Remembering

I read somewhere online a list of home medical equipment useful for brain tumor patients.

I had forgotten all the various specialized medical equipment we bought in various stages of my dad’s illness.  It made me very sad to remember.  Things went very fast for my dad…six months.  So we’d buy something and then my dad’s condition would change (sadly, mostly deteriorating) so that whatever thing we had previously bought was no longer useful.

Now he’s gone and it’s awful to go back and see all the modifications (grab bar, etc.) that we made in desperation and with love, because we didn’t know what else to do–and that there is nobody to use any more.

But overall, it’s easier now.  I miss him every moment, but I’m not watching him suffer in the middle-end stage any more.  And I’m not sitting at work thinking that he is suffering.

It makes me sad to think of all the people (oncologist, medical transport van driver, hospital staff) who met him only after his illness began.  They never knew him as he was.

For the last two days I’ve just found myself feeling melancholy and bitter.  About my dad’s death of course, about his catching an impossibly rare cancer.  But also about my change of career, about all the years I spent away from home, all the years I couldn’t meet someone so that I had to delay a family until “advanced maternal age,” about all the years I didn’t have with my father.  About living where I don’t want to live.  About the fact that my dream once was to be a professor and that I wasn’t particularly successful–not (I think) because I wasn’t talented or hardworking, but because I wasn’t self-confident, aggressive, or strategic–and because I had a negligent PhD advisor who would disappear from the university and go incommunicado for a year and a half at a time.  And because due to personal issues, I wasn’t focused.

Life isn’t fair.  I guess we just have to accept that.