Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fear

My dad had a massive heart attack Friday night. He had the type they call the Widow Maker. Complete blockage of the left ventricle or something. I don’t know. Despite my near religious viewing of “House”, I’m not actually a doctor. Evidently, people usually die from this type of heart attack (or Miocardial Infarction if you’re feeling fancy) before they can receive medical attention. Luckily, this wasn’t the case with my dad. He probably had a heart attack last week as well. He was out in the cold, walking briskly and felt extreme pain and tension in his chest. He attributed it to the really cold weather, sat down for a few minutes and caught his breath. He blew it off as nothing. But, this one happened while he was sitting on the couch in his 74-degree apartment. He knew this one wasn’t nothing. He’ll be having a quadruple bypass in the morning.

My mom died when I was 6. I don’t usually advertise this, but if someone asks, I’ll tell them. My greatest fear has always been my dad dying, too. I know he’ll die someday. I’m probably more aware of that fact than most people are about their parents, because I grew up knowing that it was always not just a possibility, but an actuality. I almost certainly have an unnatural preoccupation with loved ones dying. When I don’t hear from someone, I automatically assume the worst. The more I love them, the greater that fear becomes. I’ve driven people mad with this. I’m sure it’s about to get worse. So, for all of you out there who are supposed to call me at appointed times, please do it so I won’t assume that you’re dead in a ditch, ok? Thanks.

I don’t have siblings. I didn’t grow up with my family, so I don’t know my cousins and aunts and uncles. My dad is all I have. He’s it. He’s my family. He’s my friend. He’s the one person in my life who has always been there. Always had my back. Always told me when I was being a fuckheaded ‘tard and always brings me Diet Coke with Splenda. He’s my go-to person. He came to California to drive my car and me to Ohio because I asked him to. Who does that? Yes, he gets on my nerves (and I’m fairly certain I get on his just as often). Yes, he’s technologically challenged. Yes, he’s sarcastic and kind of a dick sometimes. BUT, he’s also extremely thoughtful. Extremely funny. Extremely generous and would give anyone in need the shirt off his back. Literally. He’s LITERALLY given someone his coat. Twice. In the middle of winter.

I’m not ready for him to be gone. I’m just not. I’m not equipped to be all alone. I like being alone, but not that alone. The fear is overwhelming at times and the thought of him not being there is more than I can take right now. I just can’t. I can’t conceive of what that type of aloneness must be like. I’m afraid. Down to my toes, deep in my soul, afraid. The dread is heavy. I try to joke and play online and bullshit my way though this, but I am terrified. And sad. And feeling very, very alone.

12 comments:

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I send you love and prayers. The fact that he made it to a doctor seems encouraging.

jM said...

I don't really pray, but I am now. And all of the candles I have around just looking pretty are getting lit... extra lit... like with a flamethrower.

*big hug*

Jeremy Feist said...

Oh crap, I'm sorry! Keep your chin up, we're all praying and hoping for you!

Lainey said...

You guys, thank you! I can't even tell you how much your thoughts and good wishes mean to me. XOXO!

Also? The fuck gave jM a flamethrower? Seriously, that's just flat-out negligence, people.

jM said...

It was my grandma. One of these days I'll show you a picture of her... before the scars.

Pants said...

Stay strong! I watched my mom beat all the odds and kick cancer's ass two years ago, and your dad sounds like the kind of guy who'll do just about anything not to leave you behind. I'm sending the few karma points I've managed to scrape together you way and hope your dad will be back to 'stripping in the dead of winter' form in no time!

Sofi said...

God, Lainey, I'm so, so, sorry. I don't even know what to say. Just know that we're all thinking of you.

Lots of love.

Sarah Booz said...

I share your fear. My father died when I was seventeen and ever since I have this sometimes crippling fear of losing my mother as well. And there is a part of me that says, "Well, she's a pain in the ass sometimes." But she's also my MOM. I'm sending you a shit-ton of well wishes.

Lainey said...

Thanks so much, everyone! Your good thoughts and hopeful wishes helped get me through a really rough morning of doubt and worry.

He made it through the surgery and barring any complications, should recover nicely!

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It means a lot to me to know you're out there and that you care.

meaux said...

Lainey, sweetie! Add my wishes and vibes and prayers for a speedy recovery. I can't imagine how scary this must have been for you. *internet hug*

Rubble44 said...

Lainey, Darlin, I cannot tell you how much I am pulling for you and your father. He is in my thoughts and prayers and of course, we wish for a speedy recovery.

Lainey said...

You guys are all so great! Meaux and Rubble, thank you for your kind wishes! Thank you, too, to the folks who sent me emails with their nice words.

Update - he's doing really, really well. They moved him from the Surgical Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to the Post Surgical, regular hospital, unit. One of the doctors said if he continues to improve at this rate, he'll probably be released Saturday or Sunday!