Home’s Irreversible Truth
I have a father who never, for once, abandoned his children. His children who had consistently tried to keep him away, regarded him less as a father because he cannot contribute anything at home. He doesn’t have work. He refuses to work. At least at something you can call as a profession or a tax-contributing job. He has ‘completely surrendered’ as what one of my sisters liked to put it. It is true, dad never wanted to work anymore. Dad had lost all his will to earn and be able to provide his family with everything. That’s why my sisters and I, we had seen our father just as a convenient tool for us. It’s true. Yes, I’m afraid I did as well.
Dad cooks. Dad stays at home, making sure everything’s fine. Dad wakes me up when I’m about to be late for work. Dad washes the dishes. Dad tried to be a babysitter to my nieces. Dad puts out dog poop. Dad watches the TV all afternoon. Dad plants to keep his mind off loneliness. Dad sleeps. Dad is alone at home most of the time. Me and my sister, the only ones left at home and haven’t built a home somewhere else are often not at home, out or at work. Dad waits. Dad wonders. Dad…cries and we might now even know about it. But maybe he does, he really probably does.
Sadness. Anger. Self-pity.
He would cool these off sometimes over a litre of hard liquor, sometimes over a many couple of beers. And when he starts mouthing, scolding, placing in overused arguments that will often lead to even more complicated personal issues ‘round the house, we break. The sister-father relationships, scratched. And like father like daughters, pride wins and pride tells everyone not to make amends. Not to make peace, to think that we are the right ones at the right tracks and the other on the wrong side.
And I don’t know, for some reason. We just saw Dad as someone who gets drunk, who makes all the wrong decisions, who’s been all the wrong places, who’s done things that never helps, who’s lazy, who‘s trying to fix things and still manages to destroys them, who complains, who lies.
But what the fuck, I think we are all that. We have been that person, at some point, we will if we haven’t yet. You, me, my sisters, everyone. And I think it has been unfair to Dad that we only see the ugly part of him and not the other one.
He is a person, and we all are.
Then dad will cook again. Dad will clean again. Dad stays home again and makes sure the house is fine. Dad wonders again. Dad misses his home again. Dad wouldn’t cry this time. He’d just be…lonely.
And here’s the thing, out of the 24 hours that me and my sisters are living our own life, we forget to think how Dad’s living his. It’s not that I’d like us to break away from what’s coming — having our own family, living our life because “who’s gonna live it if not us, if not now”, spending thousands for our own satisfaction — . No, I do not want us to break away from the reality. We are gonna have our own life, and that is just it. There’s no altering, no escaping.
The thing I want, what I’m saying, is for me and my sisters to be part of Dad’s final journey throughout the rest of his lifetime and us to have Dad throughout all the days there is that we can have him in our life. Dear, because we’ll never know, can we? I want Dad to feel like a Father, I want him to feel like he is still a father to his daughters, a grandfather to his granddaughters, that he is still a lucky man in this chaotic family affair, never to feel that he has lost anything. No money, no pretty poems, no fancy gifts or fancy dinner outs, no number of likes of a facebook and instagram photo can amount to what he needs. Because all of this, he can never really feel loved from this.
You, whoever you are, if you are reading this, I hope that you spend your time with your parents wisely, that you include them in your life for as much as you can and you be part of theirs too. Whatever it takes, it’s time checking off those happy bucketlist off of theirs — mothers and fathers. Whatever it takes, make time for them because your sons and your daughters, you’d want to make their time for you too, right?