Part 2

In September we went camping very far in the east. My father had decided to rent a car and enjoy with me the country side for a few days, before school started.

‘Should I start setting up the tent’, I asked.

‘Yeah, sure. While you do that I’m going to cook us some nice food’.

As the sun started setting down and the fire burning brighter, I started remembering. The last month was very hard for me. My father had decided against the chemo therapy. I was angry, sad and confused about his decision. I couldn’t understand him. I begged him to start his treatment against the cancer, but I was faced against a cold wall. His decision to live was but alas unchangeable.

I knew we weren’t rich, but I thought we had the means to pay the treatment, but then one night I overheard him crying on the balcony and sharing his pain with the stars.

I was just 14 then, old enough to comprehend what was happening, but not old enough to understand the decision he made. I don’t think I will ever be able to accept his decision, nor will I truly understand it. Even now I still regret not being able to do more for my father in his last moments.

And yet I think he has forgiven me. For not being more obstinate with his decision against his treatment; for crying and being mad at him and even for not being able to do anything. I know this, because my father loved me. It’s actually very simple: He loved me when he was watching football; he loved me when he was working; he loved me while taking his meds and even when we were hopelessly and utterly mad at each other. I know this, because I loved him as much.

I still remember that day when we went camping. Even now it’s still a precious memory to me.

‘Son, if I had the choice of living a life as another person, I still would choose to live as myself. And you know why, because since the moment we were thrown into this world, we had no choice but to live as oneself. All the decisions we took, be it as bad or as good as they turned out to be, were made by us. So be a teacher, a writer or even a football player, but if you really want to play football for a living, don’t play for Newcastle. Never for Newcastle. What I want to say is that I try to never regret doing something and so I want you to live like that as well. Do you understand? ’

‘ I understand. I understand very well’.

Darren