My dad is going to die soon. He has terminal lung cancer, stage 4. Pretty advanced stuff.
My dad has always been the invincible giant of my life. Nothing could ever touch him. He was terrifying with an amazing capacity to protect his own. No matter the circumstances. Dont get me wrong. He terrifies me. Yes thats still a current thing despite having had 2 strokes and being unable to communicate and being weakened from the tumor. He terrifies me, he's my dad.
I was daddys little girl until puberty set and I started to rebel. I wanted to please him more than anyone else in the world until I just wanted freedom. I think we have quite different personalities. So we stopped getting on. He is not the easiest person to get along with in general. He seemed to have such a fierce intelligence as well, it sometimes makes me sad to think of the potential he had but he was held back from realising. Both educationally and sporting wise. Which I think is why he pushed us on as children to do well. Losing was not an option, taking part was not the point. Winning was. As far back as I can remember my dad was a giant in my life. No one could beat my dad. Nothing could. Even now I still believe this as I watch the cancer do just that and finish off what the strokes begun.
The worst thing is I almost try to avoid him. I'm not good with words when they mean something. And I know I have limited time left. But it's almost like saying things to him I wouldnt normally say is somehow admitting that soon he will be gone. In normal situations we probably wouldnt have spoken beyond hello and for him to make a snarky comment and for me to roll my eyes (behind his back of course). But that is the way it should continue. It shouldnt end as soon as it will.
It saddens me that there is much of my life he wont get to be judgemental about. It saddens me that he wont ever get a chance to recover from the stroke. That we wont be able to make amends. That he wont ever meet my children if I have them. That he will just be a name to those potential children, a story made up, a picture to look at. It saddens me that he wont see my brothers achieve their full potential in sports. That I wont ever make him proud.
Most of all it saddens me that I am going to lose my dad. For better for worse. For the times he wished he had a different daughter, for the times I wished I had a different dad. Those are small times. I dont want him to just not be there. I think the relisation that there are somethings even those we seem as mighty juggernauts cannot over come.
One memory I think I will always hold dear to me is the memory of being about 10 and playing outside of our flats. Me and my bestfriend at the time got into an argument with some older boys. Me being me I didnt back down. We ended up somehow getting into an argument based around spelling, I remember I had just read the lion, witch and the wardrobe and taking the piss that they couldnt spell Eternity. I remember the argument began to get somewhat heated and as it did I looked over and my dad was slowly walking towards us and casually jumping over walls looking menancing. I turned to the boys and said thats my dad coming, if I were you I would run now. And they did. They ran incredibly fast. In the end my dad was just coming over to give us opal fruits (starburst as they are now). It was awesome because no one was allowed to hurt his family. No matter the pain he may inflict on them via his various demons no one else was allowed.
For the most part I always felt like that was a saftey blanket.
I wont ever be the kind of person to rewrite history. I know the kind of man my dad became over the years. The sharp intelligence he ended up deploying as a weapon that could find the smallest chink in someones armor. And the way it contributed to me being the person I am today. The person who finds it hard to let go and relax. To fully allow herself to be vulnerable. To trust 100%. But what I will do from now on is attempt to rectify that. Its not good when a Kelly Clarkson song begins to have special meaning for you.
When all is said and done. I just don't want my dad to die. I would take his place. He may not deserve that but nor does he deserve this. I thought the strokes were the worst thing to happen to someone who was so active. But infact this is. I would take his place. Because he's my dad. Simple. You may not like someone, they may not like you. But blood bonds and ties you together and pushes past everything else. I would take his place because he is my dad and I love him.
I just hope I can say that to him before the end.