Last year my world started falling apart. I walked into the Good Samaritan Hospital and felt my heart drop. I knew this was not just a regular doctor visit. I found my way around the hospital and came up to my dad’s room. I was so happy to see him, and he was so happy to see me.
He was not doing well. He was very sick at this point. I knew something was wrong, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself.
Our family friend who works in that hospital came in my dad’s room. She walked me down the hall to get me some ice cream. (I always see kids get unlimited ice cream at hospitals, so I simply asked.) We walked down the hall into the kitchen on the oncology floor. College decisions were due in two weeks, so we started talking about my options. At this point, I hadn’t given it much thought because my dad was getting sicker by the day. She asked me which college I wanted to attend and which college my parents wanted me to go to. I answered with the college I wanted to go to and explained to her how I should go where my parents wanted me to. The latter was really close to home and had a great reputation. I told her that I want to be close to home especially because of my dad’s health. She said, “Go where you want to go to college because your dad won’t see you go to college. Samira, your father is dying.”
I cried in her shoulders for a few minutes, wiped my tears, and got myself and my dad some ice cream. I walked down the hall with a fake smile on my face and came into my dad’s hospital room excited to eat ice cream with him. Only later did I realize that this was going to be the last time I ate ice cream with him.
Throughout the day, he never said anything about him dying. I heard my mom crying on the phone outside his room to multiple people, but she never really told me anything either because she was too busy dealing with phone calls, doctors, and my father’s needs. One of our good family friends took me to the library down the hall a few hours later. She sat me down and explained to me that this was real. She said that this is it. She explained to me that the chemotherapy stopped working and there was nothing else the doctors could do. I asked her a few questions and she answered. We sat there in silence. Then I cried. I walked back to the hospital room to find more of my family friends. Some of our other very good family friends sat in the car while I drove to her house to spend the night with her daughters, whom I consider my sisters.
I could barely drive because I was crying so hard. My head was pounding. I couldn’t think straight. I felt like throwing up. I stopped by at my house to feed my dog and pick up my stuff to spend the night at their house. My mom was living in the hospital with my dad at this point.
I came to my family friend’s house and walked into her room. We looked at each other and neither of us said a single world. I started howling. I cried and I cried. I tried to throw up. Nothing came out because I didn’t eat anything the whole day. I fell asleep crying in my friend’s arms.