Like, really sick.
Sick as in...not going to get better.
Other working titles for this entry included "Shaking My Fists at the Universe," "Unfair," and "In Shock." Because that's what I'm in - shock. He was diagnosed with colon cancer on May 3rd. My sister and I found out about it on May 18th. They did additional testing and found that the cancer had spread to his liver. He started chemo a few weeks ago but the disease was already too advanced.
And now, as I type this, he is in hospice care. No further treatment, no further intervention. It may be a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks.
And then...that's it.
I could expound on the fact that I am royally pissed off at the higher powers. I could talk about last week, and the endless hours spend in the hospital, the amount of tears shed, or the feeling of your heart breaking into two. But instead, I'm not going to talk about the end. That's just one part of the story. I'm going to talk about my dad - my dad before May 3rd - and what I want the world to know about him.
This is him:
What do you want to know about my dad? Well, here are a few things:
My dad was my softball coach. I can't tell you how many hours I spent fielding ground balls with my father behind the plate. Or hearing, "You throw like a girl!" (to which I always whined back, "But I am a girl!") He used to come home from work, eat a quick dinner, and then load up the car with equipment to spend the next two hours dealing with 15 10-year old girls. I mean, who would sign up for that? But he did. Summer after summer, cold spring after cold, chilly, rainy spring. I never knew where my cleats were and couldn't find matching socks if it killed me, but there was my dad: dressed in his coach's outfit, hat rim appropriately bent, with his aviator sunglasses on, waiting for me.
My dad is the handiest guy I know. He has entire workshop in the basement and I always thought he could literally fix or create anything. He built our kitchen table. He built beautiful toys for Ben and Scotty, including a ride-on car (with a sticker on the side that reads "Bear's Trucking, Las Vegas, NV." License plate: 818-2009) and a fully-detailed wooden train with 5 separate train cars. He and I built the deck to our second house, when we still lived in Illinois, during one spring break in high school. In the pouring rain (why does it seem always be raining in the Midwest?), we dragged the lumber, cut the boards (okay, he cut them, I measured. I am a wimp with power tools) and nailed it together. It was a pretty awesome deck, if I do say.
Despite his tough exterior, he is a big softie. I'm sure he hoped for a boy, but instead, got two very girly-girls. (As evidenced by the two stories above, our gender clearly did not deter him from putting us to work.) Whenever my parents would come to visit when I was in college, my dad was notorious for giving me a quick hug and then slipping me $20, just when my mom wouldn't be able to see. "Get yourself something to eat," he'd say gruffly, although I think we both knew the money was going to pay for more fun things, like beer. The coolness factor of this move cannot go unnoticed. But that was him - he was a cool guy.
My dad loved his grandsons. (okay, now I'm crying.) He loved them like only a grandpa could. He held Scotty when he was just weeks old.
Oh. I would have never guessed.