I started penning this in my mind months ago right around Christmas Eve when my dad told me the shittiest fucking news ever: “I’m glad you’re sitting down because I have cancer“. I’ve replayed the entire five minute conversation in my head about a million times since then. I’ve rewritten this a million times, in an almost eulogistic sense, that the reality is in front of my family and I: my dad is going to succumb to cancer. This thought is something I’ve finally accepted in the last few weeks.
I’ve had my inconsolable days, my days where I feel moderately happy again, and the days where I don’t leave my bed until close to dinner time. The further we continue down this dark path towards the inevitable demise of my father, the man who raised me and gave me nearly everything I have in my life, the further I don’t see any light at the end of it. My dad is going to die and the realization that I am utterly incapable of doing anything shreds me inside. I am helpless, outside of being there for my family, which I haven’t done the best job of.
Hockey Twitter and hockey primarily have been a huge escape for me. It’s helped me reflect on my dad’s impact on my love for the game, all the memorable moments we’ve shared watching hockey, and his constant support of me writing in my spare time. Without him, I think I would have given up blogging or making things on Twitter. He, along with my mom have always supported me on whatever I did, but I think he took a special interest in this more than anything else I’ve done.
While on the topic of this community and the love of a game we share, I wanted to again thank a lot of people who’ve supported me over the last few months. It’s been a hard time and a lot of amazing people have reached out, shared their struggles with their losses, and done so much to try and make my days better. This community is incredibly volatile most days, often imploding, but the constant has been a lot of spectacular individuals doing whatever it takes to lift my spirits.
Doing this isn’t easy at all because if anyone knows me on a really close level at all then they definitely know I struggle with this a lot. Like my father, I bottle things up, and more often than not they get the best of me. The only positive which I assume is healthy is crying (which I’ve done a lot of since December) and it’s cathartic feeling helps only a minuscule amount. But even then, I still beat myself up a lot over this and it’s tricky to navigate this chapter of my life.
I’ve also been dodgy and I’ve probably skipped days where I should be there, spending time with my dad while I can. But I can’t all the time, not because of my job or because of responsibilities, but because I need me time. I know at some point down the road I’ll regret not spending every waking minute I can with him, but the only real selfish thing I have had lately is the need to process this on my own. And I do this because I’m scared. I’m scared of my future, without my dad being there for me and what I’ll accomplish without him. I’m not ready at 27 to start saying goodbye to him. I’m not ready to be 30 without him or 40 without him.
I just want to make him proud with whatever remaining days he has left. I want him to know that I love him and that I would do anything within my power, in my mortal hands to cure his illness. It’s just not fair and it will never be. Sapp’s tweet the other day sums up exactly how I feel about the concept of staying positive:
@mikeFAIL oh also – people will tell you to stay positive but fuck them-feel however you want to feel. Don't act/feel a way to please others
— Sapp Macintosh (@MacSapintosh) April 21, 2016
Anyway, I’m done rambling now. I sort of needed to get this off my chest because this morning I was a wreck. Tell your parents you love them and hug them regularly. Thanks for tolerating my candidness and stuff.