Losing a chance that will make an impact on your life hurts; especially when it was a favor that someone had asked of you. My dad used to always ask me to record his story of coming to America – the story of all his struggles and accomplishments. Planning to do so later in the future, I didn’t think about the time I had left. I thought I would have all the time in the world to do so, and to be able to hear it through his voice. You don’t know how wrong I was to think so.
On September 27, 2013, I received a text message from my older sister that our dad only had two to three weeks left with us. After battling prostate cancer for about three years – going in and out of the hospitals, back and forth from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and having two catheters – the cancer spread into my dad’s liver and lungs. That day, we were picked up after school and went straight to the St. John’s hospital in Maplewood. Learning that day about the short time he had left, everyone was supposed to spend as much time as we could with him. Therefore, my family registered him for Hospice, so that he can stay home and still get all the help he needed, whenever he needed it. Not being able to do so because of school, we had to leave his side.
At school, I was aware that my actions were not exhibiting concern for my dad. I would sit about to myself, “Am I having too much fun while my dad is at home suffering?” “Will going to my schools events be too disrespectful towards my family?” Everything at that time was just so stressful. Now that I reflect upon my actions, I don’t think I accepted the fact that he was actually going to leave us. There was something inside of me that as screaming, “He isn’t going to leave us. He will get better. The doctors were wrong!”
On October 10, 2013, we got the news that my dad has lost the ability to talk. That was when I finally realized that maybe he is sick. He might not make it after all. I remember going to College Prep and being pulled aside by my teacher. She said to me, “Bao, you have to go to the office right now, okay?” Shaken by her words, I said okay and ran downstairs.
I had already made plans with my friend to go together and grab our transcript, so we did that first. We stood in the counselor’s office for not even a minute when my brother came in and told me to “Hurry the fuck up.” Hearing what he just said, noticing that he was irritated by his red face, and harsh voice, the counselor told him to “wait because it will only take a few more seconds.” When I received my transcript, I saw that I was rank two. Remembering that my dad was always happy about me and my good grades, I wanted to show him right away. Returning back to the main office, we had to wait for my sister to come to the...