It amazes me that still after the past few years and the various blowups we've had about my family making plans and not inviting us to join in that even if I am actively involved in planning it out, somehow I still get fucked. Hard.
I can't tell y'all how many times my parents have come up here to visit and I always get the lament from them or from my sister about how I work "all the time" and "never take time off" when they come. So this time, I specifically took Easter Monday off. Kept Monkey Man out of school so he could spend some time with his beloved Grandpa. My sister and I made plans to take my parents on a little sightseeing trip through the city that could be done via car instead of trying to make my dad walk too much. I was so excited to spend the day with them that I could barely sleep the night before.
Oddly enough, though, when Monkey Man and I arrived at my sister's house that morning, we discovered that my brother-in-law had absconded with my dad to the Rivah to check on his boat that was currently being worked on. And they would be gone all day.
So we took my mom shopping for about an hour...took her to lunch...and then we were summarily dismissed. Told to go home. I finally raised enough fuss with my sister that she grudgingly admitted to meeting us halfway for dinner somewhere that evening so at least Monkey Man could spend some time with my dad. Right?
By the time dinner rolled around, I was so angry and bitter that I let my venom come spewing out. My dad asked me how my "day off" was and I let him know in no uncertain terms that I was sorry to have wasted a day off specifically to spend with him and have him disappear for the day. It sucked. And I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I was a bitch to my father who has cancer, or the fact that no one even acknowledged my feelings whatsoever. It was like everyone shrugged and went back to their microgreens.
Since then, I've been incommunicado with my family. It is just so frustrating to keep trying to do the right thing over and over again just to be shut down.
Last night, the phone rang and it was my mom. The conversation was cordial but the tension was obviously there. She finally put my dad on the phone and I figured out why they called. While I was busy feeling sorry for myself, my dad had been to the oncologist and yesterday was a day filled with a bone scan to see how far the cancer has spread.
My dad was fairly upbeat. He has already told the doctor that he definitely doesn't want to do chemo. The doctor said it was fine, but he has a few medications that he wants to try to see if he can slow the cancer down. Dad has already ordered the prescriptions and they should be here next week. They will find out the results of the bone scan in about a week too. He feels pretty good about his decision and feels fairly good overall.
And that's when I finally said what I've been wanting to say to him for months now.
I gave him my blessing to do whatever he chooses to do. I know he can't be on this earth forever. I can't force someone to go through hellish treatments when I don't have to go through them myself. I don't want him to suffer, but I don't want him to do anything extraordinary just to get an extra month or two. I want him to be happy and at peace with whatever he decides. In other words, I love him enough to let him go.
His voice cracked. He thanked me and said it meant more to him than I would ever know.
I hung up the phone and cried, big snotty tears. Because sometimes doing the right thing is harder than you have ever imagined.