In a tribute to those we’ve lost to cancer and those who continue their brave battle, and to promote cancer research and awareness, I want to share how cancer has affected me personally.
No inspirational quotes today to prime the pump. There is nothing which makes up for the loss of a parent, much less two.
My father died in 1969 as I was just beginning my journey into adulthood. He died three weeks before his first grandchild was born. So two people were deprived of the opportunity to know a man of character, honesty and integrity. I believe my son would have benefited greatly from knowing his maternal grandfather who had a terrific sense of humor, a wonderful gift for storytelling, and an unshakable belief that family comes first and if you take care of the people you love, your family both of blood and friends who are chosen “family”, all other things will fall into their rightful place.
My parents were married after knowing each other only six weeks during World War II. He abandoned his high school sweetheart, who’d promised to wait for him, and ignored the wishes of his family. She outright defied the dictates of her strict parents and upbringing, for the man she fell in love with “the first time she laid eyes on him”.
They were married just shy of twenty-five years, when my Father became ill with cancer, and died six weeks after his diagnosis.
My mother survived the loss of her husband, known to be the love of her life, but barely. The first year was the worst, and she suffered such a devastation of spirit, I thought we might lose her too.
They were madly in love with each other every day of their marriage and everyone around them knew just how it was for both of them. The had a date every Saturday night and spent time with each other paying attention to their relationship as well as their family.
I learned different things from each parent, just the way it should be, and all the things they taught me were valuable lessons. From my father I got three unbreakable life rules: 1) try to never lose your sense of humor, 2) value your education, 3) believe in the impossible, it makes things possible.
For several years after my Father’s death I still wanted to pick up the phone to share things he might agree with me were odd, or funny, and so I miss him still today, some forty odd years later.
During times of real stress, I know my Father is still with me, since I’ve seen his spirit in the house where I grew up. I haven’t lost my mind, and I’m not the only one, my little sister still lives in that house and she’s seen him several times. My Father, gone but not forgotten, still looking out for his loved ones.
So take a moment, share a thought, reminisce and use the link to donate to the cause. Support cancer research and let’s working on keeping those loved ones close, as long as we can.
God Bless to all the Dads both here and in the hereafter.