I flew down to Arizona and we found out a half hour after I landed that my dad had no hope. The next couple of weeks will be sad for me. He'd die on 2 November, his birthday.
His ranch was in bankruptcy. I got his two favorite Stetsons and the Romeros, who he told me that I had to see at least once in this lifetime. Is there anyone richer than I? My mom also sent me a couple of horse shoes that I asked her to send. One day they will go on my office wall.
I went down and vowed to be a doctor. In his last days he was having me tell him about medical schools and I told him that I'd have his picture up in my office. I wanted to impose his picture over a dark reflective surface so that when people asked me why I became a doctor I would show them the picture and they'd see their own reflection in it.
A year later I have been on the Dean's list twice. I am struggling this semester and don't know how I will do other than that my professors say, "Come on! You HAVE to pass!" when I tell them how tired I am and just want to give up. I will not be a doctor. I can do the science, but I lay awake at night thinking of how people speak and diagram their language. I get off on linguistics. I keep making A's on my papers that I write. I am a writer. I process science by writing about it. My dad just wanted me to finish my degree-- he didn't care if I became a doctor or not. Maybe one of my children will be a doctor. I still think it is the highest calling, but it's not mine.
I believe that my dad went to the Romeros concert with me. I think that when people die that they still pray for us and be with us. My dad and I grated on each other and I don't think he hangs with me, but he drops by every so often and maybe sees the grandkids that he never met. I can't say that I miss him. I dreaded calling him and my mother because he was always sarcastic and mean to me. Right after I had TeaCup, I was stressed out and my mother invited me to go be with her for a week. I didn't go because I knew that after 24 hours with my dad and most likely her, I'd feel suicidal if I couldn't get off their ranch. My dad had to be sick to be nice to me. I hate to admit that, but he did. He had to be at the point where time was limited and making jabs took too much energy.
Such is life. It's been a crazy year. I miss Arizona at this time of the year and when I stress out and need to relax, I think of using tongs to pick prickly pears off the cactus on his ranch, touching the warm rocks in Dragoon, and making jellies and enjoying the warm sun. I'd never seen a lizard before and when my dad was in his bed and we were alone, one was on his brick wall. I shrieked and called it an iguana as I'd never seen a lizard before. He couldn't laugh very easily but he had tears in his eyes from wanting to laugh-- I was pretty freaked out, then the cat saw it and pounced on it and ate it and I turned as green as the lizard. I think I was comic relief for him.