I remember this day three years ago, as if it was yesterday. And, each year on the anniversary we said goodbye to our dad, I feel the emotional obligation to take a few moments to think about our time in ICU and the moments leading up to his death, after just a short battle with leukemia (AML). They aren’t the only memories I have, by any stretch of course, or the ones I think about the most anymore, but they are the memories I never want to forget because they were our last and final moments that we will cherish more than any. Just as the reality of his death sets in and you realize there won’t be anymore memories to make. This is it. That thought is enough to create a few tears. So, we pause for a bit to think, and remember, and definitely ensure we do not forget. But, life goes on, and although we miss him dearly, and think about him almost daily, I’ve been presented with a new job to carry on his “business” in more than one form.
I miss my dad so much, and I’d much rather have him here doing what he loves; working, golfing, or having an icy cold cuba libre. I miss his hugs, his smile and our conversations in the corner office. I miss being his neighbour, and having pork tenderloin on sunday dinners, even though I don’t love it. I even miss all those stupid infomercial products that he bought us thinking they were the best thing since sliced bread. And, mostly, I miss his silly sayings and use them all the time, like “since god was a boy” and “dry as a popcorn fart” and “see you in the movies”. I miss his nicknames for me like punkin-head, or sweetheart, and the way he said “sandrich”, “srimp”or “srink”. Even though he’s not here in person, but in spirit, I think (and hope) I know him well enough to make those tough decisions that require a “what would Bill do?” before deciding. He must have thought so too.
This year has been particularly busy, with the start of 2011, our luck took a turn for the worst, just after it was up. In late 2010, a couple of my dad’s good friends (in the homebuilding industry themselves) joined with us to continue running his housing company (my dad’s legacy and life). With their expertise and knowledge, we hope to continue to overcome the adversity of the loss of dad. This, after dad’s good friend, lawyer, and executor successfully steered the company through the last 2 years of sketchy economy. But, then in early 20011, exactly the same weekend, three years later, as dad was diagnosed with leukemia, so was his executor and friend. What a huge emotional blow.
We got the call one sunday afternoon as we were furniture shopping. We thought it was a joke. Though not funny. What are the chances this could be happening again? Of course, since the outcome for my dad was much less than positive, we all thought the worst once we finally came to grips with the truth. Leukemia is a death sentence.
Well, as we sit, on the anniversary of my dad’s death, his friend has found a match for a bone marrow donor! This after 3 well survived rounds of chemotherapy (though not without the awful effects and emotional turmoil), which was the cause of my dad’s poor outcome and eventual demise. Dad was too sick for a transplant even if they did find a match.
I don’t know why things happen the way they do, but I have been trying very consciously to consider health and stress levels like I never have before, or thought to have needed to in the past at my age. I truly believe that the leukemia in both was caused by stress, and that is probably the only thing that those two guys had in common. A lot of crap on their plates to deal with; less sleep, less exercise, and likely, not the best eating patterns. So, with more and more being heaved towards my plate, I will be trying my best to manage the portions in stride. Wish me luck. I think we might have to up the doses of surf-cations when possible.