49th Birthday

December 19, 2011


On December 18th we celebrated my Fathers' 49th birthday. 

I woke up Sunday morning around 9am. I heard my Mothers' voice echo trough out the kitchen. He was sitting in the same chair he always sits at. I walked up to him and hugged him without saying anything. And then I wished him a happy birthday. He hugged me back and told me thank you. I kissed his forehead and I walked off with my eyes full of tears. 

The truth is its incredibly hard living with him. Most of the time he forgets the day of the week and don’t even bother asking him the actual date. He's hard headed and stubborn. He thinks the whole world is out to get him. We constantly have to scold him for his bad eating habits. He's diabetic and even though he dilutes his drinks with water, we know there's still a ton of sugar in them. He loves bread. Any type of bread will do. And it's a challenge making him eat healthy. At times it kills me to just offer him one slice of pizza because I know he'll want another one after he's done. And he'll beg for one more. But I’m stern with my answer and usually reply no. He'll then tell me I'm the most horrible person in the world. And I have to remind myself that I'm helping him stay alive. 

There are days where I don't feel like dealing with it. My replies are short and sometimes I yell out things I don't mean. Out of everyone in my house, besides my mother of course, I'm the only one that cleans up and looks after him. She’s number one, she’ll always be number one. Anyhow, leaving my house is not an option at the time nor in the near future. Simply because he gets worst and worst every year. I then start to wonder how lucky we are to have him with us and it calms me down. I am there for a reason. I am there to help my mother when she’s not around. I am there for him the same way he was there for me as I was growing up.

Especially after my close friend lost his father last week, it just made me realize how fortunate we are. I know I should be appreciative of just having him alive. Even if I have to clean up after him after every restroom visit he takes. I'd chose cleaning up his urine any time of the day rather visiting a stone grave with his name engraved on it. I’d chose lecturing him over eating that piece of chocolate cake rather than taking flowers to an empty cast every other holiday. I’d choose all the shit I have to put up with daily while his sickness runs him over rather not seeing him at all. I’d choose all of it over ever losing him.

A couple hours later as I walked back to the kitchen, I found him standing by the kitchen counter as he usually does. His back leaned on the counter, drinking a glass of water. He put the glass down and he tells me, “Aren’t you forgetting something today Perla?” I smiled back and I reminded him, “No daddy, I wished you a happy 49th birthday earlier this morning.” His eyes shifted up to the ceiling and I could tell he was making an effort to remember. After ten seconds or so he says, “That’s right! I was eating breakfast when you told me! Thank you mija.” If it was any other day, I would have lectured him on that. But I let it slide that day. It was his day and I wasn’t going to ruin it. I wasn’t going to let anyone ruin it for him. Peace.

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