The last month has been difficult to say the least. My Dad has been going through chemo for quite a while now – he was diagnosed with MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome), what the doctors called pre-leukemia. It left him very weak and unable to do all the things he normally would be doing around the house… ok – he would be out golfing 4 times a week too!
On December 12th he went in for his weekly blood count check and they told him that his condition had changed and he now had aggressive leukemia. And worse, he had only 1 to 2 weeks to live. The last year had been hard on Dad. His quality of life was not great and he was depressed often. He made the decision to stop all treatment and spend his last days at home with family rather than spend it in the hospital.
On December 23rd, surrounded by all his loving family, Dad passed quietly.
I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for those last few weeks and getting the chance to say goodbye to the most important man in my life. Dad was always there when any one of us needed him. He was a great father and I miss him horribly.
I wish so much more. More playing golf with him. More working on projects at my house and his, building and fixing things. More sitting at the table and just talking over a cup of coffee. Most of all, just more time.
But I’m also glad that all that Dad suffered over the last year is over. It was so hard to see the man that I always loved go through so much. Dad endured and tried to never let on what he was feeling. Just quiet and brave, protecting everyone around him from what was going on.
Now he’s gone. So many times I find myself thinking that I need to call him and ask him about this or that. Then I remember and it hits me all over again. Everyone says that it will get easier with time but I’m not so sure. I see how much this effected Kris and how she relived her own father’s passing and I’m really not sure.
People pass in and out of your life. Friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, clients. Most have some lasting impact in one way or another. Dad made me want to be a better person. I hope that I can live up to the dreams and expectations that he had for me. I know that I’m trying hard.
I need to add some special thanks to my sister, Kris. She was there 24/7 with Mom and Dad, helping to do everything. We all tried to help when we could but she gave everything she had. Thank you so much Kris.
Also, to my Kris, who put up with my mood swings, anger, and the thousands of miles back and forth to Rochester to visit and see Mom and Dad. All the while being nothing but supportive and loving and understanding. I love you very much, Dear! Thanks to Tyler, Shane, Dakota, and Eric for putting up with me too!
And to my brothers and their wives, Michael and Wendy, Brian and Sarah. They did their parts also to help out. Michael and Wendy’s Liam, the newest grandchild, brought Dad so much joy. He was always as much a sucker for babies as I am!
Lastly to my children, Shannon, Wendy, and Jeff. You three mean so much to me and I love you all more than you know and I need to see you all so much more than I do now.