So, I am officially a Hoosier again. Well, for the summer.
I made it here great. I actually had a big peace about coming here as I left Ohio. I mean, sure, I was nervous about leaving my Buckeye friends. Sure, I wonder where I will end up after Indiana. But at the same time, I am not too worried about it.
So, when I hit I-64, I knew I should go straight to my parents' apartment. My dad answered the door and was totally in tears. I think the last time I saw my dad cry was the day he had to put our family dog "to sleep" at the vet.
Dad can't talk at all because his throat hurts so badly from the chemo and radiation. He can't use the stint that is in there to help him talk. He's in a lot of pain, I know.
He ushered me into my mom's room after a quick hug during which I could feel his shoulder blades protruding out from his back like a woman filled with the self-hatred of anorexia. I felt his ribs, and I know that he has lost a lot of weight. Which if you know my dad, that just isn't good. My dad is quite thin on a normal day.
He was very rushed with his motions because he didn't want me to see him cry. I don't care. It reminds me that he is human. I spent so many years thinking that my dad was such a heartless animal that I am glad for any welcome change in perspective he may have to offer to me.
I went into my mom's room and she just cried and cried. And cried. And she held my hand and said with laboured breaths, "I wasn't sure I'd make it to see you." She pulled me close and told me that she loved me. She is hooked up to an oxygen tank and she has a hospital bed in which to lay. I can tell she is doing very well.
She looks all right, but I can tell that she is getting worse. She let me pray for her. I laid hands on her, and I asked God to restore her joy and help her relish any time that she may have left. I asked God to bring peace to her heart and mind. And to help us be at peace with our relationship.
I think I realized that my mom wants a second chance too, and she is afraid that she may not get it. Thats why I am here. I have a purpose. A second chance. This is the answer to my mother's prayers. I know it. And I am glad I am here, uncertainty and all.
I really have no idea what I am getting myself into. Truly. No idea, but here I am, both feet in. Not afraid to cry in front of people.
We went into the living room and sat to talk a little about how things are going right now. My dad just laid on the couch, every now and then rubbing his throat and taking a drink of Jim Beam. I know he is in pain. He's trying to drink to not feel so badly. To escape form the fact that cancer is in his body. Always running. Always not wanting me to see him cry. Not show any emotion.
But all I want is my dad to be real with me. Be open with me. Share with me.
When I told him that I found an audio tape in my storage stuff of me and him singing together when I was in sixth grade, he cried. And I was promptly ushered away. But I stayed there and told him what a blessing it was to hear his voice again. What a good memory to have on tape.
And now I realize it may take some work, but I am determined to make good memories. Act goofy. Laugh together. Have fun.
Death has come knocking. But I am not afraid. And with the power of love in my corner, I am not going down without a fight. I will fight for my family! If they won't fight for themselves, I will fight for them.
And if they die, at least they will have been in the presence of joy. And at least they will see peace and love. They will know merciful forgiveness.
And as promised to me in 2003, myself and my household will be saved.