It’s funny how my perspective changes over time. I am so very human. One minute, I can cling to “Fear not for I am with you,” and the next I’m searching the internet for support groups filled with other failing humans. No one in cyberland is going to “get” me and all this nonsense that is going on. I’ve searched before when Lemony was having all of her issues. No one understands this weirdness. No one really wants to read about it or try to understand it. IT is scary. IT is weird. And people run from scary and weird. I don’t blame them at all. It isn’t fair, but it is what it is.
One of Dad’s favorite phrases was, “No one ever said life was fair.” It really is not. If it were fair, I could call him, just to hear his voice, just to hear him tell me that it isn’t fair, but that we can’t whine or feel sorry for ourselves. If it were fair, he would still be here or at least in range of a telephone. When we were sick as kids, he always came in to check on us. I can hear him now, calling me “Puntin HonHon,” and ruffling my hair. That man knew illness and pain. He got it, and he hated to see his kids sick or hurt. I don’t remember ever hearing him complain though. Maybe he did, but I can’t think of any time that I heard him. He pressed on to the very limits of his strength and then pushed himself even more.
I was away at college, but the one story about him that plagues me to this day is the tire incident. In the last few months of his life, he was working on a huge project with the company he worked for. His commute was about an hour and half one-way, which would have been tough even if he had been well. But he wasn’t. One day he ran off the road and flattened a tire. He spent hours trying to get the tire off and the spare on. (Did no one see this tiny, frail man struggle by the side of the road? Did no one have an ounce of compassion?) It wasn’t until he finally got the spare on that he realized the other tire on that side was also flat. Call it pride, call it stubbornness, call it stupidity for trying it alone, but I am still in awe when I think what must have taken place by the side of the road that day.
I am Albert’s daughter, and he would not like me wallowing in my misery. Wouldn’t like it one bit. Might even call me his favorite nasty name–shrew. He would empathize briefly, then kick my butt.
Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that life isn’t fair. For teaching me that just because life isn’t fair is no reason to sit down and cry. Tires still need to be changed, work still needs to be done. Life goes on.