21 August 2006

One year later...

Sometime after 6:30 AM EST, on August 20, 2005, my father died.

The phone rang at 7:30 AM PST. My wife was semi-awake and looked at the phone.

"Its your sister." she said.

I buried my face in the pillow and almost started crying. There was only one reason my older sister would call me at that time of the morning.

A few years ago, they had found a bit of cancer in one of my father's lungs- a bit the size of a fingernail, he said. They took out half the lung or so to 'fix' it.

More recently, they found it in the lymph nodes near his stomach. (I got this news exactly one week after seeing Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru.) My father node had lymphoma. It was metastisizing.

They gave him chemo, and had told him mere days before that the chemo had worked. He was getting better, they said. He was feeling better, eating better.

Sometime that same morning, my stepmother and he had discussed things. They figured they had at least one more Christmas together. They went back to sleep....

...And he passed in his sleep.

My father had been in a wheelchair since the mid-80s. In the early 80s, his back started to hurt- he had some type of spinal degeneration, where the nerve cells in his spine were developing scar tissue for no reason.

He was in constant pain for 24 years.

After his passing, a friend's lament still rings true...

at least his pain is over.


Oddly enough, if my father had lived 15 more days, he would have passed 10 years to the day after my mother died.

This year has been rough for me. My father was one of the people most supportive of my return to college, and was most happy with my performance there. He's one of the people that always knew I could do better and was so pleased that I was showing everyone else he was right.

We may have had our differences over the years, but I miss him terribly.

He taught me how to shoot, how to fix cars, and the basics of self defense.

And in his later years, how to live honorably in the face of debilitating pain.

Rest in Peace, Dad.


Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

My heart felt condolences to you and your family and to all of your dad's loved ones. It sounds like your dad left a lot of himself alive and well inside of you. keep it going.

With respect,
Glenn B

2:48 PM PDT  
Anonymous fast_rope71 said...

What Glenn said rings true. Honor his memory by being teh best person you can be. When you are a fther yourself, see if he can outdo him. Nothing would make him more proud.

8:13 PM PDT  

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