Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For Dad


In the early summer of 2009, I hit the exact same age my father was when I was born.

To the day.  His only son, his first child.  A few months shy of turning 30.  I noted it.

I was lost at the time, wandering and trying to find myself with a (then) 12-year old child of my own.

More below the jump...

I came out roaring and ready to go, myself.

Dad was always ready for me, though.  And for my two sisters, as well.  I've often felt it's impossible to measure up, but I try.

One of my three earliest memories is of him jumping up into a tree, trying to catch a balloon I let go of.

We were on our way back home from some little restaurant in South Jersey where I got it.  I let go of it as soon as I got out of the car.  I wanted to see it fly.  I 'knew' he'd get it.

He didn't get it.

I cried.  But he was there for me, as always.

He tried.

He always tried.

Above, is he and I just after his final cancer treatments about a year ago.  I was still living in Portland at the time, back for a visit.  About five months before I moved back east, although I didn't know it at the time.

The hardest part of heading back west that week was saying goodbye to dad.

The best part of coming back home for good, a few months later in March of this year, was saying hello to dad.

My daughter...

...and three of my nieces also agree.

Dad had a three-part, 12-hour surgery on Monday to fix his spine and back and nerves and shit from the fucking cancer.  All went well in the surgery, until the very end, they said, when they were sewing him back up.

When his heart stopped, and he slipped into a coma.

Since then, a lot has happened.  And things are looking up but it's still very early and it's day to day for now.  Or hour to hour, at times.  We'll know much more for sure by this weekend, but for now I can't think of anything else.

I just want to sit on the couch next to dad again, and make inside jokes while watching Goodfellas.

We had our problems once, but these days dad is my best friend in the world.  One of the only five people on this planet I can fully trust, and number one on that list.  I turn 33 tomorrow, and if I can have one wish all I want is for him to be himself again.  Please.




  1. Jay,

    thank you for this piece... so personal... and at such a time.

    I will respond more fully tomorrow.

  2. Do what ever you need Jay. You are among friends and we all can feel this.

    1. Thanks, it's helped. I'm heading up there for the weekend in a few minutes, so I'll be offline until Sunday night at the earliest.

      He woke up, and he's looking around at people who talk to him. He seems to recognize everyone, although he can't wear his glasses yet due to all the tubes and wires and whatnot, so he's essentially blind until then. He's been trying to rip the breathing tube out and talk, so they sedated him a bit more, but they said they may be able to take the tube out this weekend sometime. He's only on 40% oxygen now instead of 100% as in the beginning, so that's a good thing.

      They did some tests and found he was having constant small seizures the first couple days, but that's stopped since they put him on a new medication. He's off many of the earlier medications they had him on.

      He's still far from well, but it looks like he's headed in the right direction. We'll know much more by the end of the weekend...