Friday, January 18, 2013

Until Death Do Us Part

Tomorrow marks the 33rd anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s always easy for me to remember how many years it has been since it’s always how old I am at the time. He passed away just two months after I was born.

I always felt a little sorry for myself – growing up without a dad. Nowadays, a lot of children don’t have fathers in their lives but way back then most people had a mom and a dad. I felt like I was missing out on “dad” stuff. I imagined how awesome my dad was and how we would be living the most cool life ever if only he was alive. As a parent now, I realize it wasn’t me that anyone (including myself) should have ever felt bad for – it was my dad and mom.

I can’t imagine having a pregnant wife and learning that I had Melanoma Skin Cancer. I can’t imagine battling through chemo and surgery during a time when I should be happily painting a nursery. I can’t imagine missing the birth of my child because I was in the hospital fighting for life. I can’t imagine knowing that I would miss my child’s first words, first steps, and every step after that. I can’t imagine knowing that I would be leaving behind my beloved wife with a two year old and a two month old to take care of on her own. It is all simply unimaginable yet it’s what he had to deal with.

As for my mother, I can’t imagine caring for a toddler, carrying a baby inside of me, and watching my husband die. I can’t imagine the sorrow and the fright of not knowing what my future holds. I can’t imagine knowing my husband would never walk through the door again. I can’t imagine knowing that I had to do it all on my own. I can’t imagine not getting my happily ever after.

The whole situation was really just horrible. It’s only now as an adult (and parent) that I truly recognize how remarkable they both were. I only wish they were here for me to tell them.

A note my father wrote to my mother in college. She saved it and then passed it along to me.

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