My family and I are nervously waiting for Dr. McCoy to return to my father’s hospital room to deliver his post surgery updates. My brothers Able, Stephen sitting in the corner telling each other jokes, while playing on the floor. My sister Tara sitting next to my mother Brenda attempting to comfort her. I am standing next to my father, while he sleeps. We all knew that my father’s life was coming to an end but we all lie to ourselves with hope. I hold my fathers hand and begin rubbing on his wrist.
Moments later Dr. McCoy had entered the room with a cold, stern face with my father’s medical chart in her hands. Dr. McCoy had addressed my mother. “Mrs. Erickson, your husband has been stabilized, although his cancer has spread throughout his body. He is now at stage five. Mr. Erickson has two weeks, maybe three weeks at best to live. I am so sorry,” She said.
Mom began weeping in her hands. My sister rubbing her back, and my little brothers rushed off the floor to stand near mom. My mother pushing her hair back and glanced at Dr. McCoy. “You told us that there is a possibility you could help him, you told us to remain positive and not give up hope. Get out! Get the hell out!” My mother yelled. Letting go of my father’s hand, I walk near Dr. McCoy. “Thank you for trying to help us Dr. McCoy.” I said. Dr. McCoy had elicited a half smile to me and left the room.
As Dr. McCoy had shut the door, my mother began screaming. “How could he do this to us? How could he not take care of himself? How could he not tell us that he had cancer? How could he keep this from us? He has a family and a wife that needs him. Now what are we going to do? We won’t have anything.” I kneeled and held my mother.
My father began coughing and cleared his throat. “Brenda my love come here please,” He said in a quiet whisper. Mom got up and went over to dad. “I need all of you to sit near me.” He said while reaching for mom’s hand. My siblings and I grab our chair and sit near my father’s bed side.
“I was selfish to you all, my doctor told me two years ago I had cancer. I didn’t tell you because I thought that it would go away, and everything would go back to the way it was. I was nineteen when I met your mother. She had just turned eighteen. Neither one of us had much, hell our dates were picnics at the park. Which park was that Brenda?” My father asked. “It was memorial park, you would pick me up in your dads old beat up truck and we had to wait ten minutes just for the car to start.” My mother responded.
“You remember that Brenda? That was ages ago, we were young and dumb with full of dreams. Your dad hated the idea of us being together, but we didn’t care one bit. I couldn’t afford to give you the best house, cars, etc. But we knew we loved each-other and that was enough for me.” My father said. “You would pick me up and have premade deli sandwiches and cheap wine with an old blanket and we’d sit near the lake. You called me Mrs. Erickson, I would roll my eyes at you. At the time you didn’t know that I had already fallen in love with you, I had to make it hard for you though.” My mother said while holding my fathers hand tightly.
“Don’t let anything come between the life you want to live and the person you’re meant to love. I know you kids don’t give a damn about love right now. Trust me one day you will. One day each of you will find someone who makes the rest of life so insignificant and limiting. You’ll go to work just to want to be right back in your lover’s arms, you’ll break up and realize nothing is worth risking love. There is no amount of money, status and things that can replace love. Nothing can do that. So, don’t try. People will tell you it’s stupid to love, you shouldn’t put your heart on the line or you shouldn’t try. All these people fear and so none of them could ever find love. They’ll tell you the times they’ve been heartbroken but none of them can tell you the moment they found the most important aspect of life: The heart. If you should silence the noise of the world and follow your heart you won’t go wrong.” My father said.
“What if you follow your heart and someone breaks it?” Tara asked. “That’s just God’s way of saying that your heart doesn’t belong to that person. When someone is meant for you, there is nothing that could tear you two apart.” My father said.
“Do you remember Christmas of 98?” My mother asked. “That was the worst Christmas ever Brenda, I thought for sure I was leaving you and the kids.” My father said. “Wait… You were going to leave us dad?” I asked. “Aaron, I was working a lot and it strained the marriage between your mother and I. Your mother and I had separated. I slept on the couch. I had started another relationship with some receptionist woman.” My father responded.
“Her name was Janet,” My mother belted out. “So, let me get this straight, dad had another woman and wanted to leave, and you went back to him mom?” Tara asked. “Tara, I knew your father wasn’t going far. The girl was twenty-one and lived with her parents. Plus, I knew she couldn’t cook because your father would come home and eat the food I’d put away from him.” My mother said while rolling her eyes. “That’s right,” My father said laughing. “Why are you both so casual about this?” I asked. “Son, we were both stubborn and wanted to be right, which made us hurt each other. When you can understand you’re a team and then accept that both people have different needs and wants, it’s not hard to put aside your differences.” My father said. “Aaron, love isn’t black and white. You’re journeying through life with the person you love. Will they hurt you? Yes. Will they make mistakes? Yes. Will they forget things sometimes? Yes. We had to understand that no amount of advice, information in the world could help us see through our life together. The truth is, there is no manual to life nor love, you must decide for yourself and you’re lucky if you find someone to share that with.” My mother responded.
To Be Continued….
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