When my Dad writes a generic email to all family members, humbly asking them to drop in on his birthday (tomorrow).
Because it means that he doesn’t think he will be around for the next one.
We had planned a family get together, with everybody else doing all the cooking, at his home on the weekend. He agreed, then changed his mind, saying he wasn’t up to it.
Then this email. It is superfluous, of course. None of the family would let this birthday pass by. But it hurts me to recognise that he reaches out because he must be scared that this will be his last and he wants to mark it. Not for him; never for him. I can detect my stepmama’s hand in this; telling him he has to do it for his children and for her.
What we are doing is trying to store up happy memories. I have these already and I know my Dad falls back on his store, just as I do on mine. I will be there, I would never not be there, but I just want him to relax and not think of others right now. He is posed, balancing, at a point that only he can work with and that gives him the right to relax and freefall, being true only to himself.
I hate this.