While I'm excited that everyone wants to hear about my trip, and I promise I will write about it, this has to come first.
I always joke around with my mother that I don't feel guilt. To some extent, I don't. She feels guilty about all the little things, guilt that she's not at work, guilt that she's not at home, guilt that her husband is dying and she wishes it would happen faster.
Maybe the last one is something I feel and project onto her. But I don't guilty about things like that, don't feel guilty that I don't care if my father lives or dies.
My father has a disease. He stopped taking the medication that doctors prescribed because it wasn't working, and he thought they were trying to kill him (paranoia is a side effect). Now he takes alternative medicine, and it's not helping. He is withering away.
I came home from a perfectly wonderful lunch at a lavish old castle with two fabulous old hens, an aunt, and my cousin (whom I have always considered as a brother codename:ladybug), to find a family visiting with my father. The mother is not ill, but her grown daughter has chronic pain, and her husband has the same illness as my father.
I listen quietly, fiddling with cans and cupboards in the background as he paints the future for this couple. A future where neither of them are in pain, where both can walk, run, jump and play like normal people.
And I feel guilt. I feel guilt as he convinces these people of the impossible. Feel guilt as he sits there in his chair, ashen, withering, and shriveled, and leads this couple to their deaths. In my head, I want to arrest him for murder. For surely, if her husband stops taking his medication he will deteriorate and die.
As I they say their goodbyes, I walk the nice family to their car and pull the husband aside, "The medication works. My father has gone downhill so quickly since he stopped. Try the silver as well, try it, but don't stop the injections so long as you want to live." I can see his eyes darken as he takes in what I say, measures the weight and gravity in his head. He nods and looks at his wife, sitting in the car waiting, when he looks back at me I recognize his wan smile as one I've seen in the mirror too many times, and I know he won't stop the injections. Yet even as I get the mail and walk back into the house, the guilt knots in my stomach, and behind my eyes, I see the lovely husband and wife rot and decay.