Thursday, October 20, 2016

Long may you run

As I've written before on this blog my late father suffered all his life with clinical depression and schizophrenia.  When I was 17, after years of pushing him away because his mental illness embarrassed me, he took his own life.  He hung himself in a closet in his small apartment in Ypsilanti, MI.  I found out he had taken his own life when my uncle, his brother, Curt called me after the police found dad's dead body.  Curt, who I had never met or spoken with before, because he had been in the California penal system most of his life and most all of my life up to that point, blithely told me that dad had committed suicide and in his next breath he told me that dad had hung himself.  I was speechless and on autopilot when I said something like, "Okay, thanks for calling."  I hung up and Curt must have felt bad for just blurting it out like that and he called back to offer some weak ass apology, which I accepted, though I was still in shock.  Most everyone in my family would have rejoiced but it was still hard for me to hear my dad, who I loved and missed, despite how I acted, was dead.  

It's hard to lose a parent when you're still relatively young.  I had already lost my mom when I was 10 and I saw my beloved big sister Linda get hit and killed by a car when I was 8.  Then to lose my dad who I hadn't spoken to in months because I was embarrassed to be around him because he was ill, and I was still living with and being treated like a third class citizen by my bi polar aunt and her bullying children.  It all hurt but I held it in and didn't talk to anyone because I was afraid to show any emotion or let anything out lest the wolves at home think I was weak.  

I bring up all this because I lost a friend the other day and he's got a son, Noah, a great kid I'm proud to call my friend, who is about the age I was when I lost my dad. My friend Bobby fought a battle with the bottle and his liver was the first loser.  Things looked up for him for a time when he was able to get treatment for his liver failure.  The doctors seemed upbeat and they released him under strict orders not to drink.  He seemed to be doing better after his release, he returned to Facebook and was looking forward to more time with his son.  But the damage must have been greater than the doctors thought because a few days ago he started having agonizing pain and so he went back in the hospital.  This time after tests the doctors said there wasn't mush they could do for him now and this past Tuesday evening Bobby passed away.  

His son was able to speak to him before he died and his last words to him were, "I love you."  His family was with him when they took Bobby off the ventilator and although it's a crushing loss because Bobby was in his mid forties, it was a comfort that they all could be with him at the end of his life. 

My heart goes out to his son and his widow.  It's a shame that my friend died so young and it's even worse that he won't be around to see his kid grow up and blaze his own way through life.  

Rest in peace Bobby.  Thank you for being my friend and for not letting me get away with my bullshit all the time.  But most of all thanks for being responsible for bringing your son Noah into the world. 

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