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Fuck Today

The only good thing about today was being at work, oddly enough, and seeing the regular gym goers that I've gotten to know over the past week. It was nice having them (and my coworkers) tell me how good of a job I was doing as it was my "first" day (I've obviously been working all week, but today was my first shift by myself).

But other than that, today sucks. Why? Well a few reasons.

Father's Day. My father isn't around, really. He hasn't been for a long time. He left when I was 7 or so, maybe younger. He's bipolar, a coke addict and an alcoholic and was physically and emotionally abusive to me, my mom and my sister for years. When I was in high school I'd often get drunken phone calls from him on holidays and whatnot. Good times. He doesn't know when my birthday is and hasn't for years, and has no qualms about making me feel guilty about everything - that I deserted him. He does it to everyone as he cannot take responsibility for his own life or actions. He usually disappears for months at a time and shows up every once in a while via text or phone call, and I wish he'd leave me alone completely. My mom and my aunt (his sister) have told him repeatedly to leave me alone, that he had his chance to be a dad and I don't want him in my life, but he doesn't care. Every time he calls me, I revert back to a child who's waiting at the door for my dad to come pick me up for the weekend, even though I know he's not coming. He would do that all the time when I was little. My aunt would often come get me when he bailed (usually without even a phone call to let me or my mom know) because I had plans to see her and my grandma for the weekend. My aunt is the best and I've always been grateful that she's taken my and my mother's side in this.


But today gets better. Even though my father wasn't around, my uncles (mom's brothers) and grandpa were. Bear with me here cuz I might start rambling. I used to be super close with 2 of my uncles (I had 4) and was on good terms with the other two. As time went on and family drama escalated, my uncles and their wives disappeared. I rarely hear from them unless it's to complain about me or my mom or guilt trip me into not visiting my younger cousins (I'm 22, don't drive, a full time college student and I live in Brooklyn. They're all adults who drive and live in New Jersey or Long Island. I've never refused to see my cousins when they come into Brooklyn, but if you want me to see them then bring them to me as I obviously do not have the time or money to get to you). Also, since my grandpa passed away in October, they've been useless. Me, my mom, my sister and BIL have been taking care of everything. We took care of the house when it was destroyed in Sandy (and are still taking care of it), my mother and I took my grandma in to our 2 bedroom apartment (I have to share a bed with my mom since we don't have space), my mom has been doing EVERYTHING. Not once - ONCE - have any of my uncles offered to help in any way, shape or form. And if my grandma asks to see them or asks if they can take her somewhere, they call my mom complaining because "she lives with you, YOU do it." I repeat, they're all adults. Married adults. And 3 of them have children. So we're not talking about teenagers here.

And there's grandpa. I miss him so fucking much I can't even put it into words. He was my dad my whole life. He was absolutely amazing. My mom worked long hours when I was a kid, so until I hit high school age, he'd pick me up from school every day (never missed a day) and walked me home. On the way home, we passed a cherry blossom tree, and he'd pick me the blossoms from it or pick me cherries if they were grown in. He taught me how to garden and fix things around the house. One time on a walk home from school, I tripped and hurt my ankle and he carried me the rest of the way home. He always made me laugh. We never actively talked about my life or problems, but he never had to ask - he always knew what was going on and how to fix it. He was 5'9" or so and super skinny, but was strong as an ox until the day he died. He used to wear the most obnoxious, colorful clothing - plaid shorts in one color with a plaid shirt in another, bright Hawaiian shirts, knee high colorful socks, bright red pants. His wardrobe was never boring. When I moved into my apartment by myself, he stayed with me the whole day and helped me unpack and took care of everything when the movers and cable guys came in and out. I got his coloring, too - dark auburn hair and freckles. When my grandma had a stroke, he didn't leave her side ONCE. He loved her so much. He worked his whole life and that's where I got my work ethic. He was truck driver for many, many years. He loved to do crossword puzzles and he loved to read. All of his books were in the basement when Sandy hit, and they got ruined. He was calm and comforting - whenever anyone was freaking out he'd just smirk and shrug and say "eh. Don't worry too much." I can still see his smirk in front of my face. He never gave up on anything or gave in to anything. One time, when I was 16 or so, he had a massive heart attack and didn't even notice. He was short of breath one day and decided to go to the doctor. Turned out he needed quadruple bypass surgery. He had it on Valentine's Day. The next day -NEXT DAY - he was like "I'm fine. I want to go home now." And he did. And he was fine. Because that was him.

He got diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2012. At first they thought it was nothing and he'd be ok, but it kept getting worse. He never smoked a day in his life. He was in great shape and walked everywhere, every day. The doctors gave him 6 months to a year. The cancer just started spreading everywhere so quickly. They didn't want to do chemo cuz it would have made him sicker, which is definitely true. Eventually it spread throughout his entire bone structure. He was about 110 lbs when he died. He couldn't walk, he couldn't eat, he could barely talk. For 7 months, I told him "you're fine. You're just a little sick. You're gonna be better" and whenever he saw me sad he said "I'm fine. I'm just a little sick. I'll be good to go in no time, don't worry!" We both knew the truth but refused to say it out loud. He died two days after Sandy, on Halloween. I never got to say goodbye. I just hope he's not angry with me for that.

But today gets even better. It's also my great grandma's birthday. Now she, she was fucking AWESOME. This woman - holy shit. She was a month short of 92 when she died, right? Had broken her hip a few times, was blind in one eye, had a few strokes, had colitis, fuck the list goes on. And she never - NEVER - asked for help. She cooked, she cleaned, she took a shower herself, she did everything herself. And she may have needed a cane but it didn't matter cuz she could do it herself and fuck anyone who said otherwise! She was such a feminist, too. She grew up in an ultra-religious Jewish household and got married at 16 to my great grandpa. I never met him, but everyone says he was absolutely amazing. And god did she love him so much. And she thanked him for "saving" her and giving her a new life. But she was resentful that she had to be saved, and she drilled into me to never need a man to save me, to save myself and be able to take care of myself. That love is glorious, and marriage to the one you love is amazing, but to never, ever be dependent on anyone else the way she had to be. Whenever I was sick, she'd made me homemade chicken soup - called it "Jewish Robitussin."


After my great-grandpa died, she kind of...couldn't wait to be with him again. When my mom was pregnant with me, she had a stroke and wanted to give up. My mom walked into the hospital room and told her "Grandpa has a name now. I'm pregnant" referring to Hebrew names. That brought her back to life. Another time, when I was, I want to say 13 or so, she had fallen down and hurt her hip. Again. And once again, she wanted to give up. She told me when she saw me come into the room, she knew she wanted to live. That I saved her life for the second time. She had a stroke at 91, and never got better. She gave up. She wanted to be with grandpa. If she hadn't given up, she would still be here - there's no doubt in my mind. Besides her age, doctors couldn't pinpoint why she died - she was completely healthy. They say she just lost the will to live. And I can't help but feel like I couldn't save her that time. I don't blame myself - she was 91, after all - but still.

So today sucks. And Prince Fluffybutt is seemingly in a mood. No question of "how'd your first day go." No comment of "I know how hard today is for you, is there anything I can do." Just nothing. Thanks, dear.


So now it's 10:36, and I'm crying and drinking cheap wine and waiting for today to end.

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