30 Days Of Truth: Day Seven

3 Nov

Day 07-Someone who has made your life worth living for.

The beeping from this machine grates against my soul. I know it’s coming. Without fail, every ten seconds, the beep will come. It’s no longer an annoyance. It has become something I fear, something I hate. Deep inside, I know it is helping me. The constant flow of chemicals it pumps directly into my body allow me to live one more day. But still, the pain is still indescribable. The sickness fills my body and rapes my soul. I want to quit. I want to just give up. But I can’t.

I know she will be back soon. With her haunting smile and assortment of needles, she’ll have to replace this I.V. again. I know it’s time. I can feel it leaking down my arm. I can see the blood mixing with the saline and pharmaceuticals. She tries to calm me as I start to cry. That’s all I can do anymore. As I drift in and out of consciousness, the tears roll down my cheeks. Here I am, a grown ass man, reduced to tears. It’s the only emotion I have left. Everything else has been taken from me. Tomorrow will come. No matter how much I wish it wouldn’t, there’s no stopping time. So I just cry. The tears are all I have left.

The nights are the worst. My mind is alive with a flurry of terror. I want to scream, but all I can muster is a failing whimper. My eyes strain to focus in the pitch black darkness as I look around to see if I am alone. I’m sure she’ll be back soon. It’s been a few hours since I’ve heard a voice from the stillness of the night. Right on schedule, I hear the click of the door latch. Without warning the blinding darkness is immediately replaced with searing fluorescent light. With a methodical precision, I am poked, prodded, and heavily medicated. As the morphine flows freely through my veins, I let go. Tomorrow will come. As much as I fear it, it will come.

The needles pierce my skin. The numerous cold stethoscopes assault my body. The otoscopes invade my ears. The radiation blasts through my body. No matter what they do to me, I can’t convey the hell I am experiencing. I just cry. My body limp, my soul gone. I just cry. As I lay flat on my back to ensure the spinal fluid doesn’t leak out the hole they placed in my spine, I wonder if this is it. Have I reached my end?

And then I heard his voice.

“Hi, daddy.”

I felt his warm little hand reach out and brush my arm. In that moment, I felt no pain. I could see the bewilderment in his eyes as he tried to make out just what was going on with me. He knew I was sick. That wasn’t a secret to him. But seeing the tubes and machines hooked up to me must have been a shock to his psyche. I wanted dearly to protect him from seeing me like that, but I didn’t need to. The smiles and hugs broke through my medically induced haze. Without hesitation, stories of his past week flooded the room. He wasn’t really phased by a thing. He just wanted to hug me, tell me how much he missed me, and tell me what he did at school last week. For a moment, I forgot about everything. It was just him and me trapped in a moment of normalcy.


It’s a funny word. But when you have gone through hell, you plead for normalcy again. Just a little taste of it was all I needed. I needed to know what was on the other side looking in. His little sister was at home waiting. She was merely months old and I was missing out on precious time. Time I couldn’t get back. I had missed half of her life on this planet. As I heard him say goodbye and close the door behind him, I was at peace. No matter what I had to go through to get home again, I would do it. Instantly, my pain turned into an anger. I knew I was missing out. I wasn’t going to let this thing beat me down any longer. More determined than ever, I sat up in my hospital bed for the first time in days. I knew tomorrow would come. And for once I wasn’t afraid of it.


28 Responses to “30 Days Of Truth: Day Seven”

  1. HO November 3, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    “Normal” is an amazing and joyful thing! “Normal” those things we take for granted until they are suddenly out of reach! “Normal” what we crave when it’s gone. For those people that don’t appreciate the “normal” of life I say – the grass isn’t greener, it is just a different shade, one you might not be prepared for. Keep loving your normal T!

  2. Julie @ The Mom Slant November 3, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    You are an amazing writer, and I am a blotchy, snotty, tear-streaked mess.

    • TJ November 3, 2010 at 11:36 am #

      Fuck. Thank you so much, Julie. Big time compliment coming from you.

  3. Dysfunction Junction November 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Those damn amazing kids…just when you think the world couldn’t get more complicated, more awful, they’re there.

    All our faults disappear because in the end, they just want to love you and be loved back and nothing else matters to them. You’re their Dad. And you’re there.

  4. Jen O. November 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Fucking good. I wish this were fiction. A creative writing exercise. But it’s not. I’m sorry you had to go through this; have to continue to go through it. I’m glad your son and daughter are here to save you.

  5. Roberta November 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    That was so well done. Excellent, and tear jerking. Thanks.

    • TJ November 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      No crying! Damn! :) Maybe I should put a disclaimer about possible tear production?

  6. TwoBusy November 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Damn, that was good.

    • TJ November 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks, man. Much appreciated.

  7. Lisa November 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    This is such a powerful piece of incredible writing. Thank you for sharing it.

    • TJ November 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words. I am completely humbled.

  8. badassonpaper November 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Know what’s ironic about this? Just this morning when I was taking him to school he was talking about “when Daddy was really sick” and I asked him if he remembered when we came to visit you in the hospital. He said yes and I asked what he remembered. His answer? That the nurse gave him a popsicle :) Kids are amazing. He has no sadness or fear associated with that time.

  9. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah November 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    You totally just made me cry.

    Aren’t kids the greatest?

  10. flutter November 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Jesus. Tj, this was so amazing and honestly you just made me bawl. You have such a gift.

    • TJ November 4, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      The best fucking writer I know? You, Christine. For realz. No joke. You put me to shame. You are THAT good. So for you to call me those nice things? HUGE confidence booster.

  11. andygirl November 4, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    you are such a brilliant writer. I wish you didn’t have such poignant material, but whatever you write, you write the hell out of it. I’m so so bummed you’re going through this. but I’m glad you have a family who loves you.

    you are a master storyteller. you have to know that! keep writing, writing, writing.

    • TJ November 4, 2010 at 11:41 am #

      Damn, Andy. I certainly don’t think those things about myself, but I fucking appreciate every single word.

  12. Rebecca November 4, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    This is a great piece. My own mother was dx with cancer when I was only 3 months old and given 6 months to live. She told the doctors that she didn’t have time to die because she was a single mother with a baby to raise. She fought that brain tumor for 4 years! An unheard of amount of time. Because of that I have some memories of my mom. Some are of her hooked up to machines and tubes, but others are of catching frogs and dancing in the rain. Your son may remember some of the not so good things, but he’ll cherish the good memories.

    • TJ November 4, 2010 at 11:40 am #

      Thanks, Rebecca. It’s nice to see you commenting again!

  13. Holmes November 4, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Goddamn, dude. I’m sorry you’ve gotta deal with this shit, but glad you have such a great reason to do so. Respect.

    • TJ November 4, 2010 at 11:40 am #

      Fuck, man. Thanks. I really appreciate it. Truly.

    • TJ November 5, 2010 at 10:03 am #

      Holy shit, Schmutzie! Thank you so much. I have no words.

  14. Jennifer November 5, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Damn. I wasn’t ready to cry this early in the day, but there it is. So moving and powerful.

  15. NTE November 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    What a powerful post. And it’s the littlest voices that kept me here too.

  16. Amy @ Bitchin' Wives Club November 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    I didn’t cry, TJ, but have to say that I read with absolute terror in my heart. It breaks my heart that you have gone through so much pain with this disease and inspires me that you are so generous is sharing your experiences, even the lowest, most brutal points, in such a skillful way.

    Next time I see you be prepared for the biggest bear hug of he century.


  1. 30 Days Of Truth: Day Seven « TeeJay Writes - November 3, 2010

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  2. Tweets that mention 30 Days Of Truth: Day Seven « StudioEightOneSix -- Topsy.com - November 3, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sam {temptingmama}, DJ. DJ said: CO EFFIN SIGN RT @JenO_Eh: Whether he wants to admit it or not, @studio816 is one brave sonofabitch. http://wp.me/pDVTH-eE […]

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