The last couple of days have been bad. Not for my dad, he is still doing well, but for me. My cry scale has been between 8-10. Last night my dad and I talked for a long time. He has his first MRI coming up on August 14th. I was asking him about it and he said “They will probably find out that this thing is growing and I am going to die soon.”
It is the first time I have heard him say anything discouraging since he was diagnosed. How do you respond to that?
So I said “Dad, we are all dying. I could get struck by lightning tomorrow and die. The one good thing about this horrible thing you are going through is that we know our time is limited. We all get so busy with our own lives we take for granted being able to tell the people we love how much we love them. Now we have the opportunity to tell you EVERYDAY how much you mean to us. You are going to get sick of me calling you every day and telling you I love you. He said he thought he could manage with that. I then told him “Dad promise me that when you start forgetting things again that you remember how much I love you and that I think you have been the most amazing father. Please don’t forget that.” He said he wouldn’t. Then he cried. I cried.
I then went to say “You shouldn’t be afraid to die Dad. You know what is waiting for you. It seems though that we are more afraid of what we are leaving behind. I am afraid if something happens to me what would happen to my kids. I promise you Dad that we will take care of mom. We will be ok. We will see you again.” Then we cried some more.
It makes me cry to type it. But it was healing in a way. Now I know I have told him how much I love him. I won’t ever have to wonder if he knows how I feel.
We are throwing a surprise 45th wedding anniversary party for my parents this weekend. We thought that since the chances of my dad being here for their 50th in 5 years are slim that we should make this one a big deal. Lots of people are coming and I imagine that my dad will cry all day with gratitude. I will cry all day because the next time we have everyone together like this will be his funeral.
We have been putting together a slide show and I have a hard time looking at the pictures. I look at them and wonder “Was that stupid tumor lurking in there yet?” I think of how oblivious we were to what was coming our way. I think of how much my Grandma loved him and raised him to be such an amazing man, and she had no idea that he was going to die from a stupid, mean cancer. Strange things go through my mind sometimes. I look at my kids and hope they never have to go through something like what my dad is going through.
Tony and I have decided to not have the big elaborate wedding we have been planning for next March. We have decided to do a very small wedding, in my parent’s backyard, with just our family in October. We have been together for a long time and the main reason we are doing this now is because I want my dad to be there. I was getting so stressed out with center pieces, decorations, food and guest lists that it wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t/don’t want to walk down the aisle because I DON’T like the idea of my dad giving me away. So I told Tony yesterday that I just wanted it small and about us and our kids and our families. He agreed. It is like a heavy weight was lifted off of me. I feel so much better about it now.