So a recent Facebook phenomena is “30 days of photos”. Each day there is a different prompt and the publisher posts a photo based on the prompt. I like the idea, but do not have the dedication to find 30 different pictures or post every day for 30 days. Anyway, some of my sisters did/are doing the 30 day picture challenge and have posted some interesting images.
One that has actually stuck with me is an image of my dad several days after he was assaulted. They both posted it under “something I’d like to forget”. I just keep thinking back to that night. It feels like so long ago. It changed me so much.
I was the first one to see my dad when he walked in the door. I actually heard him before I saw him. He was wheezing. And when he came in… it was horrifying. I was literally paralyzed. I stupidly asked what happened. I think I called for Mom and Dad called for Cindy, but I don’t remember. One of them told me to call the police. I never thought I would have to call the police for someone in my family.
I was dazed. And I didn’t have time to be dazed. So I helped as much as I could, got out-of-the-way when the police came, and was the rock for my family. I was strong and held it together. I had to. I was the one people looked to for updates and I was the one at home taking care of the kids while Mom was at the hospital. I broke down only once that I can remember. I went to pick up the car from the shop, and, even though they had called to tell us to pick it up, it didn’t start. My dad was assaulted walking home from dropping the car off at the shop. I fell apart. It was the last straw. I cried in the car, all alone, for five minutes before I called home for someone to come pick me up.
Then, like now, I just could not help thinking about when Dad got home: There was so much blood and Dad’s face was already swollen beyond recognition– I am surprised he could even talk. None of my siblings saw him like that. I am glad. I have spent every day since then trying to forget what happened, but it is impossible. I have, for the most part, stop picturing my dad in that state, but I have a heightened sense of awareness all the time. I jump at everything and I find myself more suspicious of strangers on the street than I was before Dad was attacked.
I don’t really know why I am writing about this now. Like everything I write about, it is just what is on my mind at this moment. My dad is so amazing. He has dealt with some pretty difficult realities. He survived cancer. He has created an amazing family, and works harder than anyone I know to support his family. He is one of the most selfless people I know.
It remains unfathomable to me that someone like my dad could be single out for such a horrific incident. My dad once drove a mentally ill man back to an institution after the man randomly jumped into his car. How can someone with so much capacity for love end up beaten and left lying in the street? I guess I shouldn’t be so amazed: we crucified Christ and he was our Savior.
When that image of my dad came up in my news feed, an image I thought I never had to see again, I was shocked and transported back to that night. It was a sucker punch. I am not blaming my sisters for using that image or wanting to forget that the assault happened. I completely understand. I feel the same way.