now. Frustration from doing two all nighters in a row for work (the second of which ended up being an eighteen hour shift, projected to only be nine hours), frustration for more than a hundred unsold pies, frustration about work becoming my life, frustration, frustration, and even more frustration. I could rant on and on about my frustrations but I won't subject you to them all. Today I really just need to vent about one thing: my father.
Right now I suggest looking up a song called ''Out of Thin Air'' from Alladin and the King of Thieves.
People always ask me why I call him father rather than dad. To me it is a simple answer. Dad is a term of endearment, of familiarity, of love. He is my father. He imparted some of his genetics to me, started that spark of life. There used to be a time when I called him Dad but sadly that is gone.
You see, he used to be engaging, a people-person. He used to be able lift forty pounds and walk a straight line. He used to laugh and enjoy the little things in life. He used to get up before dawn every morning, just so he could watch the world wake. He used to be the man I wanted to be like.
He was so much. Now, now he isn't much of anything. He picked up heavy drinking about seven years ago. At first it was only sparingly at social events, then only at social, then sparingly at home and you see the pattern. It really jumped at the beginning of that last recession so many years ago. He had been a realtor and housing died, so no work. Details overlooked, he crawled into his bottle. Ever since then he has been perpetually inebriated, only sobering a little for a shift at work then back to the bottle. Passed out at home, waking long enough to yell about how inadequate the rest of us were and to stick some food in his mouth followed by liquor.
The past couple years was worse, more often than not he would forgo the food and only drink. Family fights escalated, so much so that he started striking my mother and I broke some of his ribs. The list goes on and on.
Now, now he is paying the price of his lifestyle. For years I had told him he was going to die before I got married if he carried on the way he was. Two weeks ago he got ''sick''. He missed work, he wouldn't get out of bed, he wouldn't eat, he bloated. This was a Thursday. The next day, Friday, he missed again and had swelled considerably. We implored him to visit a doctor, he denied our requests. The man hadn't the strength to get out of his own bed unassisted but still refused. This is when I noticed something, the white of his eyes were yellow and he had difficulty concentrating. A quick google search later and my suspicions were confirmed. Cirrhosis of the liver. He had pickled his liver, turned it into a mass of scar tissue. Apparently on that Saturday my family convinced him to go to a doctor who only reaffirmed my conclusion. This doctor also told him that he had to stop drinking alcohol completely or he would die within the year. When I returned on Sunday, I returned to a sober father. I can't tell you the last time that ever happened. He also had several prescriptions and was scheduled for bloodwork and plenty of lab test with a specialist. Its been about two weeks since and he has gone more downhill. Now he has a chemical imbalance which has increased his overall level of confusion. He is now hallucinating as well. Regardless of his mental state, or the fact that his arms are widest at his wrists, or that his legs are little bigger than his arms, there is some good news. Last night, after finding him in my room at two in the morning and after returning him to his bed, he looked me in the eyes and said something. It was such a little thing. ''We'll compare scars in the morning.'' It such a stupid line, it stems from the movie Lethal Weapon. The beautiful thing is I used to compare recent bumps and bruises and scars with my Dad. For that small moment when I looked into those dulled and yellowed eyes and saw a glimmer of playfulness and hear that sentence, I was overcome by hope.
For this, I am thankful.