Friday, May 30, 2008

Brainal Choice

Recent events have knocked me way out of sync. I am confused (and my left side hurts a whole bunch, in case you missed that), and I need unemotional people to tell me whether I am confused in an appropriate way or in a wrong and bad way.

Brainal Weather Concern

Since I got back from my brother's place on Sunday, I have felt far more calm about my dad's situation. I am aware that he is probably going to die pretty soon. I know it because the scientists tell us so. However, once a person has the pattern of the person you love most in the world NOT dying each and every time the scientists tell him he is going to die, a person stops ringing the alarm bell every time a scientist predicts the demise of the most beloved person in the whole world. One starts to have thoughts like, "Every time I skip the gym and eat cupcakes and cry, I am letting the terrorists win," and "Oh... what-e-ver. He never died all those other times, so he must be immortal."

I know the deal, but for some reason, what feels right is to give the cancer the finger and get on with my life - even though I know that the cancer, like the terrorists, can blow it all up any old time - and that I can do nothing about it.

So you tell me. Am I:

a) a bad person

b) defeating the terrorists


Mountain Climbing Ambition Issue

No matter what I do, the trip to Africa is going to be messed up. If my dad dies, it will be messed up because I will be so brainally twisted that I won't train. If he doesn't die, he will likely be very sick right about the time when I am supposed to leave for the trip. That means I will be in Africa for three weeks - with no immediate means of returning if something should go wrong. At the same time, I have read the trip insurance fine print, and it turns out that since I knew good and well my dad had leukemia when I booked the trip, I won't be entitled to a refund if I need to cancel or return early. So my plan is to behave as if the trip is on and then decide the day before we leave whether it would be appropriate for me to go.

Am I:

a) a bad person

b) defeating the terrorists

c) really stupid

Thank you in advance for your opinion.


country roads said...




Crumbling into a ball of misery isn't going to help anything. Just because you do things for yourself doesn't mean you care any less for your dad or about him or love him any less.

Sizzle said...

You wouldn't be doing your Dad any favors by not living your life. I can totally understand reconsidering your trip because if it were me (and has been me, many years ago), I wouldn't want to be so far I couldn't get back quickly if something were to happen.

It's easy to beat ourselves up but life does a good enough job of that without our help. Be kind to you.

Joel said...

I know it because the scientists tell us so.

I'll bet that if you told your dad that scientists are infallible, he'd have some pungent things to say in reply. In between uncontrollable whinnies of laughter.

If I were in your shoes, well, first of all, my feet would hurt like hell. But second, I would probably have stayed home. When my dad died of a brain tumor, he had about three months between diagnosis and death. I drove to Seattle (about three hours away) every weekend to see him, except one weekend when I had some other commitment. That Sunday night I got a call that he had died. That was fourteen years ago, and I would happily pay the cost of a trip to Africa to have three weeks with him today.

But that's just me, probably acting out my own regrets of the father-son relationship and all that rot. I'm not trying to hit your guilt buttons. If you go to Africa, then go and enjoy it on your dad's behalf. I'll bet he'd have loved seeing you climb that mountain. If he can't be there, and you can't stay, then the next best thing is to revel in the experience for his sake. (If that makes sense.)

But if you don't go, soak up as much of your dad as you can. No matter how much time you have with him, you'll always wish it had been more.

Annie said...

Okay first the scientists, they are wrong all the time. They told Stephen Hawkings that he would die in five years with his condition, and that was what probably 10-15 years ago. We die when we die and there is no way for anyone to know.
Your dad is so wise to not belive his doctors-that is why he is still alive and will likely keep living beyond their beliefs.
The best thing you can do for you and your dad is to let down your guard, stop worrying and live your life, like he is. Time with him is precious, but time with everyone is precious because old or young you don't know what will happen from minute to minute. You could very well die before your dad. Relax, let go of the worry. I would
wait until the last minute to cancel your trip-play it by ear.
Just remember worry never helped anyone live a better life. Big hug.
Now get out there and live your life!

LAS said...

I would probably wait until the last minute to cancel the trip - but I think I would probably cancel it. You have to live your life, but cancelling this trip doesn't mean that you aren't doing that or that you are letting the cancer win. I honestly think that for me, either choice would feel like the wrong one because all around it's a horrible situation. You can't possibly know what is going to happen, you can only wait and see and live in the meantime. You seem to be doing that. I think I would regret it if I went and something happened. And if you go, that's fine too - you are not a bad person.

Em said...

Like the others say -- either way I do not think you are a "bad person". Seems like waiting until the last minute to cancel your trip is a good option since you aren't getting a refund anyway. Take each day as it comes. Talk to your dad about it. Pray. Meditate. Breathe.

Course you asked for advice from unemotional people... I don't think I qualify.

Kate P said...

(I just told the emotional-PMS side of me to shut up for a moment so I can think.) O.K., the Libra in me says (f) none of the above. Your plans sound like the most feasible answer considering what you know and feel, as you stand here, today. Be true to yourself, and know that "yourself" is a loving, caring, purposeful person--who is cared about (and prayed for) by a lot of people.

Woodrow said...

His leukemia was in remission when you booked the trip. If necessary, you would have a valid claim. Or at least a good enough argument to win.

Dagny said...

yeah, I'd say live your life. I am sure your Dad would rather you did that as well. Nothing you can do will change whatever the outcome is going to be, so just going to have to roll with it.

So take care of YOU. And keep on being you.


nightfly said...

I think your Dad would probably insist on your going, and saying "see you when you get back, bring pictures."