I’ve not written much in the last week, because to be honest, I’ve not had the emotional energy to write much. Last week was trying to say the least where I basically worked 6 days straight (not something I’ve done much of in the last 4 years). It was stressful and really really not worth it. On Saturday I missed 2 birthdays, falling asleep when an unexpected guest left, waking up, and then getting a phone call from my Dad to say that my suspicions had been confirmed…my Grandpa has been officially diagnosed with throat cancer.
This is where life gets strange.
Life as a ‘divorced kid’ seems to be affecting me more now that I’m in my twenties than it ever did during my childhood.
I don’t really know how to respond to this news that my Grandpa is (most likely) dying from cancer.
Firstly, my stepmother basically stopped my Dad seeing his family from when I was about 9 years old. After that point I never saw much of that set of grandparents, so I don’t really know them.
Secondly, I’ve ended up with several sets of grandparents. My Nana & Grandad and step-grandfather have all died in the last 6 years. The 2 grandfathers also died of this kind of cancer.
When my Dad called me a few weeks ago, and told me that ‘Grandpa hasn’t been very well’ and told me his symptoms, I knew immediately what was wrong. However, I’m not a doctor, so at the point I could not say ‘well, it sounds like he has cancer of his oesophagus and/or throat’. Because I might have been wrong. I wasn’t wrong. My Dad then asked me, just like my Mum asked me 6 years ago as my Nana lay in an ICU – ‘what does that mean?‘ – how can you tell your parents what’s going to come?
Of course, if my Dad and Mum had been married, he would have seen what happened to my Grandad and he’d know what is to come because he’d have seen it and been through it already.
But they aren’t.
And so I have seen it but he has not.
I have decided not to go and visit him. That may be the wrong decision, but certainly I don’t believe I have the strength or emotional energy to cope with being stuck miles from home with a family who do not know me, nor have they ever fought to get to know me even when I’ve made effort with them. I ended up having a massive argument with my Dad as he realised that I do not trust him and that I haven’t forgotten the things he has done in the past which he denies. I also do not have much respect for my grandfather knowing the abuse directed at my father most of his life.
What a mess.
One thing is for sure, and that is that the fathers in my family have made a huge mess of things, and it creates a domino effect down the generations.
I am one of five children – and none of us see or speak to our biological fathers often.
I just hope that if any of us have children of our own, we’ll be able to break the pattern.
Only time will tell I guess.
All I can do is pray. Pray that whatever happens over the coming weeks and months would bring our family closer together, changed for better and not for the worse.