Sunday, February 21, 2016

stuff of life

We moved houses last week.

My mother put me in charge of sorting out my father's things. And I put myself in charge of making sure he moves with least stress.
Sigh. What can I say about my relationship with my dad?

I don't know if words will ever cover it.

But let me tell you about my dad's things - books, papers, books, clothes, books, electronic gadgets, books, visiting cards, books, sports equipment, books, phone bills, books, bank statements, books, credit card statements, books, share certificates, books, take away menus, books, keys, books, spare car parts, books, petrol bills, books, old boarding cards, books, music, books, books, books, books, books. 


Sorting out my dad's things reminded me of the person he used to be. 

I want to write it out, because it is so easy to forget. So easy to forget the person Dad used to be. So easy to forget amidst the exhaustion of dialysis and chemotherapy and the new personalities we all seem to have developed over the past few years.

So let me tell you about my dad.

He used to be happy.
He used to travel all over the world. 

He was famous in his field of work. 
He liked to network. 
He enjoyed eating out and he enjoyed listening to music.
He used to play tennis. 

He used to go camping. 
He tried to change the world. 
He excelled. 
He liked to read. 
He read everything.

Let me tell you about my dad. He lives in a world of silence. I can't seem to reach out to him anymore. Either I can't or I am too afraid to try. Or I am exhausted. I know I feel exhausted. 

Chronic illnesses can kill your soul before they kill your body. 

It's painful to watch.

Watching a person crumble into silence is hard. Watching over and protecting their things, the things of their life that once used to be is like a prison of emotions. 

I threw so many of my dad's things away this time - I threw them away because I know I won't be able to after he is dead. 

And I threw them away because I know my mother and sister never will. I threw them away to protect them. I threw them away to protect myself.