by Hazel Pino

My dad starts chemo today. He told me two days before my brother’s accident that he has a type of cancer that has to do with his bone marrow, anemia and his bladder. I, myself have anemia and to think there’s a cancer for it is frightening, so I assumed it was just one of those things he just says to make things sound so much worse. But it’s not. The term for it is Multiple Myeloma.

I saw my dad sitting in the dining room earlier, just staring into nothing. It’s always depressing to see someone do that, clearly something is bothering them. But I’ve never seen my dad distressed or worried about anything before. Since he’s told me about the cancer, he’s been doing what he normally does, as if he doesn’t have cancer. I don’t know if it’s just a front to prevent my mom from asking questions or if it’s just a way for him to feel like nothing’s wrong.

My mom convinced me and my brother that my dad was the bad guy. My dad struggled to buy the house we live, 2 hours away from where we lived and where his job was. But he moved because my mom wanted to. So we did. At the time, my mom wasn’t making much money, it was just my dad. After a few years he couldn’t make the commute anymore and had to quit his job. It was up to my mom at that point to pass her exams to make more money for us, and she did.

You see, my parents never really knew each other, it was an arranged marriage and when I was younger, I thought my family was pretty darn normal. I thought my mom talking about my dad was just a joke, like she was pretending. It wasn’t until I was older that I thought what she thought, that my dad didn’t care. That he was lazy. I grew up with so much abuse from my mom and brother and so much influence that I misdirected my anger towards the wrong person.

My dad has never hurt me. He’s never ever yelled at me, my whole life. He spoiled me when I was a kid with whatever I wanted. My dad doesn’t stress, he doesn’t let little things get to him. He lives a lonely life and for a long time, my brother didn’t even acknowledge him as his dad. It wasn’t until recently that he started calling my dad, dad (there’s a whole ‘nother story for that).

My mom takes my dad’s kindness for granted and advantage of it. She thinks because she’s the one working, she has the right to treat him like crap and it sucks. It sucks for both of them. I wish they had happier lives, maybe my mom would had been a different person.