See, that title says a lot but I think I need to elaborate just how true they actually are.
So here goes.
My mom died. I got the call while I was coming back from seeing a movie with friends in an attempt to get myself out of the funk I'd been in.
I got to humiliate myself in the backseat of my roommate's truck by screaming and crying on the way home. I mean that, too. Screaming. And crying.
Christ almighty, I don't think I'd ever cried so hard. It was terrible. Those anguished cries of 'No' really do exist. They're not trite, cliche, or overdone. It comes from an honest desire... an honest pain that does not want whatever your torment is to be real. My roomies were cool about it. Each one gave me the space I needed and were there for me when I was ready to share it with others. Which I desperately needed. Thanks go out to them.
Oh, and not to brag about the awfulness of my situation, but that was just the beginning.
Then came the funeral. All these people I'd never met telling me how they knew my mother and how sorry they were for me. Which was nice and all, but... I didn't want to interact with anyone that I wasn't particularly close with to begin with. My grandmother, grandfather, my sister, and my two uncles were there for me and they really helped. They even let me stand away from the coffin so that I wouldn't have to deal with everyone. And my Dad (him and mom had been apart for nearly ten years) even bought an overnight ticket (at such cost) to be there for me and my sister...
The most difficult part of that, though, was not being able to recognize my mother in the coffin. She looked nothing like she had in life. C'est la vie.
Anyway, my roomie/landlord was a college roomie of my Dad's, so him, my sister, and my Dad all decided to go have as relaxed of a day as we could possibly manage. It helped. It helped a lot.
I started to pull myself out of the state I'd been in. Enough that I was ready to make the long trip back to Florida. And I did. Which was boring, but otherwise uneventful.
Due to circumstances, I'm set up to get a better job than I'd ever had with my Dad's help and maybe get myself into a situation where I can take care of myself. Awesome, right? I mean, things are looking up...
But that was a false-light and things took a turn for the worse.
See, my mother and father didn't have the best of breaks when they split up. And... Well, things were just rough. Anyway, to clue you in, Dad had a life insurance policy on himself and my mother. And he'd been the only one to ever make a payment into it. No one else. Just him.
Well, for those of you that don't know, my father has prostate cancer. And he has just changed jobs for the better. Two years in the car sales industry and he's already a sales manager. That's huge, just to iterate the significance. But anyway, because he has just changed jobs, he's got no health insurance for the next three months.
Well, he figured it would be okay since mom was passing and he was about to have some spare funds from the health insurance. Now, don't get me wrong, he was going to take care of me and my sister as well, but American healthcare is so unbelievably jacked up, he was going to have to set at least half of it to the side for his healthcare until the next fiscal quarter.
And then we learn... Mom had changed the beneficiaries.
To me, my sister, my grandmother, and my grandfather.
... And he was left with nothing after having paid on the policy for over twenty-three years.
Now, see, you have to understand my father to understand why he did what he did. But the fact is, he lost his cool for the next several days. See, he wasn't so much angry as he was hurt and afraid. He knew me and my sister had just lost our mother and the last thing he wanted was for us to go through that again. He was terrified that his children were going to go through more pain after we had just suffered an already incredibly tormenting ordeal. But he's too proud to show fear.
So he showed anger, instead.
A lot of it. And that's all I'll say.
I bore the brunt of it because I didn't want him taking it out on my step-mom or my step-sister and her daughters. I may not have had worse in my life, but I know how much I can take. Because it's a lot. It always has been. Which sounds like a brag, but to be honest, I've had to go through a lot to build such a tolerance.
Nonetheless... It was painful. This last week was probably the worst week of my life. Which is all that really needs to be said on the matter.
Well, things were hard, but I tried my damnedest to make everyone happy. I bent over backwards, made deals with my sister and grandparents... We were going to get him the money he needed for his cancer treatments. We'd give it all up if he needed it. But that wasn't what he wanted. He didn't want money. He wanted to be independent. He... loathed the idea that he needed to ask for help because he'd always been the one to take care of his own needs since ten years old. And as embellished as that sounds, nothing could be more true. Dad's been a fighter ever since his wee years.
Nonetheless, he wanted to call up my grandparents in his pain-filled rage and tell them that their deceased daughter was an awful person that stole all of that life-saving money from him. Which wasn't the truth entirely. See, Mom knew Dad had just acquired a 120k a year job and figured he was set for life. She just wanted her debts to not fall on her parents and children, so that's why she changed the beneficiaries. She wanted us to be safe and have a cushion to fall back on.
I stopped him. I held him back from doing what he would regret for the rest of his life. And it brought all that ire down on me, which I was okay with. Like I said, I could handle it.
Well, after days of hurtful remarks and sleepless nights, my help being endlessly rejected...
I looked at him with tears streaming down my face and yelled, "I don't know what to do!"
Ehhh... It's hard keeping this all straight, so I'll give it to you like it is. After that, there were a lot of tears. A lot of them. I told him I didn't want to do nothing as he withered away from a cancer that he didn't stand a great chance of surviving. He admitted why he was so scared of leaving us and what Mom had unknowingly done hurt more than anything. That even though she did not mean for that underhanded move to hurt him so much, it had been worse than anything anyone could have ever imagined. After all, he was already somewhat in debt and his cancer treatments were about to come up with him being empty pocketed and without insurance. Which, I forgot to mention, his case is so borderline that waiting one month, much less three, was out of the question.
After all those tears and gin and vodka (we decided we really needed to loosen up), we went to bed... And the next day, the very first moment my father saw me... He set his hand on my shoulder and he thanked me for everything I had done for him before apologizing for everything he had done to me. He told me how proud he was of me and how strong I had become. Told me that I was so amazing of a person that he was in genuine awe. That I stopped him from doing something he would never be able to forgive himself for and no one else could have made him see past his arrogance the way I had.
And just like that, I felt as though... Well, maybe everything wasn't going to be okay. But I'd accomplished one of my greatest goals.
I'd wanted my father to be proud of me. And before today, I'd never believed he was. I'd never said as much, but I always had it deep inside me... Which... Well, it was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
And now, without further ado... Chapter Seven of TTEOAP is in development with over 2k words still drying off on the page. I expect it'll be ten thousand words before I'm finished, but I assure you, it will be worth the wait.
Thank you, everyone. Your words of support really did help. It may have felt trite or strange, but you all really did give me strength that I was in desperate need of.
My time is going to become valuable within the next month, but I plan to have the first revision of my book done by then along with a new chapter of TTEOAP. After which, I'll try to do a second chapter to give me some time between first and second revision of the book.
Whatever happens, I just want to say...