June 29, 2012
These past few weeks have been tough; the toughest I’ve ever had to go through.
I thought the feeling of losing my mom would never pass. Seeing my dad this way . . . it’s just as bad. Maybe even worse. Losing my mom was quick; it happened in an instant. The pain of it lasts forever, though.
Watching my dad endure the chemo . . . it’s the worst thing to have to witness. Seeing him hunched over the toilet puking his guts out; watching his hair fall out. I’ve cried, threw tantrums, phased for longer periods of time.
Nessie doesn’t know what to do.
She came as soon as she heard the news and has been helping me with dad. It’s comforting to have her here. I can tell she’s just as terrified as I am, though. She’s never lost someone before, so this pain is a whole new world to her. Her whole family is frozen in time — they’ll never leave her. My dad was like a grandpa to her; the older figure who’s wise, and who let her sit on his lap while he told her stories when she was a young kid.
The realization that it might disappear is settling in now and she doesn’t know how to handle it. It’s hard for her to grasp the fact that he won’t live forever. Quite frankly, it’s hard for me to grasp, too. I never fathomed the thought of losing my father. I thought my mother was too much for me to ever deal with. I don’t think I have enough strength in me to control the emotions of losing him too.
Carlisle has been doing everything he can. He explained to me the overall chances of survival in pancreatic cancer. It doesn’t look good at all.
Since he’s no longer a candidate for surgery, they have to rely on the chemo to pull him through. They don’t want to do radiation because that along with the amount of chemo they’re giving him could be potentially harmful. So if the chemo doesn’t work, they’re going to try radiation. Carlisle still wants to try surgery, but my dad said no. I know he’s tired of being sick, of feeling weak. He’s such a prideful man, and I think it embarrasses him to be sick like this in front of me. I feel bad about it, but I’m not going to leave him just because of that. I have to be here to take care of him.
Dad was with me through everything. When mom died. When Bella broke my heart. When I started phasing. When I imprinted. He’s been the only constant — the one person that was always there no matter what. So I have to be there for him. At the same time, though, I’ve never felt more helpless. I might be acting strong for him, but in all truth, I am falling apart. Day by day, it gets harder on me.
I hardly sleep anymore. I’ve lost my appetite. I can’t seem to genuinely smile. Is this what Bella felt when Edward left her? At the time, I didn’t understand their bond. I do now though. It’s as strong as imprinting would be. It runs deep. They are made for each other. I can’t imagine going without Ness for that long. Feeling so torn is the worst.
I miss being happy.
This morning, Dad decided he wanted to go visit La Push. It was actually really sunny outside, and a bit warm. So I agreed and packed some stuff for the trip before calling up the boys to join us. I didn’t know how warm the water would be, but it didn’t really matter. It’s not like it affects me anyway.
So Nessie put on her cute little green ruffly bikini thing, and I put on some swim trunks and a hat with some sunglasses, then we were out the door. After I stuffed everything in the car, I secured Dad in the back. Ness buckled up in the front. The drive to the beach was actually pretty enjoyable. We played the oldies station and Dad sang along with Ness clapping to the beat as I tapped fingers against the steering wheel.
The guys were already there when we pulled up. They were throwing the football around, and Seth was skim boarding. I took all of the stuff down to the sand, stopping short of the pebbles lining the shoreline. As soon as I placed everything down, I set up a chair and stuck the umbrella in the sand for Dad. Ness was carrying the towels down and I walked back up to the car to get Dad. I carried him bridal-style down to the chair I set up, and sat him down carefully.
“Jesus Christ, Jake. I’m not a china doll,” he muttered, but I just rolled my eyes. He’s precious cargo now.
I laid out a couple of towels and took my tank top off. The sun was beaming down on my back and I enjoyed the warmth. Today was one of the rare days that La Push beach actually felt like a beach. Dad slipped on his aviators, and I looked to the water.
The waves didn’t look too rough so I took off my hat, ready to go in.
I looked over to see Nessie taking off her cotton shorts and my eyes raked over her body. This reminded me of how much I missed admiring it. I licked my lips and that was met with a smug look from her, then a wink, before she ran into the water. I gazed after her and then sprinted in behind her, grabbing her waist and twirling her around. She squealed and wriggled out of my arms then waded deeper in, luring me out farther.
“You’re like one of those mermaids who tricks men into going deep into the water, and then drowns them,” I told her. She giggled.
“You mean Sirens?”she implored.
“Yeah, those,” I agreed. She rolled her eyes and I growled.
“I won’t let you drown me though!”
Her eyes widened, and I grabbed her around her waist again then dove under the crisp water. I shot through the water with the power of a missile. After a few seconds, I pushed off the bottom with my feet and we shot up.
She was laughing as she wrapped her legs around my hips and her arms around my neck.
“I love you, Jake,” she said, kissing my nose. I caught her mouth and pulled her under. Chicks dig that underwater kissing, right?
We swam together for a while and then I noticed my dad watching me. He was smiling, and he looked really happy. This made me realize something: my dad wants me to be happy. Just like any parent, he’s happy when his kid is happy. This might be a tough time for me — but I need to enjoy the moment. I need to make the very best of the time we have together. For him.
After spending the day at the beach, we went back home and I helped Dad shower while Ness went to sleep. Me and him talked like the old days. I didn’t act sad, or angry. I acted like I did before I found out. He noticed it, too. I know it made him happy. That epiphany I had at the beach today showed me. That’s my job from now on – to make sure Dad enjoys the rest of his time here, and to make sure he knows I am too.
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