This blog was originally posted 11/08/2012. I'm bumping it, because of its relevance to the upcoming 19-year anniversary of my father's death. I am posting it now instead of the 9th, because I'm going to begin my annual self-destructive binge drinking soon, and I might forget to post it. I think it's important to remember the man that made me who I am, and what I do, even if I'm somewhat of a nobody. Anyway, I'll see you guys around.
I am writing this a day early, because I might be too drunk to write it tomorrow.
Tomorrow, November 9, 2012, is the 15-year mark of my father passing away. I remember it like it was yesterday. Every year I tell the story of what happened back in 1997.
I have to go back roughly a week before he died. I had spent most of the week in New Jersey at a friend's house (it was the first time I took the train/bus from Brooklyn, NY to NJ by myself). I arrived home and my father wasn't feeling well. He spent the next few days bedridden while we did whatever he asked us to do, including going to to the grocery store across the street to get him Jello.
I was 16 at the time, and not exactly sure what was going on. My father was diabetic. He needed daily insulin shots to live. He had an infection in his foot that turned gangrenous and spread throughout his lower body. I watched him slip into delirium, and then a diabetic coma. I called the ambulance on Sunday, November 9, 1997 because he had messed himself and was unresponsive.
He had a heart attack in the ambulance, but they were able to revive him and he went to Coney Island Hospital. My brother rode with the ambulance, but I later went with my grandmother by car. I remember calling out to him and he would open his eyes briefly and then close them. I remember having to fill out paperwork, and I knew he was allergic to penicillin, so I wrote it down.
It didn't matter in the end. The infection spread to his lower half. He would've been amputated at below the stomach (if that's even possible) had he survived. I vaguely remember them telling me his blood sugar level was 800-1000. They gave him something that he had an allergic reaction to that caused him to bloat. The doctor asked us if we wanted to see him one last time, but I declined, while my two brothers went ahead to look at him. I remember watching my older brother almost faint from outside the door.
I stood outside the hospital and I believe it was around 5:30pm when they officially called it. I lost the man that made me who I am today.
I have difficulty telling a story because I end up with details that I forget to mention. I apologize for my fragmented writing.
My mother passed away on August 13, 1990 from lung cancer. I don't remember much of her. I was 9-years old. My father took care of me and my 3 siblings (2 of which were mentally retarded, I'm autistic, and my younger brother is schizo-affective). He took care of us for 7 years before losing his own battle.
In that time, even though we were poor and on welfare, he still tried to get me anything I asked for. I was obsessed with video games. Before my mother died, he worked at a video rental store and brought home NES games all the time. I had a decent collection. I remember when he got me SNES and eventually PSX.
He loved football games. I have fond memories of playing Tecmo Bowl on the NES with him. I always would get upset (I was a sore loser) when he would win.
He's not only responsible for my love of video games, he also helped get me into music. He bought me several cheap keyboards, the last of which was the one that got me into songwriting (I could layer 6 recordings). He bought me this keyboard a month before he passed away. I didn't start writing music until after he died, and the first few songs I wrote, I wrote for him.
I can't believe it has been 15 years. He died when he was 45 years old. He would've been 60. In 2 years I will have lived longer without him than with him. He was my world and I miss him every day.
Why am I posting this here? Because I don't have/want anywhere else to go. You guys are my only true home on the internet. The last couple of years have been especially hard on me since I started seeing doctors about my mental health, and I posted a lot of things that you guys have always been around to support me.
So I've been drinking while I wrote this, and I drink in honor of a great man. If it wasn't for him, there would be no Destructoid Community Album, among other things.
To Harold Satchell Jr.