I understand my father is dying. I understand my father is in a world of pain, incomprehensible to those without cancer. I understand my father isn’t ready to die nor wants to die.
My father is just being a bear these days, so I had to pull him aside and have a talk with him.
What?? What Teddy??? Annoyed, he followed me back into another room, out of earshot of everyone else.
“I’m your daughter, I’m tough like you. But Tu-ha is not so tough, and you have to stop being so hard on her. You need to think about what you want her last memory of you to be. You need to think about that.”
My father instantly bowed down a little.
“Oh…I’m being too grumpy…I’m being too grumpy….”
I was actually surprised how quickly my father folded under my scolding. My uncle Bobby, his younger brother, used to say I was the only person on the planet who could talk with my father the way I did and ‘get away with it’.
“I love you, everyone here is helping you and they’re trying their best to help you. You need to be nice, you need to thank them.”
And with that, we walked back into the living room, passing by the kitchen where Tu-ha shot me a glowing ‘thank you’ smile. I guess my father’s small apartment didn’t mask my voice very well, but it doesn’t matter…
What’s important is that the bear lays down to rest as peacefully and calmly as possible. Not so much for them, because it’s best for him too…