His final words

He told me he would die soon. He said he was ready to die. He said the cancer had won, he hurt all the time. He was tired. He would shoot himself soon.

We made small talk for a moment.

Then…

He told me how much he still loved my Mother. He told me about when they met, what he first thought when he saw her (an injured bird), and how he fell in love with her the moment he sat eyes on her. He went on and on for what seemed like an eternity about Mom. When he finally stopped talking I said,”It is so sad that she died so young.” He replied, “Yes, but that was the way it had to be.” I responded, “She just could not stop drinking, she was so drunk when she died.” And he said…

“Actually Veronica (he inhaled and sighed), when I saw her, she wasn’t that drunk.”

I never followed up. I never asked, “What does that mean.” I never said a word. I just sat there, dumbfounded.

He then changed the subject and asked me if I really thought I had a chance at finishing school. I did not answer right away (still in shock I guess). He then said, “You know Eva (my step sister)… blah blah blah” that is all I heard. Then he said, “Well, I guess so far at least you have a good GPA, maybe you will finish, who knows.”

He took a breath…

I said, in a whimper, “Yes, I think I can finish school.”

He said again, “Well, maybe you can.”

He changed the subject again. He talked about how proud he was of Jake.

And just about that moment, my son, Jake walked in.

He and Jake started talking.

I just sat there, feeling numb, disconnected. It was as if I was watching the two of them from somewhere else.

In that moment, all of the pieces that I had worked so hard to put back together felt as if they were fracturing. Chipping away.

My adrenaline was pumping. My heart began to race. My brain started banging around inside my head. My thoughts were flying fast. I was trying desperately to keep up with their conversation.

At some point, I interrupted their conversation, and began to argue with my father, over..? It had something to do with politics… really? Nothing, it was over nothing. Yet, it was an argument over everything!

He became irritated and ask me to leave.

I did.

About a week later, he shot himself.

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