He Chose the Sandwich

Today my father dismissed me in favor of a sandwich on a tray--the day before an operation he might not survive.  Faced with that uncertainty and with the chance to talk to his daughter on the phone or eat a sandwich alone in his room, he chose the sandwich.

This was not a direct call.  No, indeed.  The phone rang out when I called him directly.  So I called the main desk of his rehab facility, where he has been for two weeks as he awaits an operation on his carotid artery, and asked to leave a message with a nurse to find out how he is doing.  The nurse who got the message called me.  We spoke.  She said if I called the room, she would pick up the receiver for him.  Then, she went to my father's room to answer the phone when I called.  This was a 30-minute song-and-dance.  I wanted to tell my father I love him and wish him well on his operation.

Nevertheless, he chose the sandwich.

He said it was time to eat when I called.

Hours later, my sister texted me to say he wanted me to call right then because there was a nurse who would hold the phone to his ear.  I was down cellar drying the dogs at that time; I missed the text.  I didn't call when I discovered the message 33 min. later.  Neither one of them cared enough to follow up by calling me.

It didn't matter.  Clearly.

COVID-19 being the monster it is and Trump being the monster he is, I doubt I will ever see my father again even if he survives the surgery.

What I do know is that he chose the sandwich over me.

This has been my life as his daughter.