0133F: After Five Years

It's weird to consider that it has actually been five years since my biological father, Ricky, had died. And I should know - one of the first things that I did after the deed was done was marking my Google Calendar. I'm weird that way during moments of crisis.

At the time, I had not seen Ricky for more than four years and probably not had a truly meaningful conversation with him for close to a decade. Things just sort of happened that way.

Over the years I've learned to get go of my resentment - it's not like there's anything that I can do about the past after all. It took me a few years to just respect the fact that the man brought children into the world before he was truly ready, and thus we can only fault him so much. He didn't meant to hurt me the way that he did. It just sort of happened and it lingered and then was just never addressed again.

I remember one of my last moments with him while he was still in the ICU. They let me stay alone with him while family and friends watched on through the glass. And as I kept my back to them all I said my piece pretty much said my piece in a voice barely above a whisper as the tears started to flow. But I wasn't sad, I'll admit that much. I felt angry - or maybe just frustrated. There was so much that I felt needed to be said and yet it didn't happen.

When my grandmother had died back in 1997, we learned the hard lesson of the importance of making sure you had all your ducks in a row before you died. You never know when it's going to happen and thus you need to be fully prepared for any eventuality. Fast forward ten years from that point and I didn't think I would be trying to follow some of those plans that we had discussed back then.

When I think back to five years ago, the one thing that always comes back to me was processing the DNR form with some doctor. In the movies it seems totally easy to make sure that your loved one is not kept alive artificially by some device. In reality, you need to listen to a medical professional discussion all the different life-saving techniques that they won't attempt as part of the hospital's efforts to avoid potential liabilities. And it's a darn long form.

It was easier to pull the plug, actually. It was relatively quicker, less emotionally jarring and in the end he got to go in peace.

I try not to think about that day too much, especially whenever this anniversary comes along. But this is the fifth year, after all, and us Base 10 humans with our five fingers on each hand can't help but mark cycles of fives and tens. And I know I really needed to get this off my chest in order to avoid having to deal with it again in another five years. At least that's my theory, as a writer.