that horrible day… part 2

it’s true… life was never really the same after that.

my dad remained in the hospital for awhile while he recovered. i remember going to visit him. i walked in the room and the daylight was coming in through the windows and seeping through the flower arrangements and plants. i didn’t know where to look because i was scared of what i’d see. i focused on a plant that was in a ceramic duck base and thinking just how ugly it was.

i finally got a glimpse of my dad, or what was left of him. i had to concentrate really hard not to cry. i kept biting the inside of my cheek in hopes that would distract me from what i saw, the person that was no longer the father that i knew.

he had trouble forming words and couldn’t get out anything that he wanted to say. he got frustrated, understandably so.

all i could do was think about leaving.

he was finally released and sent home with a strict low-sodium diet and instructions not to continue his 2-1/2 pack a day habit. he was also put into speech, occupational, and physical therapies. he worked at them for awhile and then gave them up.

i’m sure the mounting frustrations of not being the person that you were and knowing you’d never be there again really got to him. they would me. he had to face that his brain and body were permanently damaged. his speech, to this day, is affected and he has trouble getting the words out. he gets angry easily because his mouth won’t express what his brain wants to. nor will his body. he’s mostly paralyzed in his right arm, his writing arm, making him have to re-learn how to write with his left.

the next few years were spent in and out of therapies and a new normal became the norm. my mom spent whatever time she had outside of work helping him as he slowly found some semblance of a life. it took a lot out of both of them. this wasn’t the life or marriage they signed up for.

as for me, i turned more inward. i was always extremely shy and i think it got worse, at least till high school.

i think we all struggled in our own way. i wavered between anger that he wasn’t the father i needed or thought i deserved at such a young age, while also feeling incredibly sorry for him. sorry that he didn’t ask for it. he didn’t sign up for this type of life but he got it. we all did.

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