Sometimes it just hits me, out of the blue. "your dad is dead." I am one of those people who lost a parent before they were twenty-one. And it sort of takes my breath away with the unexpected reality of it. When I think about how it only took a year and a half, from diagnosis to my flatmate hunting me down on campus in the midst of my creative writing class with the news. It took me a month before I cried, and even that was half an hour late one night.
He was my role model and my best friend and even when he was lying in the hospital bed, only slipping into coherence long enough to explain to the nurses that he was upset not because of his own cancer but because it was November and nearing the birthdays of his dead sons, even when the cancer seemed to be spreading to a new organ every day, I always assumed he would miraculously overcome it, just as he'd beaten unbeatable odds his entire life.
The last time I spoke to him, on the phone early the Friday morning previous, he finished the conversation with "Ok, i guess I have to go, the nurses are coming with more drugs. Off to see the queen and this time it won't cost near as much money." When we hung up a small part of me wondered, 'what would it be like if that was the last time I talked to him?'.
I still can't believe it's been a year and a half.