On parents and pacemakers

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My dad is back in the hospital. He had a couple of stents placed in January but evidently had some heart irregularities serious enough to require the implantation of a pacemaker, which is probably happening even as I type. We went to visit him yesterday, and I’m glad we did. The surgery is pretty routine, but sometimes things happen on operating tables.

I’ve been thinking about memoir writing lately and the inevitable questions centered around writing about events involving people who are still living. Personally there have been many times I have held back saying some things here because of the possibility that the person I am writing about or another family member might stumble upon it. Not everybody appreciates having their lives put on display, especially when it involves painful events. While I know writing is often cathartic for the writer, is it right to lessen my load when it makes another’s heavier?

In any event, dad shared some things yesterday and I realized, again, how unhappy he’s been in life. Some of the problems he’s had he would admit have been his own doing, but sometimes things happen and you get dumped on. I hope he pulls through the surgery okay, because I want to get more of his story. In some ways, getting more of his story will help me understand mine better. So I didn’t feel loved growing up! How could someone who never felt loved give love to his daughter? The dearth of self-help books wasn’t around in the 60s and 70s, you basically parented the way you were parented, and the cycle continued. That’s not bad if your parents had their act together. Mine didn’t. But I still choose to love and forgive them, and in turn need their forgiveness. After all, I wasn’t the model daughter, either ;)

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