A voice at the back of my mind said, This is his illness–you can’t take it personally. But even so, I felt hurt by his crying.
I called on a caregiver for support and revealed my confusion. I already felt I’d betrayed Dad by putting him in care, although it was the best place for him.
I didn’t stay long that day because I couldn’t stop his tears, maybe because he needed to cry that day more than anything else. I don’t know what was behind the tears, what pain he was feeling, but Dad’s illness left him struggling to speak coherently. Yet I have never known someone to be so loved, with so many visitors constantly at his bedside.
In some ways, his tears released a sadness in me, about the things in my life that I wanted to to change for the better. I knew that Dad had always been there for me, wanted the best for me. I wondered if I was a daughter whom Dad could be proud of, whom he was glad to have visiting him. I also wondered who I would talk to, now that Dad was the one needing my help. He had helped me so many times in the past, with just a word or two of advice.
I learned to take one day at a time.