My father has cancer. There’s something most people, going about their life, never think they’ll say. His first blood tests showed that the problem “wasn’t cancer”, and he was put on a two year public waiting list to find out what it was. Fortunately my mother listened to her strong intuition and convinced my father to pay to have the tests done through the private system. Whenever anyone mentions paying for anything, my father is not a happy person, but he seen became very grateful indeed when those tests saved his life. We now knows he needs to have chemo, but we don’t know when that is to start. It seems like every appointment is just an appointment to book the next appointment.
For a long time I’ve not had a good relationship with my father. It’s always seemed to me that everything I really loved about him was taken away from me when I was nine years old and he started working on the oil rigs, out in the desert.
Before that, I think my dad was my favourite person. I spent every night cuddled up to him on the couch, until my mean, mean mummy pried me off him and put me in bed. I spent every Sunday at the beach with him, every day after school I watched the clock for when he was going to walk in the door. My poor mother! I only ever wanted to talk to daddy, play with daddy. My daddy loved me for who I was.
It was August 1996 the first time my daddy went away to work. My mum, aunty, uncle (who also worked on the rigs), a friend of my aunty, aunty’s dog and me all got in the van late at night and drove to Brisbane. It was two in the morning when we arrived. The ground was covered in a fog so thick and white that nobody could see anything around them. My aunty was trying to make me feel better about my daddy going away. She told me about all the “girl” things I could do with mum (never mind that I hate most “girl” things), she sang songs with me, I played with the dog. Three in the morning, the fog had lifted slightly. My dad and uncle went over and got on the plane. I cried. Howled, actually. Set the dog off. The main problem, however, came a month later. Dad was away for three weeks, and then he came home. Things really hadn’t been explained to me properly, and I thought dad would be away for three weeks just the once. It was a week later just mum, dad and I were in the car going back so my daddy could leave again. This came as a great shock to me.
It’s just occurred to me that the little dog, my uncle and my aunty’s friend who came with us on that first trip have all died.
Over the next few years, my dad was away a lot more than he was home. When he was home, he was tired. There was no time for me.
Over time, he started to resent me for being quiet, for being gentle. He also became angry with me for having opinions and speaking my mind. My father, still to this day views me and my mother as his property, which leads to much unpleasantness.
All of this aside, my daddy is sick, and it makes me sad.
I just wanted you to know.
Signed with love,
The Pretty Kitty.