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The Littlest Things... An Update...

Some things my father said this week have set me a bit off kilter. They were little things, not things that would normally set of warning bells or cause you to think twice about what he’s said. They were statements of fact, with no malice or ill intent involved. However the effects of what he said hit me like a brick hits a window, and at the time shattered something inside of me. This isn’t normal.

Last week we were having a perfectly normal conversation. We were talking about work, and how he needs to find a new job, and how he applied to Delmarva Power over on the Eastern Shore as a meter reader – a job that’s not very labor intensive and he’s more than qualified for. He applied for the position, sent in his resume, and waited. The newspaper advertisement stated that there were several positions open. He was denied in a form letter stating that the position of the meter reader had been filled. Singular. One position. He was upset, because he feels that he’s being discriminated against, for his age. I agreed with him. See? It was a normal conversation. He declares that he thinks that the only reason they know he’s aged is because of his long job history with the phone company. He was a cable splicer and an engineer for Bell Atlantic (which has now split into AT&T and Verizon). He feels that because he’s 67 years of age, they are discriminating against him.

He stated he was 67 years of age. That’s the thing that threw me off kilter. My head just went off in a direction that it didn’t need to go. It said: My God, he’s old! He’s almost 70! I should have known this! Mom had me when I was 33. I’m 33 now. He was only a year older than her! He’s old! He could die anytime!

And, that just got me really upset. Now, I’m not, by far, as close to my father as I was to my mother, who died in 1996 of cancer, but I have grown closer to him. It’s a natural sort of progression. You lose one parent and you grow closer to the other in the process if they’re around.; at least that’s what happened with me. I’ve come to rely on him for a great many things. I’ve come to look forward to his phone calls, even if they are quite often rants on how “Our Country better wake up! We’re turning into a communist, socialist nation! And if we don’t watch out, we’ll be taken over by [insert nationality that’s currently overrunning the country or we’re at war with here]!” The thought of his not being around, even for such conversations which make me roll my eyes on occasion, terrifies me – and so I got myself rather worked up over that prospect, went to bed, and then was fine the next day.

Sunday, I had a similar occurrence. I called him for something trivial. We chatted, and I learned that he’s now caught the death plague (the flu that seems to be hitting everyone especially hard this year). My father is not a man who gets sick often, and when he does it’s stuff that’s trivial and goes away. He was complaining of shortness of breath because of his congestion. I recommended Mucinex because that’s good stuff. I fretted over him and scolded him and told him he needed to go to the doctor. He said he was thinking about it and would if he wasn’t feeling better. He’s already had a temperature of 102, by that time. He called back later that night for something else and informed me he got the Mucinex, but might not be going to the doctor after all. This had me fretting over him and scolding him again. The conversation ended. I was fine.

It wasn’t until I went to bed on Monday that I wasn’t fine. I replayed the conversation of that night and last week, put two and two together, and was sure something bad was going to happen to him with this cold – which is very likely just plain silly. It took me quite a bit of time, and much sniffling later, to get myself calmed down just so I could go to sleep. During that time, all I could think about was how he’d likely never get to see me going down the aisle for my wedding, and how I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted him to be a part of that moment. But that’s also silly – because I don’t have anyone to share my life with, and how it was a shame that moment never happen. How I must be such a disappointment for him because I’m the only one out of my four sisters who found anyone yet, and made a family of her own – and how I wanted that family and wanted him to know them.

The panic of this last week isn’t over. Not by far. Even now as I’m writing this, feelings are overcoming me. It’s something I have to deal with on my own. So, if I seem distant or not too attentive to something, you know why.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
bludiscus
Mar. 21st, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
*hug* All I can say is that I can't imagine your father isn't proud of you for becoming the wonderful woman you are. I just can't fathom it.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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