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[BBOT] Dad was right

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posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 10:05 AM
It's a hard thing when it is your dad who is the one who thinks he is invincible, instead of it being you, the kid. Raised in South Louisiana, he weathered so many different kinds of storms that, like so many there, he began to feel untouchable. He grew up during the fifties, when those in charge were white, period. Antebellum homes stood as testament to the long held cultural beliefs in white superiority. He lived through the sixties and seventies, when those fallacies were overturned. He married, and raised children in the eighties, and tried, in vain at times, to be the adult. His childhood was one of indulgence, and favor, with good hard work thrown in for measured texture. He even did a stint in the Army. Like his parents before him, he could be forgiving when the mood struck, or he could be hard and unyielding. His sense of fun, adventure, and play never left him though.

He was a fisherman, a boat captain, a landscaper, a business owner, a policeman, and a real estate developer. Those were his jobs. His life was on the water, doing whatever he could on the water, including living as close as possible to it. He knew no other way to live, nor did he ever even entertain living another way. His current, aging life in Diamond Head, MS was the one he wanted and the one he was going to live, no matter what.

He survived torrential rains and annual floods in New Orleans. He survived tornadoes and crazy lightning and hailstorms in New Orleans. He survived hurricane after hurricane in New Orleans, including Katrina. He survived all of this without running away, ever. He wasn't leaving, come hell or high water, and believe me, they had come before.

I called him the day of the oil spill in the Gulf. Asked what the news was, what was going on. He had no news, but wasn't worried. These things happened all the time, he said. It would be fine in the end.

A month later, I asked him about the news now, with oil coming ashore in our old home of Empire/South Pass. Nothing to worry about, he said. Yes, the marshes were damaged, but the earth would repair itself. Methane in the air? Nah, no worse than riding a pirogue around the swamps in the backwater country. Nothing to worry about he said.

Calling every other day after that, as news got worse and worse about toxins both in the air and in the water, always to the same response, I am safe here, not leaving, nothing to worry about, ad nauseum. Dad, the playful, carefree, sometimes even irresponsible guy who thought nothing could touch him, was just being dumb now. No he wouldn't come stay with me in the North Atlantic Coast area. Yes, it is near water, but not near MY water, he said. My worry intensified every day until I finally could take it no more.

I made the plans for the trip to see him on a Monday morning. By Thursday afternoon, I was in Diamond Head with him, catching up on our daily lives. Friday morning I asked him to take me to our old stomping grounds in Plaquemines Parish. He had people there he hadn't seen in a coon's age, so yeah, we could go, he said.

It was a surrealistic nightmare. Juxtaposed with remaining damage from Katrina was now waterways that looked like a comic book version of apocalypse, everywhere the eye could see. My red tide sensitivity was nothing to the way the chemicals made my eyes water, my throat and mouth burn, and the breath catch in my lungs. Dad, as usual, was unaffected. There were no fishing leaping into the air after insects. No birds flying overhead in every direction, no roosting in trees. You couldn't even hear the guttural cries of the frogs and gators. Nothing but the sounds of boats on the water, planes overhead flying low, and the ever-present mosquito swarms. The smell was more than I could bear.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 10:17 AM
I started to feel unwell before we got home. My head started pounding, my heart was beating out of my chest, my sinuses filled and I couldn't breathe through my nose. Dad said I looked brain damaged, the way I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open, eyes watering, silently.

The next day, I started running a fever. Couldn't stop shaking, couldn't stop throwing up once I started. Felt like a really good dose of flu. Dad said I probably got it flying down. All that airplane air was one of the reasons he never flew anywhere. He was feeling fit as a fiddle, as usual.

Sunday morning dawned to me being unable to urinate or move my bowels. I wanted to go to the hospital, but was too weak to drive. Dad, again, postponed saying only wusses went to the hospital for the flu. That was typical of him, though. One had to suck it up and deal with it and make it fun. Period. Yeah.

Sunday night, I called to Dad to come to my room. I couldn't see well at that point, so he was a blurry shadow who came to stand over my bed. I told him I thought I was dying and that I had some things to say to him. He told me I was always too serious, too negative, and needed to lighten up. Not everything is life or death, you know. You will be fine. Nothing to worry about.

The last thing I said to Dad, just before I died, was that he was right. I always was too serious, too negative, and I didn't appreciate my life the way I should have before now. I should have paid more attention and made things more fun for myself, instead of stressing about everything. He took me in his arms, told me he always loved me, and that he told me there was nothing to worry about.

See, life happens, and it will happen no matter what. Yeah, the toxins killed me, but what had I done before that but worry? That was my full time job. Worry. Stress. Being serious. I wish I had played more often, or brushed things off more often. Dad is still alive and kicking, and while he mourns my loss, I was always too serious for him. He had nothing to worry about then, and nothing to worry about now. Life happens. Just gotta roll with it. Make due. Suck it up and deal with it. I know that I could never have changed who I was, no matter what regrets I have now, but neither could he. In so many ways he was the kid and I was the parent, and that was the way it was supposed to be, I guess.

I check back on the area now and then, and to my cold hollow eyes, things look worse than ever. But you know what they say...nothing to worry about. Yeah, Dad was right.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 10:57 AM
lol........Not laughing at your story.....just find it funny.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 11:05 AM
Any response is a good response, right? Glad something amused you. Parts of it amused me as well.

[edit on 16-6-2010 by Ceriddwen]

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 12:12 PM
Seeing is how yer dead now, ....
Do you like get to talk to Jennifer Love Hewitt?
Cuz even though she's towards the lightly chunky she's like totally HAWT.
And I mean .. well ... never mind.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 12:17 PM
Fantastic story friend!


I'm happy were getting some writers doing the contest, looking forward to more of your work


posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 01:37 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Thank you so much for your comments. They are deeply appreciated.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:13 PM
It's amazing! Great idea

Your going to be some worthy competition, I'll say

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:23 PM
Most excellent story!


posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:24 PM
Excellent post my friend...didnt know where you were going, yet was compelled to find out...hence reading it to the end...what good writing is supposed to do.

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 07:09 AM
reply to post by BlackPoison94

It's never competition, right? Not really. Points are points. The idea is to get it out there and share, right? LOL Thanks so much for the comments!

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 07:10 AM
Thank you so much for your comments everyone! There is another short story I am writing, but that one is much different. Eventually I will get it on the board. I can't wait to read all of the stories you folks have put out! Thanks again!

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 03:07 PM
Everyone should be singing "Don't Worry, Be Happy" at the wake.
I think you need a good mix of both personalities. Ya gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em.
GooD job!

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 03:45 PM
reply to post by Ceriddwen

Haha true!
I love to read other people's work though, to see the different styles and thoughts and yours was amazing

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 07:18 PM

I didn't see it coming...I thought it would be the father who succumbed!

Great story and I think you will do well in the contest.

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 07:45 PM
Well done.

Good read.

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 06:29 PM
How did I miss this? Great story and well written!

posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 08:42 PM
reply to post by darkelf

Thank you so much! It is actually my first ever short story that I have allowed anyone else to read. I really appreciate all of the comments.

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 01:08 AM
Hey great story Man, I can't believe I have not been able to find one single entry that sucks in this competition.

I especially like the message your story has, Makes me feel better about the animals in Lady's story.

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 01:23 AM
I enjoyed reading your story. The background details really set the tone and feeling for the landscape and father's mindset. This story "jumped" too fast into your sudden death from toxins. I think you have a good start, but you have much more to tell before you cop out by dying on us!

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