Friday, August 31, 2012
We thought they'd never end..... I haven't visited my own blog since the last post I wrote. Mostly for not knowing where to begin, and now for not knowing where to end. It's been a long, frightening, hopeful, tearful, draining, angry year. Full of sad. Full of more emotion than I ever thought I'd be called upon to experience all at once. On November 16, 2011, the bottom fell out of my life. My Dad called to give us the news that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with metastases to the liver and lungs. Later, this was corrected to cholangiocarcinoma, which is bile duct cancer, with questionable pancreatic disease and lung metastases. We were on speakerphone. I fell to the floor, screaming into my arm. I put on my running shoes at 10:15 at night and ran, sobbing, down the street. Away from cancer. Away from the shock, from what we knew was the inevitability of his death. His mortality. My own. Sweet boy had a stomach virus that night. I was up anyway. How could I sleep, my God, my Dad, dying. I didn't sleep for 48 hours, and then was afraid to sleep because every sleeping moment was consumed by nightmares of plane crashes and death and pain. We soldiered through. I ran. I didn't run. I pulled out of races because the wheels came off my body. They gave us hope, the doctors, yet we knew there wasn't any, really. The holidays were good ones. We made memories and took pictures and interviewed Dad on camera. He knew we were interviewing him because he was dying, and that I needed him on video to show my son. My commitment is to never let his grandson forget him. In April, Dad's condition began to decline rapidly. He could no longer tolerate the chemo. He was ready. I booked tickets home for June, to spend part of Fathers' Day weekend with him. To share my son and my love for him, one more time. In June, there were no more chances. We spent 3 days at his hospital bedside. I said the words I had always wanted to say. Needed to say. I sang to him. I held his hand. One of my cherished memories is of him being the first person to reach me at the finish line of the Jazz Half. I was with him at his finish line, as he was with me at mine. My Mom, sister, and I were privileged and blessed to be with him on June 15, 2012, as he took his last breath. My birthday is Monday. The first birthday without my Dad. To him, I will always be 39. To me, he will always be as he was on November 15, 2011. Healthy. Happy. Whole. I love you, Dad. I love you forever. Best Dad Ever.