Magpie 32

my grandmother is out there.  somewhere.  close by but terribly far away.  always counting the seconds til her demise.  my father did that as well.  ‘hopefully i’ll be dead soon’, they both would say.

hypochondria is a motherfucker.

i grew up with it affecting my life by listening to his woes.  seven years old and hearing about his aches and pains.  the father who cried wolf.  my heart would be heavy after walking the floors of the little crooked house.

someday i knew he would die.  he reminded me of his unhappiness.  regularly.

she wasn’t much different.  this woman – a nurse – who gave him life, was resigned to her own demise.

he went first.

she is a shadow and a memory of him and i can’t open my eyes.  i’m scared as hell as the last time i saw her i fell apart on the walk home.  i can’t look at her without seeing him.  this is what death does to people.  constant reminder.

i was the first grandchild and child of the oldest child.  i can see him so distinctly in my mind, his stained glass in the window, his booming voice, his imposing figure.  the last time we were in her house we took a walk.  i blanked out my ears as the talk started, opening up again after the woe-is-me ended.

when someone is a hypochondriac you want them to see you desperately.  when he laid there in the morphine pool, i caressed his thick black hair and kissed his cool sweaty forehead that i can still smell to this day.  the smell of my father’s skin.  i lost him the next day.

his wish was fulfilled.
but what about the rest of us/


21 thoughts on “Magpie 32

  1. The predictable fate. My father in law was such an hypocondriac yet was dismayed when death arrived. I wonder if he only pretended this “I will die soon business” to fend off bad luck.


  2. I can feel your pain. It seems it really came to a head for you when he was finally gone. Maybe because you never got the answers you were looking for or an apology or shown love from him in the way you wanted. And now that he is gone, you feel you will never get this.
    What i have learned, though, is that people have their own shit and their own pain and it has nothing to do with you. He just did what he knows. I am sure it is hard when you, the child, is burden with needing to give nurturing to those that should be giving it to you. But as we grow older I think we learn that our parents are just people with their own set of fucked up problems and their behaviours/choices were no reflection of you:)

    I believe writing through your feelings will help heal too. I know it does for me.


  3. I know of which you speak…the Dad who cried wolf..gone now…what was he thinking??? We were left hurting not him. A permanent fix for a temporary problem. Nice work here.


  4. My stepfather's mother, who dined with us once a week, was like that. Her beginning to nearly all statements was, When Iah dah…. She was a Southern belle and when she said I die it sounded like Iah dah, which made my sis and me hysterical so we would be stifling our laughter into the palms of our hands until my mother would gesture for us to leave the room, after which we'd race to one of our bedrooms, toss ourselves onto the bed, and laugh our heads off about the old pain in the ass. I realize now that her accent was a blessing in that the event was funny to us with no lasting side effects as the dad in your piece (yours? fiction?) left behind.


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