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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Cancer BLOWS!...

Because I told you a little about my friend who is battling cancer, I want to share what yesterday was like...

My beautiful friend "G" had her surgery yesterday.  She has been battling this horrible disease for a while now, with Chemo and other measures, and she has managed to keep a smile on her face, and a joke at the ready.  She knew she would be in surgery for most of the day.... Along with her wonderful husband and kids, she's had two of her sisters with her, and her roommate from boarding school who is as much a "sister" as the other two.

Our weird little boarding school world is amazing... Miss G's sisters decided everyone should wear blue today, and send a photo in to Facebook to show our support.... We are in all sorts of different time zones so it's been cool to see the photos pouring in from all over the place from all sorts of people..  I think there were over 100 photos posted at last count, and more and more are coming in all day long.

Yesterday a whole pack of us spent the day lurking on Facebook looking for the updates on how the surgery went, and I'm DELIGHTED to say she came through this 6 hour ordeal with flying colors... the surgeon updated her sisters to tell them the cancer appears not to have spread, and things look good... So, she woke up without her constant companion, fear, since she found out about the cancer months and months ago...

I am looking forward to many years of friendship with my fabulous "G"...

While this doesn't tie into the usual sentiment of this blog, and there isn't much funny about cancer or tumors or operations, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that news... I do have a short anecdote to share.... and again, this has nothing to do with dating or romantic relationships... except to my mother.... I've mentioned before I lost my dad Christmas Day to that horrible disease.  Here's just a taste of who he was.

My dad had a fantastic laugh... when something struck him as funny, he would slap his knee in glee, which would get everyone around him laughing because his sense of humor was infectious.

The guy was a ton of fun to have at a party and he was just a social animal... he was a class act though, and treated people the way he would like to be treated himself, so his humor was never mean.  He ALWAYS treated my mother with respect, and was the sort of handsome prince one reads about in fairy tales.  I know it's easy to remember the good things when someone passes away, but we ALWAYS thought of our father that way.... I'm sure my dad is going to make many showings in future posts, but this is the story of his battle....

When my dad found out he was terminally ill with the cancer that took him from us, I booked a flight to go out to see him. It was a very weird visit, because I knew it was the last time I would see his dancing blue eyes and his big grin.  I spent 5 days trying to smile, and not show him how scared or devastated I was for our impending loss, because he spent a lifetime teaching his girls and his boy to be independent and strong... I was always the slow learner there.... He spent the 5 days acting as though he was going on a trip.

My dad lived for pub lunches.  After a long career as an executive in the oil industry, he retired to a place where there were pubs on every corner, and going out for a beer and something to eat was just heaven to him.  He loved the social aspect of it, and going out with his kids and our various and sundry "cling-ons" was fun... it became a rite of passage for all the grandsons to go for a beer and a talk with Gramp when they came of age.  The only one he missed taking for a pub lunch was my youngest son...

Anyhow, during that last trip, I was able to have a couple of pub lunches with my dad... on the last of them, my older sister, her boyfriend, my mom and I were taking him out to a great English style pub out in the country.  He decided we should stop by the funeral home because we would pass it on the way,  and he wanted to have a little chat with the staff.... I know.  Weird right?... but the guy was an engineer, and they are logical thinkers... so there we are, sitting with the funeral home staff as he's asking all sorts of questions about the paperwork that needed to be done, and what was going to happen to his earthly remains after his death.  My sis and I sat there trying to pretend this was something we wanted to be doing...

When he was satisfied his questions had been answered, we went off to lunch and had a good chat, a beer and pub food... just as though the funeral home excursion hadn't happened, although for my sis and I it was a little subdued... I remember my dad leaving the pub, and heading out to watch the ducks and swans on a pretty pond outside.  He looked like a little boy seeing it for the first time until I realized he was so rapt because it was the last time.  That little moment in time is seared in my memory...

I left the following morning to go home, and await the inevitable... I kissed my dad goodbye, knowing it would be the last time I hugged or kissed him.

When I got home, I called him often to touch base and to hear his voice...  one of our last conversations went something like this: 


Me:  "Hey Dad, how have you been?"

Dad: "Well, pretty good, considering, how 'bout you?"

Me:  "Fine.  So have you been getting out to the pub for lunch?"

Dad: "Every chance I get... as a matter of fact, Auntie Lee and her sister are coming down for a visit, and we're going today... Gonna try to keep the conversation light."

Me:  "Um... Dad?  Can I give you a little heads' up...If you want to keep things "light" can I suggest not heading to the funeral home on the way? ...That dampens the mood a bit."

I could hear him start to chuckle...That was the last time I laughed with my dad... and I could hear him slapping his knee.

Later...

1 comment:

  1. E,
    I truly enjoyed your story about your Dad. I remember having a great lunch with your Mom and Dad when I was out for Uncle Doug's funeral. We sat in this little English place and had fish and chips. I will always remember staying with them on that trip.
    J

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