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I'm taking a very last minute trip to Florida again to see my dad, probably for the last time. It's a goodbye trip. He could go on for another few months, or he could go tomorrow. I don't have the privilege of waiting to see what happens. He had an emergency a few days ago where blood was spewing out of his stoma profusely. The doctor said he could go any day and he wouldn't even know it was happening. I'm sick to my stomach, I don't want to go, and I'm scared to death. I've never knowingly said goodbye to someone for the last time. And it's my fucking dad. He's only 55. He was just starting to get his life together. He quit drinking, lost a shitload of weight, got himself a beautiful motorcycle, and started hanging out with other bikers doing toy runs and charitable stuff. He's done a lot of fucked up things but my god he doesn't deserve this. My siblings and I don't deserve this. It's so god damn unfair. I feel like I've been keeping a scream in for months. I feel like screaming all the time. I want to be comfy in my house with my husband and our cats, I want to watch Handmaids Tale while the four of us cuddle on the couch, I want to talk on the phone with my dad for hours like we used to. I want to stay here where I feel most at home now. I don't want to tell my dad goodbye forever. I don't want to see him in pain, I don't want to smell his cancer.

And yet, with everything I've learned in AA, I know that this trip isn't about me. I only get one dad, and he doesn't have much time left. I need to give up my comfort zone in every way possible to help him feel loved, seen, and happy. I want to make him laugh, I want to tell him a story that will get a reaction out of him. I want to hold his hand and talk about bands and cool places we could go.

He'll never meet our children. He'll never visit Rhode Island. He'll never stay at my house, we'll never get those amazing donuts I always send him pictures of. He'll never walk through one of the really old graveyards around here I've always wanted to take him to. I'll never ride on the back of his Harley again. He'll never send me a highly inappropriate and unfunny boomer meme again. He'll never tell me another story he's told me a million times. He'll never get to visit the Arlington National cemetery or the Smithsonian. We'll never go to another concert together again. I won't be there as he's taking his last breath. He'll never be a cranky old man. I'll never hear him laugh again.

I'm in so much pain, I literally have no idea how I'm going to navigate this.

He doesn't even know that I'm coming. I can't wait to see the look on his face when I pop in.

11:02 a.m. - 2021-06-09


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