I didn’t really consider health insurance when I left the iron rails. It was a race against time. The railway was draining me of life and I had to leave before I was a withering wreck. Once I had severed my umbilical chord I did think about health insurance, but decided against it. I was writing and playing poker for a living so what illness was going to stop me from doing that? But this week has made me think twice. If I cannot win my battle with vertigo then I become useless to my employer. They will find someone, for whom the earth does not move, and I will be confined to my bed with no way to pay the bills. Time to go back to the drawing board and find a suitable health insurance plan.
Over the years I played with him, bathed him, changed him, shouted at him, hugged him, read to him, sang to him, laughed with him and cried with him. I remember watching him drawing with his tongue poking out of the side of his mouth and I would let him fall to sleep on my lap and then carry him to bed. Over the years he got heavier and heavier, but I didn’t mind. I would always kiss him on his forehead and tell him I loved him. In the morning before I went to work I would go into his room and repeat the process. I used to tell myself how tragic it would be if I died on the way to work, he would not remember that kiss, the words I love you hanging all over his face and hair. When he was awake he would ask me to read to him. We would read The Hobbit or his schoolbooks. I knew he hated reading and thought The Hobbit was boring – he just wanted his Dad to hold him and to hear his voice. After I finished he would beg me to stroke his hair and sing Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles or True Happiness This Way Lies by The The. Back then he wanted me to be with him forever.
There were times when I refused to stroke his hair and sing to him because I was to eager to get back downstairs to watch TV. There were times when I refused to play with him because I was too busy. I was like a smoker who knows the cigarettes will kill them, just not tomorrow. I wish I could have all of those times back. If I could go back in time this is what I would do. I would never say no to him. I thought he would be with me forever. I never imagined this loss. I am so sorry for saying no to you my son. Let me sing to you son, let me stroke your hair.
I have spoken to my counselor, friends, family and loved ones – but nothing changes. I am stuck in a divorced father rut and I don’t know what to do. I hate not knowing what to do. Usually there is an answer for anything if you look hard enough, but I can’t seem to find it. My son lives with his Mum in a place I don’t want to live, the girlfriend I am in love with lives 4,000 miles away from him, I spend 80% of my time living in hotel rooms and when I am home my son just wants to play with his friends. As he grows older, and the lyrics of those songs get lost in his mind, I feel the distance like a tetanus jab. I know I am a great father, but at the moment I feel like the worse father in the world. This is not a cry for sympathy. Sympathy is not what I need. I need answers. I need to talk to people who can empathise with me because they understand how I feel.
I can’t say the time for moping around is over, because that would be a lie. But I am going to try to do something about it. I am going to create another blog offering support for mothers and fathers who are in similar situations. If I can’t find people to speak to, then I will create an arena where they can find me.