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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Looking back to August 2008

Hope fills the air on this beautiful weekend!  My baby is resting in his crib, my husband is out mowing the lawn and I am here writing after a good night’s sleep.  All is right in my world…and yet there is heaviness, a sorrowful cloud around the edges of my heart.  

I can’t help but think back a few years ago to a time when my world was turning upside down.  It seems a life time ago and yet like yesterday that my dad was alive.  

We were in the hospital during this time of year back in 2008.  Perhaps this was the day my dad decided to make his most valiant effort yet on a jail break from his prison.  While his speech was impaired and his comprehension limited, he was still able to read.  The large red exit signs posted at the ends of the halls beckoned to him.  Repeatedly he tried to go out those doors.  One could only distract him for so long.  He wanted out!  He was fixated on leaving and I couldn’t blame him, I wanted out too.  

The Friday before Labor Day I talked the doctors into letting us go home for the weekend.  There was nothing they could do for him at the hospital that I couldn’t do for him at home.  My only promise was to bring him back on Tuesday for the brain biopsy.  

So for one stress filled glorious weekend I had my daddy home and almost normal.  After the biopsy he was never the same.  The swelling on his brain increased, affecting his motor skills, further impairing an already limited intellectual capacity.  I was glad I had told him before the surgery he had cancer, otherwise he never would have known why his body was failing him.  He may have been declining physically and mentally but there were still moments of lucidity that would shine through and he deserved to know the truth.  

It seemed everyone wanted to shelter him from the truth, to make him think it was all going to be okay, but I knew better.  Maybe they didn’t want to tell him because they were having trouble comprehending it themselves, maybe it added credibility to their denial, I don’t know.  But I did know that if it were me, I would want to know why I was stuck in a hospital.

So maybe it was August 27, 2008 that I wrote a note to my father on a piece of scrap paper.  It simply said, “You have cancer”.  

And that was how my dad found out…

Looking back I wonder if he knew that, deep down in his gut, long before we were in the hospital that long horrid August.  Did he know?  Was he too in denial?  

I have second guessed many things about that time, but the one thing I don’t question was my commitment to his well being.  I stayed by him, watched over him and tried to protect him as if he were my child.  I watched over him the way I knew he would have watched over me if I had been the one in the bed.  He was my father, still is, and someday I know I will see him again.  Until that time, I have to move on, to learn to enjoy beautiful days like today.  

I know this time of year will always bring back sad memories, thankfully the rest of the year (9 months of it at least) are filled primarily with happy memories, memories of birthday parties, vacations at the lake, picking out Christmas trees and so much more. 

In loving memory of my father:  October 1, 2008

Question:  What are some special memories you have of someone you lost? 

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