7: Ore Monogatari and Mourning My Dad

I mentioned a few days ago that my dad died recently. Well, this one’s sort of about that.

I started watching Ore Monogatari the day before yesterday (I’m writing early in the morning 12/19; I’m already up to episode 12). I was exercising and watching episodes (like you do), and damn if there isn’t an episode about Suna’s dad in the hospital.

I’ve already been crying a lot watching the show because it’s so sweet and earnest. But episode eight was pretty hard.

And then in episode nine they sit outside the operating room and wonder what’s going to happen; Suna thinks it’s his fault. He came home late from school to find his dad collapsed on the floor.

This year I have done that. I went into the room to find my father sprawled out on the floor because he couldn’t walk. He was in a hospital bed set up in our living room. And supposedly none of this had anything to do with his heart (two heart attacks) or his cancer (lung and brain). It was a skin infection that messed his legs up. So I came home for the weekend, excited for my upcoming wedding, not thinking that much about my dad’s illness, since it had been nearly a year. And yeah. I’ve been where Suna’s been.

But I’ve also been where Suna hasn’t had to go yet. I got the phone call that my dad had actually died. I thought about how I should have been there more, or talked on the phone more (even though I’ve interrupted dates to talk to my dad when he called).

In fact, yesterday evening I got pretty bad. I put on Christmas music. That wasn’t a mistake, but I sure wanted to type out that it was. It was — hard. That’s all. I want to do a longer post about all this, but it just so happens that this year — in these 12 days — I watched a show and felt not only what the character felt but what the character could feel. I know what the narrative is threatening, now. Father/son stories have been a big deal to me even before all this started, so I’m a sucker for them now. And I’ve been scared, for a long time, about the big thing that every father/son story threatens: that we’ll lose our fathers. Because we will.

Sometimes I forget that I can stop being scared about it, now.

This moment was one where I recognized Suna, and he was me. I’ve sat in those hospitals. I’ve slumped that slump, because I’m tired and sad but I can’t leave yet.

I don’t really have a clever way to end this one. Go say something nice to a family member or dear friend. Do it right now, before you decide you can do it later. It doesn’t have anything to do with this show. Suna spent time with his dad.

So did I. And I have my own life to live. But just go say something. Do it as a favor to me.

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