Writing 101 Assignment – Lost and Found – Day 16
My parents divorced when I was 13 years old. My dad moved away, and for many years we saw him only on certain occasions. Those occasions were never happy times. In fact, they were bombarded with a sloppy drunkenness, high emotions, and tears. My father would barge into our Christmas celebrations, stone drunk, and ruin it for all of us. For many years, I viewed my father in a very negative way.
When he lived with us, he was verbally abusive and always drunk. At the dinner table he would not allow any of us children to talk or laugh. We were there to eat, and eat only. Usually, we left the dinner table in tears.
One day, my mother called us to the kitchen. My father was standing next to her with his head hung. She had gone through the house and found all the liquor bottles that he had hidden, and was pouring them down the sink. I remember having the horrible feeling of shame that he must have been feeling.
For many years, he wove in and out of our lives bringing with him doom and gloom, and fears with tears.
After we left home to start our own lives, he moved back to our area. Finally, he became sober. Mostly. On occasions he would drink to the point he had to go to the hospital and then he would stop drinking again.
One day the local alcohol rehabilitation center called me and told me they had my father and because of his heart problems they could not keep him, would I please come and pick him up. (He didn’t have heart problems. He had told them that to get out of it).
I went to the center to pick him up and he was very ill. I asked him if he wanted to stay at my house that night, and he asked me to take him home. I drove the twenty miles to his house. But, I wasn’t comfortable leaving him there alone.
The next morning I went back to his home to check on him and he was still very ill. I called the ambulance. When they got to his house they told me, “We can’t take him, they will just send him to the alcohol rehabilitation center.”
This made me mad. I told them, “YOU WILL TAKE HIM TO THE HOSPITAL AND YOU BETTER TELL THAT EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR NOT TO RELEASE HIM UNTIL HE HAS BEEN SEEN BY HIS OWN PHYSICIAN!” So, they took him to the hospital and the physician admitted him.
He was able to see his regular physician and had medical tests performed. The tests revealed that he had cancer of the kidneys and only had a few months left to live. When he was well enough, he was released into a long-term care facility, somewhat close to my home.
After work, every day, I went to the facility to visit him. We would sit outside and enjoy the nice weather, sunshine and talk. I knew that my visits with him were important to him and I made sure I didn’t miss a visit (except on a very rare occasion).
Whenever I would pass the nurses station they would smile at me and tell me he was outside waiting for me. Sure enough, there he would be!
We talked about so many different things. I finally got to know my father in a very different light. For the first time in my life, I became close to my father.
I was there with him, along with the rest of my family, when he took his last breath.
Even though on that day I lost my dad, the truth was, I had finally found him.