Eyes Wide Open

After my father died the result of his death was classified as 'Failure to Thrive'. Basically, I suppose, that means he simply gave up on life and slipped into death, which is probably true. Toward the end he'd lost all control over his bodily functions and one such embarrassing incident happened in front of the woman he'd been dating. In the span of ten days he went from awake and (Semi) aware, he kind of lost cohesion in the afternoons, he went to catatonic human being.

The last thing he said to me happened while I cleaned him up after one of his accidents and I did the reassuring thing of telling him he just needed his rest to get better. He looked at me and said 'I don't think I will get better.' He lay down, closed his eyes and never opened them again.

Failure to thrive. 

What causes this? Is it the idea that you have nothing to live for anymore? Life around you has lost something precious you know won't be found? Most of us have something that keeps on driving us forward, makes opening our eyes one more day worth makes that difficult breath worth fighting for...Even on the worst of days.

I've known for a while that death is out there, waiting. Breathing has become progressively worse and yesterday I discovered how bad it was when I found out the breath was no longer coming and as I tried to control the panic to get the essential medicine I use into my lungs I passed out. Good thing, actually. The darkness allowed my mind to shut down on the terror and I began breathing shallowly. When I opened my eyes my lungs hurt like hell and it was a bit difficult to pull myself up and crawl into bed.

At that point a person has to make a decision: Quit or fight. The easy way is to quit, to forget about the pain and the effort it is to breath and just slip out in the darkness of unconsciousness...That's the whole 'Failure to Thrive' thing.

The problem, or the inspiration, is that I'm still trying to create that essential piece of art that I have been striving for all my life. That drawing that will forever be my Sistine Chapel, that masterpiece. Yeah, it's something put on paper, ink, maybe colors, and the fact it's paper says it's not going to last forever, but that isn't the point. It's the doing, the struggle, the act of creation.

Being a quitter isn't something bred into my family's bones except at the end when there is finally no more choices...I can't count the times when someone has told me that I should get a 'Real' job and leave this whole art thing behind and enter the actual world. Ironically many of these same people also told me they never had a doubt of my talent when I actually achieve success...That's life.

I have hope, even during those terrible no good and awful days when everything seems to be stacked against me...I'm tired. I hurt. And I miss not being able to walk about without working for that next breath, but this ailment, this disease, was one of my own doing and I wasn't the first to think I could beat the odds and I won't be the last. We're mortal, we human beings, and that's what gives life it's preciousness...It isn't forever. 

Now or after death.

So, I choose life. For a while, anyway. Don't really want a repeat of yesterday but I know it's going to happen because those around me do not really know just how bad my lungs are and that's the way I want it. Going to the hospital can't help because my lungs just won't take oxygen in and to try and force this would cause me to 'Drown'. There are still a lot of things to do in this world, a lot to still experience, art to create and words to put down to explain this life of mine.
  Time isn't on my side...Which is okay. I've always thrived on a deadline...Pun not intentional.

Until next time.


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