Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Repetition Is The Worst

From the moment he was born, my uncle and my dad were polar opposites. My dad was husky ... his brother was bean pole thin. My dad was a disciplined ex-marine ... his brother was a party animal. They were oil and water. I think my Dad felt my uncle was irresponsible ... while I think my uncle felt my Dad was a hard ass. At times they were both right.

Dad died in June of 2005 of congestive heart failure. He was so swollen ... so full of fluid. It was painful to watch him suffer ... and only slightly less painful to let him go.

Yesterday I got the call ... my uncle is Memorial and not doing well. He has an ulcer that has eaten into an artery in his abdomen. He nearly bled to death ... and ended up having a massive heart attack. The damage is severe. He's taking on fluids ... and is in ICU on a ventilator.

I didn't want to go last night. I didn't want to go. I associate everything about Memorial with my Dad ... and to walk those same halls ... go to that same quiet room ... visit that ICU again? I didn't want to cry ... and I didn't want to go.  But I went.  I walked through the doors.  I got in that elevator.  And I went.

My uncle is struggling. He's a ghost of my Dad in that bed. His eyes ... his hands. It's as though someone has put a film over everything ... and it's not my father in that bed ... and it's not my mother crying ... but everything is the same.

My family is small. And I suppose that becomes painfully evident as you watch it grow smaller.

"This is my family.
It's small and it's broken, but it's good.
Yeah, it's good."

Lilo and Stitch