His girlfriend is making my life a living hell by telling everyone when he lives what a shitty daughter I am because I haven't had that close a relationship with him (funny that, after all he's the one who chose alcohol over his family!). But its that point in life when things come swinging round and suddenly you are no longer the child but the responsible adult who has to take care of their every need.
I looked at him yesterday, in his hospital bed, blue top and green bottoms all askew. You can trace my genealogy in the lines of his face, particularly the curve of his forehead and the dark eyes. Translucent skin, peppered with freckles. It's all there, in the blood. It doesn't matter about those missing years so much anymore: what matters is what's best for him.
My Dad is a relatively nice person who will help out anyone with whom he isn't related to by blood. He hasn't drank for over twenty years, but he is extremely demanding and has a complete lack of common sense. He has provided a very nice cash flow service to his girlfriend and her children for the past four years, plus a free taxi. I've turned a blind eye to it because they've taken good care of him, looking out for him which has helped set my mind at rest knowing that he's not alone.
However, it is now time for me to step up. Be responsible. Make sure his best interests are taken care of. I don't know how to tell him he'll have to forfeit his driving licence for the foreseeable future as being able to drive is basically his whole existence (whether or not he's fit to drive is a debatable point - he's 72 and a little bit erratic). It came home to me at the hospital that I'd not even been registered as his next of kin (his girlfriend was mysteriously down as his 'wife'). I have changed this, but the nurses were very embarrassed (not their faults) and my irritation levels rose sharply.