Why I Brood, short version

Got to get this done in five minutes or less, finish the crucial work I can’t get to, be done with a series of invisible bones crosswise in my throat.

I spent my childhood often blamed for things I had no control over. Motives were ascribed that were not my motives.  I had to defend myself, at times, for things I hadn’t even done.   This was the work of my traumatized father, primarily, with the able assistance of my almost equally traumatized mother.  I am not complaining about this, merely stating how it was for my sister and me growing up.  My sister claims it was worse for me because I fought against it.  I don’t know if it was worse for me, I know it was bad enough for each of us.

Attempts to get the whole truth on the table: denied.   A child hasn’t all the tools to counter a determined and brilliant adult adversary in partnership with a loyal adult ally, also of great intelligence.  Over decades these tools can be acquired, along with a certain amount of insight, but it takes a lot of work and it can take a lifetime.

Fast forward 45 years or so.  Father on his deathbed says to his son, his lifelong adversary: you were right to feel betrayed and I was wrong to betray you.  I am so sorry I was such a brutal prick.  I am amazed that you seem able to forgive me.

The son says:  you did the best you could, I realize now that if you could have done better you would have.

The father (with a sigh):  I wish I’d been mature enough to have had this kind of talk with you fifteen years ago.  

Long pause.  

Now, if you will excuse me, son, I’d like you to help me die.  I have no idea how to do it.

“Nobody does, dad,” I told him.  

Ten minutes later I closed his dead eyes with two fingers of my right hand, then handed his oxygen tube back to the nurse who had silently come back into the room.

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