Wednesday was the five-year anniversary of my father’s passing. I’ve been particularly heavyhearted about it and wanted to take the day off work so I wouldn’t have to subject anyone at The Day Job to my mournful mood. Someday, I’ll be able to do something like that, but I have too much to do at work now to take a day for such a self-indulgent reason. Daddy would have never taken a day off unless he were on Death’s door.
This attitude is how I ended up with Chronic Kidney Disease in the first place.
I should have figured out how to take the day off. While I worked and I got many things done, what I didn’t get done is taking care of myself. That’s something that has to be a priority. I love what I do for pay, and the people I work with are great people, but if I don’t take care of my needs, I’m going to work myself into an early grave.
Just like my father did. I have apparently learned nothing.
My youngest sister said that the last coherent thing Daddy said was, “it’s not. fair.”
He worked through disability and constant pain because the alternative was worse. Poverty. The same poverty we fought anyway because the iron industry collapsed in the 80s. He always deferred the things he wanted because he was trying to take care of all of us, to be a good provider, and a good dad.
He wanted to travel someday. Someday never came. He took early retirement because he became too sick to work and passed away at 67. He never got to travel. He never got to do any of the things that he wanted to do.
I’m doing the same things to myself. It needs to stop.
Amongst my contemplations tonight, I realized this year is my thirtieth high school reunion. I’m not planning to attend. I haven’t attended any of them. Why break a perfect record?
And yet I have a dark sort of melancholy that kind of wants to go. I have no idea why. High school was, in fact, the most miserable time of my life, and that’s counting the root canal without proper anesthesia, ex-fiance number two trying to kill the both of us in a fiery crash when we were breaking up, and learning that I have kidney disease. Apparently, I’ve hit the level of pathos that needs the bolstering that the schadenfreude from the fact that everyone has the same general level of bathos as my life can bring.
I almost gave in and bought a ticket. I split the difference by Facebook stalking the reunion group and website instead. So few people are attending this year. The MIA list is several times longer than the confirmed attendee list (and includes me.) I’ve intentionally stayed off the radar.
Most of the people I’d want to actually see are on the MIA list with me. Birds of a feather I guess. I hope they’re doing well.
So much time has passed. So many opportunities have been missed? So what am I going to do about it?
I don’t know, but I have never felt so old.