Hi. I’m trying my second video. I’m aiming for 1 a week. Nothing in particular for a subject. Just a random update on me, my life and my job hunt. Excuse me not looking at the camera for most of this. I still need a script to keep from stammering and locking up. I’m doing this as kind of stream of consciousness writing (with some editing). I’ll just talk until I get to when I think I’ve said enough and then I’ll stop. This is good practice for my speaking; I’m sure my speech therapist would be proud.
Still no seizures, so that’s a positive. A little over 3 months with no seizures. I’m halfway to driving again. I’m scared what that means going forward though. It means that if I get too stressed I’m likely to have another one. If it was just a few hours earlier I would’ve been driving when it happened. That’s scary to think about so I won’t go down that path. But no seizures since the one in June, when my dad passed away. I said I’d go into that in more detail at a later time. No better time than now.
There really isn’t too much to tell, in all honesty. He passed suddenly and of natural causes at the ripe old age of 56. That’s pretty young, but he outlived his mother. She died of a heart attack in her early 50’s. My father lived a hard life and spent the majority of it not taking care of his health. He decided to get bariatric surgery a few years ago and that really helped. He lost a ton of weight and preached the gospel of weight loss any family and friends that would listen (and some who wouldn’t). It was too little too late, however. My father’s heart was already damaged. He had a quadruple bypass at the age of 40 and his heart couldn’t keep up with his lifestyle.
I found out when my little sister called me. Based on how hard she was crying and how early it was in the morning, I knew what had happened before she worked up the courage to tell me that “Dad was gone.” I’ll be honest; it didn’t come as a surprise. I feel bad saying that, but it is true. I had expected it a lot sooner. My dad had told me about his heart issues, in confidence, about a year earlier and that he didn’t expect to live more than a couple years. But “When it’s his time, it’s his time.” I expressed to my dad how selfish that was; that he had a daughter to live for. He stayed steadfast on his resolution. Based on conversations with his wife, though, he was softening on that stance.
I am sad that he’s gone, but I’ve still not cried. I feel terrible admitting that to the whole internet. It is the truth though. I watered up a bit at the funeral, but I still haven’t cried. Some of it is me. I’m just like my father. He didn’t cry at funerals. Once someone was gone they were just gone. I only remember my father crying at two funerals: his grandfather’s and his mother’s. Also, my childhood was a lot different than my siblings. He wasn’t really there for me. It is not like he was an absentee father but he left my mother when I was 10 or 11 and left the state for personal reasons about a year later. I didn’t really see him much after that (minus the year I lived with him). We talked on the phone for a bit about once a month or so. I even lived with him for a year in 8th grade. But I missed my friends and the small school atmosphere in upstate NY. So I moved back to NY. That year couldn’t make up for the years without a father. A year and a phone call once a month is not the same as having a parent close by and seeing or talking to them frequently. I don’t hold it against him. He did the best he could, given the circumstances. Do I wish he didn’t move? Of course I do. Was that a possibility? I don’t think so.
He was a genuine man; what you saw was what you got. That was a good thing about him. He didn’t put on airs for anyone. He looked forward to my calling with car questions and we became closer in my 20’s. That didn’t make up for my childhood, but it created a new bond between father and son. I’m not sure that either my step-mother or my wife knows this, but I talked him out of divorcing his wife and he talked me into marrying mine. I expressed misgivings about marrying my wife to him and he said he knew that she was God’s plan for me. That convinced me to overcome my ‘cold feet’ and marry her. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; I don’t know anyone stronger, more virtuous or more vested in my success than my wife. I don’t think I ever told my father that. I don’t think I ever thanked him after the fact or expressed my deep gratitude. That’s a regret I am just going to have to live with.
Like all of us, he was a wonderfully flawed human being. I am sad that my son is going to grow up having only known my father from our stories about him. I suppose the positive to that is that we get to craft A’s memory of him. That’s not the same as having his own memories of his grandfather though.