Words are something when placed together properly, can bring joy, hurt, knowledge, and power. As a writer, I find joy in written word, and love to express myself as often as I can. When I first saw the production for this series, I sent my story in. That was only a few weeks ago, and my life has changed so drastically since. A huge part in my story was my Father. He battled a series of complications from diabetes and a heart attack, as well as an abscess that sent an infection into his blood stream. I remember the first time my Aunt called me and told me my Father was dying. I was in school, my whole world came to a stand still, and everything I wish I had done came flooding to me. I was literally at the opposite side of the borough, Manhattan felt so big and I felt that everything stopped me from getting there. From November 26th, life was preparing me for the moment I would lose my Father. During these weeks, I buried myself in school work, kept working through illness, and juggled multiple hospital visits for my Dad. My Aunt kept telling me she didn't believe he would make it, to the point of argument. Both our sides were valid, I felt I knew better, I brought up points to the doctors they had not considered. Given the fact that I had experience with Heart Failure, the terminology I used, the fact that someone could speak in medical jargon and I could keep up. I wanted him moved to a different hospital and I was met with resistance. I felt that as his daughter I had no say. I put myself first for a bit, enjoyed my birthday, did some DIY, checked in once in a while. Until February 8th, the same Aunt called, told me again my Father was dying. Due to the history of the nature of these calls, I went to investigate immediately. He was finally in the facility I wanted from the beginning. I hurried to the SICU unit, only to be met with a weak body formerly known as the independent man that was my Father. The human in me hated seeing him like that. I knew my dad, a victim of several strokes, who still cooked, cleaned and took care of his family, lay before me in a vulnerable state. I turned on auto-pilot, I knew what my Dad wanted and I went to battle for it. We all together as a Family, my Father included decided that enough was enough, and we would end the torture that his medical treatment was, and make sure his wishes were honored. This weekend was one of the best weekends I had with my Father in a long time. I learned more about the real man he was and not the fascade he had to play in front of me because of my tyrant mother. As the weekend transpired, it all became very real. The medical treatment changed from treating his conditions to managing his symptoms. I watched him slowly be less awake, and I could no longer hear his voice, feel him hold my hand, or hear him tell me I was his favorite. February the 12th, the day we shut off the machine, I noticed how much of a fighter he was. He stayed with us an entire day off the nasal canula. That follow morning when I didn't get the call that my dad was gone I was hopeful we had a few more days. I slept a little longer than I had in a while, I corresponded to emails regarding job search and I was in a self made zone. I was living like normal and thats when it happened, at 2:21 pm, when everyone was living their life, when everyone was distracted my Father passed. I became angry, I wanted to be there, and I started blaming myself for not being there. It was minutes felt torturous and long, the traffic came from everywhere and no where, everything seemed to keep me from him. Now that it has been a day, I realized that my Dad felt it was okay to slip away. He died knowing we would all be okay. And even in those hours I spent with the vessel that was formerly my Dad, I knew he was gone. He was a light and a presence, and now I deal with the aftermath. I am unsure of how, and I am slowly losing the robotic presence I had. That defense mechanism against losing the first love of my life, hurt that the man I was learning about is no more and he deserved to live. I feel robbed because he was a haven and a solace, how do I do this? Anyone?
We encourage you to contribute to – or even start – a conversation with others; to share your story here in an effort to help others feel related to, and, conversely, to gain the support you may be longing for. If even just one person could be reminded that they are not alone in this world, we’d consider this a success.
We understand that telling your story may be hard, especially in a public forum. If you’re someone who would like to share your story, but remain private, please email us at email@example.com. We will post your story through our ‘For The Hayters’ profile, so that you may share with full anonymity. You know your story matters; We know so, too.