He always loved his gin in the morning, noon, and night; it came to him like water and it was impossible for him to leave home without it. No one could ever sway him from his essential life fluid. It wouldn?t matter whether you cried, pleaded, or begged on your two knees, he would not stop. He only started to drink this much when he was 35 and I was about 9 at the time, no one could explain this drastic change in him. Before, he used to drink often but now, it?s just crazy how much he drinks. Also, when he did this he stayed more to himself than usual.
His routine was mapped the same way day after day- go to work, come home, drink, eat, and sleep. Talking became alien to us because my mom and I was angry at him for not wanting to take care of himself better and he was angry with us for putting so much pressure on him to find out what?s wrong. Anyone was lucky if they see a smile on our faces at any point because there were barely any happy moments and there was constant fighting. Arguments took over any type of talking we had to have with each other. After a while, it didn?t matter if we tried to talk because it seemed as if we all fixed our schedules so we only had to spend as little time as possible with one another with the exception of having someone in the house in case of an emergency when he became sick.
I could see the pain my mom was going through around this time. She was such a cheerful woman who always used to come home with a smile no matter how hard her day was. Now, all you saw was sadness as if someone just killed her soul. She seemed like she wanted to cry each time she stepped into the house. Her mind seemed to drift when she came home like she was in a coma. I knew she didn?t want to live this life anymore by the way she dragged herself into the house, by the way she talks with dreariness and by her glassy eyes whenever she loked at me.
For almost a year before we found out about his illness, we had to cope with dealing with the continuous pains he used to have around his stomach area. During his sick spells, he constantly vomited and basically screamed for his dear life because of the strain it was putting on his heart. His screams were so loud our neighbors once had to come over to see what was going on with the thought that someone was being tortured. The doctor said he didn?t know how he was still alive today because he barely had a liver to live on and with the continued strain on his heart, he should be dead right now.
He never wanted to go to the hospital even though we tried to sign him in but without the persons? consent; there was no way for the hospital to keep him. The last time we tried, we rushed him to the hospital in the middle of the night because he was coughing up blood, which was the first time then. The hospital took him in and kept him overnight. Our doctor wanted to keep him there to try to help his symptoms and we acknowledged for the permission to keep him. But apparently, my father had no intentions on staying because when my mother and I came home from work the next day, we saw him lying on his bed nonchalantly watching television with a drink in his hand.
Then came December 29th, 1991, he?s been in the same condition over the year and grown worse. His skin color has gotten pale and his body weight dropped a drastic 43 pounds. He was barely capable of talking or walking on his own two feet. My grandmother, who was his mother, could barely stay with him for an entire five minutes without crying because all anyone could see in his face then was the pain he had gone through. Today and throughout the night, we didn?t get any rest because his pains got stronger and stronger. He was vomiting blood and actually had blood tears from his eyes. His eyes became bloodshot and his veins were outlined through his skin through the stress it was causing on him. We had no choice but to take him to the hospital, he didn?t have much choice since he couldn?t talk through his screams.
When we arrived at the hospital, we checked him in and he ended up in the intensive care unit. After one day, the doctor?s ran tests as to what was wrong with his condition and came to my grandparents and mom with the results. The doctor told them that my father had an advanced stage of liver cancer, which had spread through his liver for at least 18 months before we found out. We saw the effects of the cancer had on his stomach when they showed us a picture of it. His stomach?s lining didn?t exist anymore; there were remnants of white spots, which was what remained of his stomach. The doctor said since his stomach was so distorted, it affected the foods he took in. My father knew about it before we did since he went for a checkup about over a year ago, and I guess it would explain why he pushed us so far from him and started to keep the bottle so close to him.
My dad was a drunk but he was a drunk that was a fighter. It could sound stupid but that?s the way he has always been this way. He?s a person that could never give up at anything he did. When he knew he loss a game, he kept playing that game until he won his opponent in Nintendo. When he got these pains, he had to hold on to something to relieve the pain, which was usually my hand. If I saw into his eyes, I always saw my old father that was fighting to hold on to us and would not give up; I guess that?s why he?s still pushing himself today. I hoped he would stop after he came from the hospital but he didn?t.
He stayed in the hospital for two months and promised he wouldn?t drink anymore or at least try to stop. We believed him and hoped he would start taking the treatments. He cut back his working ours when he went back out and was suppose to go to the hospital every Friday to get his treatment. It was a lot of fun to have a family again at the time, we actually started to talk to each other and updating each other as to what is going on at work, school, and in the family. Everything seemed to be relaxed and normal between the three of us but that didn?t last very long. From what I know, he started to drink again after 3 months.
How did I find out he was drinking? Well, that was interesting for me to find out. I came home from junior high on a half-day and no one knew about it. The time could have been around 12-12:30pm, the time when my dad should of been at the hospital taking care of himself but to my surprise and disgrace, I found him at home having drinks and blasting music like there was no tomorrow. He tried to explain to me what he was doing but he couldn?t even try to do that because he kept saying things what a normal drunk would say at this moment- gibberish. He was awake when my mom came home from work and she figured out what happened as soon as she saw his face and without a word she walked back out the house. He could have done this for any amount of time and we would never have found out since he?s always asleep when we came home.
Up to today, I don?t think he still knows what he has done to me and my mom. I realized from that day that I could never trust him again. I could see how he hurt my mother just by looking in her eyes. She felt betrayed just like I did, he played us both for fools and I don?t think he regrets it to this day. My reason for saying that is simply because he hasn?t even made an effort to show some type of remorse of what he did. He killed a part of me that day which has stuck with me and because of this our house has returned to a state of war. No one has spoken to each other since we found out. It has become like three strangers living under one roof who are stuck with each other whether we like it or not.