The one with the camping trip

So, got Mom hooked on This is Us. And I’ve caught several episodes now with her. I’m not QUITE “up to” re-watched the entirety of the series myself…but catching episodes when she’s watching and I’m around/etc…good for that.

Tonight’s episode was “the one with the camping trip”–Jack takes the boys on a camping trip…and while they’re out, Rebecca gets a call from a nursing home…Jack’s father is dying.

Leaving messages, eventually someone from the campgrounds is able to get Rebecca and Jack connected for her to let him know. She asks him if he wants to come back. And he decides that no, he’s gonna stay there with the boys (his sons).

And I’m almost certain it’s gotta be ME, and MY “reading too much into it” and such, but the way the scenes were filmed; the way the actors pulled it off; whatever…it hit.

And reminded me about some of my thoughts on “empathy” and myself.

As I thought of Dad. MY Dad.

And fictional character or not…to see this other man–Jack–however/whatever he wrestled with, be told that his dad is dying, and he chose NOT to go see him.

What hurt’s gotta be there.

To have that heads-up.

To be given a heads-up that time is short, and one could get there, to say goodbye.

And not take it.

I may’ve gotten to “be there” when I lost Dad. I may’ve been holding his hand. I can hope that somehow, some way, he knew I was there; that Mom and I were both there.

But I didn’t get to say goodbye.

I didn’t see it coming.

I thought there was gonna be more time. I thought it was just another hospitalization. “Serious,” but not THE one. Not the LAST one.

I watched the paramedics take him out of this house, and I didn’t stop him, didn’t stop them, to actually get to SAY even “I love you” before they wheeled him out.

And that was the last time I ever got to see him, REALLY see him, while he was him, while I could see him “there” in himself.

But then that next day, because of “restrictions” and such, any patient, PERIOD, could only have ONE visitor ONE time per day.

So I never got to see him again.

Never got to actually say goodbye.

And I have to live with that for the rest of my days.

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