My dad, a wonderful man, is dying. In the spring, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, so in April, he had his bladder removed. All of the tests were perfectly clear and things went very well. Then, 2 weeks ago, on Sept 17, our world fell apart. He had been having some coughing and congestion, so they did a chest xray which showed spots on his lungs. Since then, he's had a CT scan, a PET scan, and a MRI, which all show intense involvement thoughout his entire body, including a spot on his brain. The doctors can only make him comfortable at this point, although they are doing radiation for the brain to slow that progression.
My dad is a great guy - he was a Marine and served our country in the Korean War. As a member of the "Frozen Chosin", he was lucky to make it out of there with just some shrapnel and frostbite. He received a Purple Heart for his service.
My dad married my mom when I was 4 years old and literally raised me as his own. My biological father often remarks that he could not have picked a better man to take care of us.
Some of my favorite memories...
I remember when I first met him. He was sitting on my mom's piano bench wearing a ball cap. After hiding behind my mom for a while, I went over and took off his ball cap, revealing a very bald head! I screamed and ran back to my mom :)
I remember, soon after they married, he built me a playhouse. It was dark red and the bottom level was a sandbox (not a good thing in the country btw - lots of barn cats and sandboxes dont mix!!!). The upper level had a railing all around it and a little tykes kitchen. I *loved* that playhouse!!
I remember a lot of weekend afternoons spent fishing. We would go to the hilltop store and get bait and lunchmeat for sandwiches, then spend the day going from pond to pond. Dad liked to walk around the entire pond while fishing. If he caught something, he'd stay for a while, if he got all the way back to the truck, it was time to go!
I remember one Easter Sunday when we had gone to church, dad sat with us as always. When we got home, the entire yard was decorated with eggs and toys and candy. It always amazed me how he must have gone back home, decorated, and back to church in the time it took for Sunday school.
I remember a Christmas morning when I got up and there were ashy footprints all over the living room carpet, cookie crumbs on the table and a piece of red velour hanging from the fireplace opening as if Santa had ripped his pants open..
I remember when I was in 2nd grade, one of the convenience stores in town was giving away a Cabbage Patch Kid. You could sign up everytime you bought a coffee. Dad went in *every* morning to put my name in. On the day of teh drawing, I had actually gotten sick at school, so mom came to check me out of school and take me home. She stopped at the store to get some 7-up and my name was posted as the winner of the doll. They said they had actually drawn 3 times and my name was all 3 tickets!!
While he obviously showed love, it wasn't until about 10 years ago, that he ever said "I love you". What an amazing man.... I will miss him so much :(