I’m too young for this is a series of posts that I wrote shortly after the death of my dad. I wrote them so that I would remember. It’s been 2 1/2 years since that day and I’m just now ready to share them. If you have missed the first parts you can find them here. part one. part two.
My dad always was a stubborn man. Anyone who encountered him knew this to be true. It really was his way or no way, though he’d never come right out and say it. I’m not even sure that he knew it. He just knew how to do things and his ways, to him, were very logical so there seemed no other reason to do it any other way, y’know? I’m pretty sure I have some of this in me, my family could attest to this if only I were brave enough to ask. But sometimes it’s easier to delude yourself than ask for the truth.
There were two things that my dad stated as fact, in regards to his being sick, that the rest of us thought were just a nice idea. The first of these was that he would only have 3 chemo treatments. The oncologist in charge of this said 6. He said 3. It seemed at that point like they would agree to disagree.
Well, call it what you will, intuition, premonition, pig-headedness – my dad was right. He only had 3 chemo treatments.
No more. I will not have any more of that. No more. I say no more too. His body can’t handle it. What do you think, Mom? His body was done with being poisoned and I assume his mind and heart were done with it as well. My dad was was a big man. He always stood a head above every one else at 6’2″ and had a broad healthy build. Chemo had taken that from him. Sure, he still had his height but his frame had withered away to next to nothing. His face looked gaunt and hollow. His shoulders bony and weak. For a week after each subjection to this chemical that was suppose to “help” he was violently ill and oh so weak. My dad was never weak. He was strong and brave and would not even notice if he had cut himself and was bleeding. He worked hard and did hard work. Not anymore. Now he slept. Threw up. Sat up in bed for an hour before mustering the strength to stand. He could spend 45 minutes on a great day sitting and talking with us at home and then he had to sleep again. For hours. I miss him when he just goes off and sleeps. Does he not want to be with us? We’re here to help. Does he not get that he’ll feel better if he just sits out in the sun and laughs with us?
I can’t imagine what was going through his mind in all of this. Did he question how much baggier his jeans could get on him? Did he think he might ever have a day where he felt ‘normal’ again? Was sleep a reprieve from thinking about death or was he just really tired? Could he sense our fear? Our not knowing exactly what to say. Were we hugging him too much? Telling him too many times that we loved him?
I don’t know. I never will know.
I do know that he had a very strong willed oncologist who even when we said no more made us aware that this was a bad idea. He can’t get better if he doesn’t have 6. He’s not getting better!! He’s dying! You’re cocktail of poisons is killing him! He is getting better, they said. The spreading may have stopped. May have. We were not letting him feel this way so that he could live for an extra month. It was just too much.
Too much for him. Which is all that really mattered. Had we thought it would do good, the rest of us, we could handle the too much. But he could not. Not for cowardice. Not for lack of strength or for lack of courage. It was simply too much because he knew that we were not winning. He knew something in his very core, his heart, his soul, that the rest of could not be privy to. He knew that his time was coming and he was not wishing to fight God any longer. He had his wrestling match and, as always, he knew that God would win.
3 chemotherapy treatments he had stated it would be. 3 it was.