Tonight I recieved a phone call from my dad at around 1030pm. It was surprising because in the past five years he would usually only call me before 6pm. I was excited anyway because I had just walked in the door from work and any earlier, I wouldnt have been able to answer. His voice comforts my soul, “Hi Baby-so!” he says. We know our time on the phone is limited so we instantly begin talking about everything important. First off my grandpas health, my health, his health, and about the other people we care most about. Then we talked about new movies my dad has seen which is funny because recently he has seen more movies than I have.
We talked about my graduation and how proud of me he is and we talked about how proud my grandpa is of me. A couple weeks ago my grandfather compared me to the pope. My dad explained to me that in translation from English to Russian, being compared to the pope is a very big compliment. He explained to me how much my grandpa loves me and how we are all facing reality of his old age and his strength for staying well.
I told him that I wanted to raise money for kids that have parents addicted to drugs. He told me a story about a family he once helped. He knew a woman with two kids who barely had clothes on their back. He had recently bought me a playstation 2 so he decided to give the kids the playstation 1 that I had now retired for the newest edition. “I have never been so hurt. When I went back to ask the kids how they liked it, the mother had already sold the playstation for drugs.” He told me what I was doing was very special and how important it is for these kids to look forward to something.
Our conversation suddenly reached a topic I try to avoid. The reality of what is to happen when my father will be released from prison. It has been five long years and of course I am more than estatic to have my dad back in my life but I have become so comfortable with my way of living that it will be a hard adjustment for me to try to understand what he is going through in his head.
“I want to make money,” he said. I told my dad that the most important thing for him to do is maintain his health and let me worry about the money and that I can help us both. Money comes and goes, and opportunity to make money will always be there, but our health is going to be especially important.
“I cant believe I have missed out on 5 years of your life,” he said. I told him that he has been my motivation these past five years and that he cannot let his past dictate his future especially since it has felt he has been with me the whole time, in my heart.
“I don’t want to start smoking again,” he said. This is where I began to feel a drop in my stomach and a knot in my heart. This is a thought my father was having and if this were a thought in his head, I knew that heroin was also.It isn’t to say that I did not know it was something he probably thought of every day. Subconciously we like to put the things that we know we cant change, and want to, in the back of our heads, and that is one thought I always try to bury far down.
“I just remember when my mom was sick the last time and ….” He didn’t finish his sentence. His mother, my grandmother, was my dads best friend and her diagnosis of cancer was the beginning of my fathers relapse. She passed a week after being released from prison 9 years ago. I like to think he stopped himself because he knows this time will be different.
“One minute remaining on call”. The prison calls always seem too short for what I must pay. We said our goodbyes and now I will have to wait to hear from him again.