Thursday, March 21, 2013

Where to begin?

It's funny, all the little twists and turns that life takes.  Things can change so quickly, and it really makes you examine the word forever.  We use that word a lot, and it really takes something life changing to appreciate what power that word has, and how often we misuse it.

My father passed away on Saturday night, March 16th.  While it wasn't a sudden surprise, it wasn't exactly like we planned for it.  My father has always had "health problems", and I put them in quotes because they weren't what you would normally refer to as such.  My dad had beaten cancer three times in his life, only had one kidney, and was generally a medical miracle. We had prepared for his death back in 2005 when he found out he had kidney cancer, but he bounced back from that one, too.

So, when I heard he had gone to the hospital with fluid in his lung, I kind of figured that this would just be another round of visiting him in the hospital, he would get better, and then go about his way. It wasn't in the cards this time, though.  When he got to the hospital, it was determined that he had experienced a minor heart attack the night before.  He then proceeded to have another heart attack while in the hospital.  He basically decided at that point that enough was enough, and told the doctors and nurses not to resuscitate.  He was sent home on hospice and died a few days later at the age of 62.

The point of this post is not to gather sympathy from anyone.  The goal is to really make sure you understand the meaning of the word forever.  I will never get to tell my Dad I love him again.  I will never watch another Cubs' game with him.  He will never read another funny email I forward to him.  I will never like another of his Facebook posts.  The list goes on and on of things that won't be shared by us or anyone who knew him.  Everything reminds me of him at this point in time.  Any time someone says the word "Dad", it gets me just a little bit.  I see pictures of my friends with their dads, and it gives me just a pang of jealousy.  I watch TV and little things remind me of him, and it hurts just a little.

I urge you, if you have someone in your life that you haven't spoken to in a while that you need to, please do it.  They will appreciate it.  Sometimes it is just that one of you needs to make that little bit of effort to break the ice.  I was fortunate.  I didn't leave anything unsaid.  There is not one ounce of regret in my heart about my relationship with my dad, and it certainly made this process easier.  It can happen quickly, and a lot of people don't get the opportunity to sit with their loved ones for an hour and just talk about life.  I got that opportunity, and I will be forever grateful.

There have been so many wonderful people that have made this process as good as it could have been. The list goes on and on, and I am so appreciative at the outpouring of support my family and I have received during this time.  It means the world to us, and it will not be forgotten.

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