Posted by itrustmyjourney
I cried today, I usually don’t cry here, out in public, with my dad, but today it happened. I did not let my dad see me I was standing behind him rubbing his neck and shoulders. I guess in a way I started to grieve the loss of him, the loss of this image of who my dad has always been to me, independent, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, tough and strong. My dad is one of the toughest people I know. He had a total knee replacement and a shoulder replacement and took no pain medicine. My brother and I had to take pain killers just to deal with the thought of doing that. I am a wimp when it comes to pain I ask for pain meds before the pain hits you know to beat the Christmas rush. My dad is still tough no doubt about it, his independence and his physical strength, however, have been profoundly affected since cancer cells took up residence in his body. I watch as this bigger than life guy needs more and more help to do those everyday things I take for granted. And that is making me sad, and the tears start coming.
The weather is reflecting my mood today it’s a rainy, cold day here and normally I love rainy days especially when I can curl up with a blanket and read a good book. But today it almost feels like the weather is just adding to the weight I feel in my heart.
I am wondering am I sad for losing a piece of my dad or is it some illusion I have projected on him that wasn’t real, to begin with. He is still here, a whole person, so what am I mourning, really? It’s interesting how we conceive ideas about people and project it onto them like it is this real tangible thing instead of some concoction of our mind. As we go through this cancer journey I am reconnecting with a lot of my dad’s friends who have been a part of his life for many, many years.
My dad is a retired deputy sheriff and most of his friends are in law enforcement whether they are deputies, cops, dispatchers or state police. To me these guys, my dad being numero uno, are the toughest guys on the planet. When I was young they were my super heroes, they met all the super hero criteria; a uniform, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, protected the innocent, punished the guilty and most importantly I felt safe around them. Except for dad’s buddy Steve Street, I wasn’t always safe around him!!?!?!?!…but that’s a whole other story for another day. I feel the need to qualify that he was a reserve deputy though, I’m just saying……
These guys are a combination of Dirty Harry, John Wayne, Marshall Matt Dillon, Samuel L. Jackson with just a dash of Keystone Cops for humor. Remember this has nothing to do with reality this is my projected illusion. I love sitting around with these guys and hearing all their stories, they have everything; drama, violence, humor, and action. I have heard many of these stories while sitting with my dad and his buddies over coffee. I am not sure when or how this started but these guys have a coffee buddy routine, they meet every day at the coffee shop at 10 am. When dad was feeling good he was pretty committed to meeting his coffee buddies every day.
Since my dad was diagnosed with cancer the coffee buddies have been a lifesaver. One coffee buddy shoveled my dad’s driveway and sidewalk every time it snowed this past winter, no words were ever exchanged about it to my knowledge, he just showed up one day and that’s the way it was for the rest of the season. One buddy has hooked up a device to pump my dad’s legs each evening to keep the swelling down from the lymphedema. Several buddies came to the hospital when Carol (dad’s wife) was admitted. Two buddies came to the hospital every single day sitting with us after work when Carol was dying. Since dad sometimes is sleeping or too groggy when the buddies call now and most of them call regularly, I talk to them. These guys are amazing, I can tell without them saying, or in some cases, they just come out and said it, just how much they admire dad, and how much he means to them. One of the buddies calls dad Uncle Bob because dad helped raise him from a pup when he first started out as a deputy sheriff.
So I am seeing how I concocted in my mind who I thought these guys were, tough mucho macho guys you know a man’s man. And while I still agree they are super heroes and mucho macho guys I was selling them short. They are so much more than that, they are angels here on earth. It kind of difficult to see John Wayne with a halo or Dirty Harry with feathered wings but that’s who they are to me. God Bless the coffee buddies. Can I please have a triple shot, skim latte and whatever you do please do not hold the feathers!!!