July 10, 2003
it's what i believe
If something terrible ever happens to me to put me into 19-year coma after which I wake up a quadriplegic, I'll want to get out of that bed just to KILL whoever kept me there that long. I mean that.
I believe in quality of life more than just breathing. I don't want to be alive if all I can do is whimper, "milk." Why the hell do you think I went through the shit I just did to get a bionic dick?
I still think of myself as a vigorous man with many good years ahead of me. But if I were condemned to spend them bedridden or limp-dicked and lonely, what good ARE those years? I don't want my son EVER to watch me die the way my father died.
The man I admired most on the face of this planet went out with tubes and catheters stuck in him while he clawed for every last breath. He died ignominously, and I never got over witnessing that sight. I won't do that, and I damn sure won't let my son ever SEE me doing that.
I want Quinton to remember ME the way I think of myself. Strong. Wise. Able. I want him to remember that I taught him how to throw a football, and I taught him how to swim and I taught him how to be a man. I taught him how to shoot a rifle and walk tall and to do what needs to be done. I want to teach him to be tough.
I can't do that by being a shadow of what I once was and leaving THAT PICTURE of me in his mind when I finally cash my chips. Yeah, I wanted the bionic dick for me. But I wanted it more to BE WHAT I KNOW I AM. I was TIRED of being impotent. That was a heavy weight to carry for a man like me. I may NEVER screw (okay... I WILL) with my implant, but just knowing that I CAN means a lot.
I am rambling, but I want to be someone my son looks up to, just the way I did to my daddy. And I don't want to EVER let him down the way my father did me. I had something broken and I fixed it. I did it to make ME feel whole again and I can be a better father to my son because of it. It was a mind thing, but it bothered me a lot.
Yeah, I did the get out of the hospital in six hours and drive myself home today stuff just to PROVE THAT I COULD. I did because most people either can't or won't. I have NEVER been like "most people." I wouldn't have it any other way.
My father taught me to be tough. I once thought that he WAS TOUGH, but he didn't die that way, and I'll always wonder how much bullshit he spooned into my head with the "do as I say, not as I do" crap.
I don't want Quinton EVER to wonder about such things when he thinks of ME. I want to show him. I want him NEVER to have any doubts.
That's why I'll never live 19 years in a coma, either.
When my dad was in the hospital last year with a blood infection and G.I. tract bleeding he asked me to pull the plug if he ever had to be put on life support to live. Damn right I will, Pop. I'll pull the plug myself. I couldn't handle watching my pop wither away while some machine that goes *ping* keeps him 'alive'.
I understand that. I had to watch my Dad's Dad die like that. One week he was out, buzzing around town on his moped, the next, he was being spoon-fed applesause by my Aunt Linda. It was so strange...he had a pain in his hip, went to the doctor, was diagnosed with cancer and died in less than two weeks.
I don't think I'm gonna have to worry about this with my Dad, though.
As a female, I loved my Daddy more than life itself growing up. My mother was a friggin' fruit cake who acted like she wished I didn't exist until I was old enough to date guys that she could (and did) screw. (She even moved to Florida with one of them He was 19, she was 30-something....37, I think.) Anyway, my Dad was the one for me. 'Til he met his current wife. She's only 4 years older than me and began cutting me out of Dad's life as soon as she moved in. A few years back, Dad had chest pains, went to the hospital and wound up having a triple or quadruple by-pass. The reason I'm not sure about it is that I WAS NOT CALLED when this happened. I've also been relegated to calling Dad at work for the last 20-some years when I want to talk to him. If he's off, I wait. I've not been included in their family at all. The current wife came equipped with a kid of her own and they had one together. I was told once by an exhausted, brandy-sipping Dad, that the reason for this was that Kim didn't want me to "infect" her (perfect) children with my problems. (All of which stemmed from the "loss" of my Dad in my life, btw...) She got her way. I was cut out and her kids have made all the same mistakes and screw ups even without my influence. Her kid (the one she came with) has been arrested for possession TWICE. Still lives in the home, past the age I was allowed to. To this day, every time I need my Dad, to talk to, to mean something to, to be loved by, to just spend time with...I can't...don't...ain't allowed. I used to blame Kim entirely for this, but I realize now, that Dad allows it to happen. So, which is worse? Being close enough to your Daddy to be there when he dies-no matter how he does it, or him being as much as dead to you (as far as availability goes) for more than twenty years and knowing you won't be wanted to be there when he does die? If Dad HAS wanted me to be around, he hasn't been able to so far...how's it gonna happen when he's dying?
I know it hurts-kills-when someone as important to a person as their Daddy dies. But, I can tell you, having him removed so completely from my life while he is still alive sucks too. Especially when the reason for it all amounts to no more than a (sustained) piece of ass.
I don't think I want to be there at the end or go to the funeral. I won't be welcome in the first place and in the second, knowing beyond all doubt that I'll never be able to even talk to him at work again, just may send me somewhere inside myself that I won't be able to find a way out of.
Anybody out there want a 40 year old, blonde-haired, hazel eyed, broken-hearted, adopted daughter? I don't have to live with you...I'd just like to have someone I know I can talk to about stuff, someone to go fishin' with...good ole "Daddy-stuff" like that....Anybody?
My parents and family all discussed this after my dad's first bypass. My entire family have living wills. I always think of that saying in old cowboy movies...I wanna die with my boots on.
My father died of lung cancer in the late fall of 2000.
He fought it until close to the end, when he looked at the odds, looked at the effects of chemo, and basically said 'screw it' and tried to have a good last few months.
He was on a morphine inhaler towards the end, periodic infusions of morphine to quell the pain in his lungs and make it easier to breathe, loosening the tissues in his lungs so he didn't need the oxygen tank.
A brain tumor had metastasized and took his keen intellect. The last month was tough on my mother. i travelled from Virginia back to Texas a half dozen times to see him.
I was not there the day he died, and for that I'm mostly glad. He was bedridden the last week and more or less a breathing corpse. I don't carry that image in my head as the last site i saw of him. Instead, I have memories of his strength and stamina, even that little bit remaining the last month of his life, a shadow of what he was but still more than it would have been a week later when he became bedridden.
He fought the cancer as best he could when it appeared in 1997, then looked at what fighting long, long odds would do to hime when it reappeared in August, 2000. He chose to finish as best he could, at home, and as strong as possible, without being ravaged and weakened by futile therapies.
I wrote about what I've learned from him here:
He was not perfect, but he was the most sdmirable man I ever knew.
A-Man: your Dad did NOT desert you or fail you...his chassis failed him when he needed/wanted it most.
You do him a disservice by thinking he did it on purpose. Remember the good times, the good stuff, and let go of that vision of a tired, sick chassis taking control over who your Dad really was.