so… my dad was diagnosed with cancer in july.
on his birthday he had major surgery to remove the tennis-ball size mass that took over his abdominal area.
prior to this —months prior to this , while he was still 61 years old, he was talking about early retirement or planning to retire in just 3 more years… he wasn’t sure what he was going to do….
i think my dad would have been lost if he retired. work was his life. sure his family was why he worked, but work was where he was in control. he worked most of his life if not all. he took care of us. he was the bread winner…
Some times i think he should have taken the back streets… but he did the usual…the ‘work like man’ usual. he was responsible. no back streets for him. no short cuts…just kinda fit a good mold. yet he still shined. quietly shined on the straight path.
it doesn’t seem fair. you work and work and try to plan for the future when you can spend time with your faraway relatives.. spend time with the grandchildren…and then nothing. you get nothing but 6 months of suffering. you try to be brave. you are brave and continue to fight the fight… you hang on to hope, but nothing.
as a daughter , all i can offer is a hand and a smile and a ‘ you can do it, papa’ but really, you want to shout at the world and in your mind that’s what you do. and in your mind you lower your voice and you hold your papa’s hand again and smile and tell him he’s doing fine as he struggles to get from the kitchen door to the drive way to the car….
when death presents itself…
you begin to wonder about your own mortality… and maybe i’m not an age where i can start to see my own mortality but when you spend six months with a dying cancer patient, you begin to explore your life. where did you go? where did you go wrong? where will you go and who is important? who should you stay up for or wake up early for? wonder why your genuine good spirit could not save a life. good things happen to good people… is all you tell yourself. and you know very well that you are fooling yourself and you know very well that you are holding on to hope. because when you see your dad dying ….that’s all you can do. hope.
intellectually , we all know that death is a fact of life. but most of us tend to avoid thinking about our own mortality, especially when we are young. i think that’s magical — its magical to not think of your own death and it’s quite moving to think about it deeply.
death doesn’t seem so remote, now.
then it’s over. he dies and all you have is your mother and you wonder if she’ll be alright?
and you hear her cry…she sounds like she’ll cry a river and drown herself. and you wonder if she’ll be lonely and alone…and you wonder if you know how to help and save a life. a life a light in her? and you hope nothing goes wrong.
it’s only been a month since he died… can’t tell if it seems longer or if it seems like yesterday. currently, i’m in a state of confusion with time.