Yesterday, I went to an appointment with Pops.
These days I try to schedule all appointments within the time frame of Pops caregiver. I’m completely out of traditional FMLA, Intermittent FMLA and I had a fight with COVID, so my new days were nearly swallowed whole.
The doctor we visited was a psychologist. I like her. She’s sincere. She was very glad I came with dad.
The visit didn’t go quite the way I expected. I mean… I knew we would talk but I didn’t expect my dad to tell any of the truth. Pop has a tendency to leave out information and color the truth.
Pops paints with vibrant reds and deep blues.
Watching him paint his version of reality is like watching two painters who saw the same thing but the story's conclusion is painted differently. Each painter swears their depiction is the correct one. Like these two artists below. Lawrence’s painting would represent the truth and Lewis’s painting would be my dad’s version
I autocorrect my dad’s stories without thinking.
But at this appointment I did more pausing. Pops told new stories that I had fuzzy recollections of. Stories I didn't know by heart because Pops wasn’t there for most of my life and this side of my bloodline has a nasty habit of keeping truth buried.
As we scrounged through the family closet and discovered things like mental illness trends and old homicide cases, I thought, “What the hell! What the hell! What the hell!” I was in quite a pickle it seemed because we were all related.
You can run from a lot of things, but you can’t run from your bloodline. It flows inside you.
No matter how much we pumped our fist in the air and proclaimed our strength and greatness, the fact of these answers screamed our family dysfunction. It was clearly evident that we had some type of generational curse or super stronghold attached to our bloodline.
At the end, Pops asked questions that were answered and the nice psychologist gave recommendations for us to review before our next appointment. She stopped me before I left, looked me in the eyes and told me I should be very proud of all that I have accomplished.
We just stared into each other and allowed our breath to hug. We had heard the same things and those things warranted a moment of reflection.
Pops and I finally wheeled our way out and he laughed at the memories he shared.
I left thinking, “Jesus, I’m in quite a pickle”.