My father is dying of cancer. And I have no idea what to do. I knew he had had surgery in the beginning of the year. And I saw him last time I went to Brazil. He looked so different than the way he looked at my wedding, 2 years ago.
But I don't call him much. I rarely talk to him. We don't have much in common. We don't even have much for a history together. Good memories are few, very few. Bad memories abound.
This is the guy who wanted to cheat his way out of paying child support by lying in court about his job situation, the guy who was never a part of my life for 12 years and suddenly tried to tell me my skirt was too short (!), the guy who claimed he had no money to help me out because he had a baby with another woman, the guy who said he had no money to come to my wedding - the wedding of his only daughter!
I don't have much to say to this guy. He never got really involved in my life, I never got really involved in his. Thanks to him I never knew what having a father was like. I will never know what having a father is like.
However now this man is dying of cancer. And I have no idea what to do. I know I should have called him more. But I never knew what to say.
About 2 months ago I found out he was going in for a second surgery. I called him on that day. I called him just to say I would be praying for him. What else could I say? I love you? I don't. I don't love him. I don't even know him. But he is my father. And something tells me I must check on him.
Does his poor job as a father excuse me to do a poor job as a daughter? And do I think he does not look back in his life an regret the ways he failed? Or do I think I am the only person on earth who is not destitute of the capacity of repenting or even regretting poor choices?
So I asked my middle brother Leo to keep me posted. And Leo kept me posted: "Everything went well." Then:"He is still in pain." Then:"He is coming back for another exam." ANd just last week: "The doctors said there's nothing else they can do. They will be just treating the pain."
And that's how I found out - My father is dying of cancer. This man I hardly know. This man for whom I have no feelings - good or bad. This man is my father. And he is dying of cancer. And whatever I don't do now, I will never have a second chance to make up for it.
I don't know what to do. And I don't know why I am crying now.