I haven't been able to get my thoughts together in a coherent way the past couple days. I don't know if they will be coherent now, either. But maybe writing things out will help me begin to gather whatever it is that is going through my mind.

My dad told me he was dying the first time he explained to me what Cystic Fibrosis is. It's easy to understand: lungs are supposed to let us breathe, and they are supposed to be clear so that breathing- an essential part of being alive, and something that we don't even have to think about to do- is possible. So why is it he was born with lungs that like to drown themselves in mucus?

Why did he have to drown in fucking snot in his fucking lungs?

Respiratory failure is what it's actually called. But I don't want to beat around the bush if I can avoid it.

I tried to get myself ready for the inevitable the minute I knew it was going to happen. But that didn't lessen the blow. It may have even made it harder.

The cough kept getting worse. It started right after dinner, as he was washing the dishes. It continued into the movie he and Mom decided to watch. I'm not sure what time they decided that something must have been happening, but when Mom shook my shoulder to wake me up, I think I sort of knew. The ambulance lights flashed in the window. I don't think I woke up fast enough, though. I felt murky and heavy as I sat up and rubbed my eyes. But the tears in Mom's words made my body start to buzz with anticipation and apprehension. Dread started to pump through my veins.

We followed the ambulance on the way to the hospital. We didn't have the radio on, but it felt like there was music playing anyway. Maybe it was in my head. One of those slow pop ballads that swells as it continues. I wonder what Mom was hearing. Her own heartbeat, I'm sure, making each turn of the tire feel like a lifetime was passing.

The ambulance stopped in front of the hospital, and we parked; the car was barely in shift when Mom jumped out and began running toward the entrance. I made sure everything was locked up and followed. The paramedics hadn't taken him out of the ambulance yet. They were trying to resuscitate him right there in the back. Mom was on her knees not too far away. I knelt beside her and held her. Some minutes went by like days, others like seconds. We thought it was over, but then the paramedics started telling everyone to move, because

"We have a pulse!"

Relief. But that was flooded out by worry mere breaths later. They rushed him in and I tried to get Mom off the sidewalk, but she kept shaking her head. It was like the only thing that was working were her tear ducts, and god knows that's not enough to function as a person. At least I knew her lungs were able to breath based on the sharp breaths she took.

They tried to drain his lungs, but that was impossible because the thing killing him was coating the inside of his organs, not gathering in a puddle. They found problems in his pancreas, too, and that sealed his fate. Luckily it didn't take too long.

What the hell is wrong with me? Luckily? I'm not lucky worth shit. The paper Mom had to sign confirming his identity tells me that. The sudden search for the right coffin tells me that, and the decision to cremate tells me that.

I don't know what to do.

EDIT 6.24.67

I've been doing some thinking. I can't change anything. This isn't a situation where I can bring everything I care about into a safe space where nothing can reach them, and hope to condition them to be susceptible to the elements.I can't regrow my father from a piece of him. But goddamn it, I wish I could.

I had a dream that I found one of his arms- maybe it was just a hand- and planted it in a pot in the kitchen. I watered it every day and every night, and gave it food, until I got up one morning and found him sitting at the table, sipping his coffee. Not coughing. I don't remember waking up, but I know I did because suddenly I was at the kitchen table running my fingers through the can of coffee grounds. The smell reminds me of him in the mornings.

I watch those old movies where the dead are brought back to life, and the thought always freaked me out. If something is dead, it's meant to be dead. But this doesn’t feel right, and I don't think it ever will; I want him to come back. He didn't deserve this. We didn’t deserve this.

And I'm tired of hearing Mom cry. I can't block it out; it seems like it's bleeding from the walls and rising from the floors. I can taste her tears in my own, and I've never tasted anything so salty, so desperate.

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