My Father

This is not a normal post for me. This post will not contain musing of witchcraft or thoughts on magic. It will contain the story of the current worst moment of my life.

Two days ago I sat on my parents couch with my brother and my sister  and listened as my father told us the results of his biopsy. Cancer.

Cancer. 

My father has cancer.

I stared numbly at his face that looks so much like mine, at his nose that I inherited and at his mouth that was spilling out words that were all at once murky and perfectly clear.

Aggressive cancer. Cancer that spreads. 

I ferociously bit the inside of my cheek, focusing on the pain of that and not the pain in my gut as he continued. I looked over at my brother who stared stony faced at the hardwood floor and my sister who was already crying. I am the oldest, I am their keeper, I cannot cry. My father is not even fifty-five. I am not even twenty-seven. How is this happening?

I tried to listen to my father, I tried to understand what the doctors had said and what tests he needed, but all I could think about were his massive forearms lifting me up onto his shoulders. I was thinking about how he’d make me lay down with him underneath his car so I could see how to change my own oil. I was thinking about holding his hand and all the times I yelled at him or rolled my eyes. I was thinking about each and every lie I had ever told him.

And quite suddenly I imagined the chair he was sitting in empty. And I imagined my parent’s house without him. And I imagined a world without him. And I imagined my life without him. And my mother’s life without him. And my brother’s life without him. And my sister’s life without him.

And then I cried. The type of crying you do when you’re a child and your whole face contorts in the ugliest way, with snot coming out of your nose. The hysterical sort of crying that hurts your mouth and your throat and you don’t know how to stop. My face twisted in agony, but inside I felt numb and as empty as this whole fucking world was going to feel without my father.

Then my father smiled at me with all the kindness that is in his giant heart because this was what he was the most worried about- telling us. He was afraid of our pain, he was worried about our suffering.

I don’t know what I’m going to do or what’s going to happen.