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I hate this time of year.

It’s not just the fact that my birthday is drawing near, or the fact that this year I’ll actually turn 30.  True, there is a part of me that recoils away from that number, but looking around I know I won’t get much sympathy.  Some of my friends have already passed this point, and most of the people I work with are at least 7 years older than me (in my area I’m still counted as “the young one”).   ::dark chuckle::  And really, what are my options anyway?  Life is a forward-only trip.

No, this is the time of year when my thoughts inevitibly slide back to a point in time 4 years ago:  March 7th, 2005.  Good grief, has it really been that long?  Time really does have a way of just moving along whether or not you want it to.  ::sigh::  I think what catches me each year is the fact that my father’s death happened so close to my birthday.   Now I can’t think of one without thinking of the other.  And no matter how hard I try, I do think about it.

Oh, there’s the normal things that I think of, reminescing about certain events, or just the feeling of being around such a strong person of both faith and will (a strength that I don’t think I could ever match), a person who was so intelligent but hid it behind a easy, humble manner.  While my father wasn’t a perfect person (sometimes in my youth he seemed far from it), just the memory of him and his indomitable spirit gives me some comfort as I look to the times ahead.  I say to myself, if he could do it, I should be able to do it as well.

But there are other things that I think about which fill me with regret, which almost make me ashamed.  Why?  It’s not just because I wish he were still around, but it’s because I never got to truly ask him how he did it, how he made it all that time on dialysis while others failed around him.  He lasted years longer than other people in his unit, and he did it with a smile on his face.  I know, I know, while he was alive it wasn’t something I thought I’d ever really need to know.  I didn’t find out about my CKD until late 2007, over 2 years later.  And a part of me is truly glad that I found out after his death, because I know it was a comfort to him that he believed neither of his sons would have to go through what he did.

But there is a selfish part of me that wishes he were still around so I could talk to him about this.  How did he do it?  How did he keep going?  Why?  I personally hate going in to have a simple blood draw done; I’ve seen what dialysis is like, and the thought of having that done 3 times a week petrifies me.  How did my dad find the strength to do that for 24 years?

::sigh::  I’m sure family had something to do with that.  I was just a year old when my father started dialysis, and my brother is 18 months older than I am.  And my father had friends around to support him as well.  The answer could be that simple: support of family and friends, and having a purpose in life.  But to be able to talk to him one on one about this…..  ::sigh::  It would have been nice.

But even if I couldn’t ask him a thing…. no, it’s not right to wish him back.  Not to really wish him back.  He was suffering for those last couple of months, and I know the peace he has now he earned, so it wouldn’t be right to take him away from that.

But still….  ::sigh::  I miss you, dad.  I miss you.

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