Friday, December 19, 2008

Dad

When I first learned I was HIV+, I visited a clinic once a month for blood work and counseling. Having just been deported from Korea, having lost my friends, job and relatives, those monthly visits provided comfort and security, and most importantly, a schedule. They gave me something to look forward to. And someone to talk to. The clinic has a number of doctors--I only have to go twice a year now--but my favorite was an Indian woman who found a way to talk to me about so many other things besides HIV. Family. Literature. Life in New York City. But on one visit we had a sobering discussion about HIV. But she was still encouraging. Telling me that HIV was manageable (which it really has turned out to be.) Not unpredictable like cancer. That if she had to choose between HIV and cancer, she would choose to be HIV+. I tried to smile.

Today I cried. My dad is in the hospital. The doctors think he may have stomach cancer. My aunt died of stomach cancer this past fall. It was a slow, painful death. Her final days were marked by dosages of morphine. Life is just so full of sadness. And unpredictability. Dad's birthday is in a few days, and this is really not how we had planned to celebrate.

Before I left him at the hospital tonight, I leaned down to give him a hug. He couldn't lift his arms. So he reached up his lips and kissed me. I love you Dad.

5 comments:

Luuworld said...

sorry about your dad- must be a difficult situation to be in. for you and for him.

ps, i like the content of your blog. thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world :-D

J.T. said...

Thanks for your nice words...

Raven said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your father. I lost my grandfather this year, and this year we also learned that my father's health is not the best, so I know how difficult this is. My thoughts go out to you and your father.

J.T. said...

Thanks Raven,

I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather and father. Be strong and well this Christmas, Raven. What a patchwork of emotion this year has been. Next year I just want a bland, boring blanket of happiness and contentment.

Anonymous said...

Here's a big hug. I was raised by my Grandfather and it was not easy seeing him lose his vitality to lung illness.
Do remain strong for his own sake and try to spend as much time with him as possible as that will probably be one of his few comforts.