Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Song For My Father

So I’ve decided to return to the world.

But I’ve returned a changed man. I’m no longer the person I was just a few months ago. A lot has occurred that has me thinking about some things in life. I needed that short break and now I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to open up again.

The first big change has to do with my father. Pops is back home and doing well but he’s also a changed man (maybe it’s something in the air). Dirty laundry is usually never aired but after all he’s been through, what I share is out of love. Pops was a pretty heavy drinker prior to his hospitalization. My mom found him unconscious back in May and he was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital and was laid up in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit on life support for a few weeks.

A ventilator inflated his lungs, wires and tubes swirled everywhere around his body. He was bloated, unresponsive – a temporary pacemaker the only thing keeping him from crossing over. Doctors poured over his case, trying to figure out what had happened. No one knew. “Was it a stroke?” “A heart attack?” “His kidneys aren’t functioning properly …” So much was thrown at us. And if all that wasn’t so bad, we were told he coded out in the ambulance.

I almost lost my father. I would’ve been next to step up and be the man of the house … as much as my Pops and I don’t see eye to eye on many things, I love him so much and never want to go through such a frightening ride again.

After a few months in rehab, he returned home. He sits around very somberly; he doesn’t smile much, and seems genuinely different. It could be the little pacemaker in his chest that keeps him alive. Maybe it’s the changes we made in the house (we moved my parents bedroom downstairs).

But I think he’s reflecting on how close to the end he came. We cleaned out all the alcohol in the house and he claims he doesn’t want any. Still, I know it can’t be easy to get past an addiction that strong. We’re going to be there for him and try to help him through this but he’s got to want life more than anything. He’s already taken that first step and come back to life …

… now he just has to live it.

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