Well, last night is what I would call not a good night. As some of you know my father in law is sick with cancer. Point of fact he is dying and we don’t expect it to be too far off.
One of the things we have tried to do is take advantage of the fact that we live close to both sets of grandparents. We have spent lots of time with them and the kids so they would know them. This is a good thing. It is also a hard thing when that time comes that we don’t like to talk about. What is it that we can’t say die? They go to Heaven, Cross over, Pass On . . . .
We first had to deal with this a bit over two years ago when my Dad died. He had a long fight with cancer too (from smoking so if you smoke, quit! It is not a good way to go). It was hard to watch but at least he had an OK quality of life up to the end and could still enjoy talking with us all, building his model boats, reading and watching TV. It was hard on the kids when he finally passed but they had a chance to get ready and knew it was coming.
My Dad in law was doing ok up until a month or two back. This has been much faster, and he has been in much more pain than my Dad was. I don’t think – hell I know he is not having a good quality of life right now. He is stuck in bed, sleeps a lot, and can’t really eat or drink anything. As I said, things will be over soon.
My daughters seem to be taking this two totally different ways. My oldest will be 13 this month and she is aware what is going on but doesn’t talk much about it. She likes to go see him when he is up for it, and she seems ok with things and understands it. I don’t want to push her too much but that is where it’s at right now.
My younger daughter is the emotional one. . . she is 10 and she had good and bad days with it. We were up late last night because she was crying already missing Papa. . . . she was scared that he may die overnight (like my Dad) and she won’t get to see him again. That has to have been one of the hardest nights I have had as a parent. What do you do when there is nothing you can do or say to make the pain go away? She knows he is sick and in pain, she knows this is the natural way of things but that still doesn’t make it any easier. . . . . My wife promised her that they would all go over first thing today to see him and that seemed to help a bit. She can get to camp a bit late. . . . some things are more important. . . . .
As for me and my wife, we are getting through it. I am trying to do what I can for her but again what can you say? We just take it a day at a time and I do whatever I can so she can go see him and help mom when needed . . . .
Personally I am torn . . . . part of me hopes it is quick, it is hard to see someone you care about in so much pain and know it won’t get better. But part of me also knows that he has two more kids trying to get home in time to see him. I have a brother and a sister in law that should make it into town in the next day or so and I pray that he will be around long enough to see them. I don’t know if that is selfish but I know how important it was to me to spend time with my Dad as the end came. I was there almost every weekend to talk and just sit with him. I hope they can get here in time to say their piece and spend that last bit of time with him. . . . but we don’t get to make that call do we. . . .
I am now certain that the cruelest part of life is we don’t know what comes next until it is too late to tell anyone. . . . Just think of how much less painful the parting would be if you knew for sure you would see them again. . . I try to take it on faith, you see mediums like John Edwards and I think “man he is too good to be faking it”. . . then there are little things that happen that make you feel your loved ones are still around you even if you can’t see them – you smell grandma’s perfume, or gramps cigar when there is no one around, stuff like that. But I am an engineer, and know it for a fact would be so much better. . .
More later. Sorry if blogging is slow for the next few days and maybe a bit on the downer side but it is my blog and I need to vent. . . . .