April 2005- This photo is the last photo of my father before the leukemia made him wholly unrecognizable to me. I’m not sure who snapped it, but I am grateful for it now. In the shot, death was a couple of weeks, or was it a few days, away? I forget. My memory of 2004- 2014 is blurry with many blank spaces in it.
I didn’t understand why they did that, snapped a photo of a man in hospice, receiving palliative care…seemed kind of macabre to me, at the time. Leukemia makes death ugly. In the last few days of his life, he didn’t even seem human to me anymore.
In my mind, if photos didn’t exist, it didn’t happen. It was less real and more surreal. However, it did. April 2005, the person that gave me have my DNA left this world.
I wish I could attribute all of what happened in the years that followed his death on his death, but I can’t. That would be total bullshit.
While his death contributed to the series of adventures and misadventures in the years that followed, it was only one piece of an epic, intricate puzzle that is still coming together.
Father’s Day used to be really rough for me. I couldn’t engage with social media. Seeing all the happy posts of people talking about their dads made me weep tears of sadness for the loss of my own. Now, I can look at such posts and weep tears of gratitude for having had an overall pretty cool and interesting man to call my father.
I got my intensity, love of books, and stubbornness from him. The older I get, the more I appreciate it all so much more.