Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Gotta Live With It
New Year's Eve, 1992. I was 18. At this point in life, I still lived at home, and had to follow the house rules. My friend John was having a New Year's party, his parents were out of town. I wanted to go. Everyone was sleeping there. It would be a cold day in hell before one of my father's daughter's slept at a boys house for any reason what-so-ever. I remember my sister called once during a bad snow storm, asking if she could spend the night at her boyfriend's house, and she would sleep on the couch, and he could talk to his parents. Within moments, he was in the car, going to pick his daughter up in the storm. Anyway, I asked, and he said no, of course. At this point he was bed ridden, and at home. He also asked me to stay home, because this was going to be his last New Year. In a playful way. Every holiday was his last, that was how he tried to keep us home safe. He was saying this for years and years. Maybe this year, he really meant it. As an 18 year old snotty bratty teenager, I took advantage of the situation because I knew my father was weak, and he couldn't do anything about it. I left him that night. I went to the party. I also twisted the knife, and I slept there. You know what? That WAS his last New Year. He died April 8th, 1992. When I came home the next day and went in to see him, far worse than getting yelled at, or punished, he completely ignored me. Wouldn't even look my way. And he did so for about a week. That was the worst punishment I could have ever gotten from him. I was definitely one of those children that couldn't bare disappointing my father. My mother? I could live with that. But not my Daddy. The party? It sucked. Do I remember it even? Not really. Was it worth it? Heck no. Now I have to live with it for the rest of my life. Every year around this time I can hear him saying "Stay home with me, this is my last New Year's." I hope there is a lesson learned here in this post. Always put your loved ones first. Nothing else is more important. Don't do things where they are concerned that you may regret for the rest of your life. Even if it seems like a burden sometimes, just do it. I know first hand how it feels to live with regret. It's horrible. He eventually forgave me, and we were fine. I was there when he took his last breath. But I'll never forget how I treated him this day. I will never make the same mistake again.