Way of Life

I can’t ever remember a time when he wasn’t sick – it was a fact of life. Daddy needs to sit down for a bit, Daddy’s going to bed early, Daddy can’t pick you up from school so go home with Jamie’s mom and someone will drop off PJs later. When I was older, I grasped a little more of what was going on, and could understand why it was so vital to be the co-pilot on runs the grocery store; I got my permit early so I could drive him and the groceries home on the bad Saturdays. Yet he refused to give up on life, refused to let Mom do the chores around the house in addition to her full-time job, refused to not go grocery shopping every weekend.

Most of my memories of when he was sick involved chalky Necco wafers from the gift shop and visits to the hospital that smelled of iodine and harsh cleaners, and that strange unscented ‘scent’ on the bed linens and blankets in every room. I never visited less than 12 hours after any surgery – my mother did her best to shield me.

Even when she called with the bad news.

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