I started this blog to have a place to share my classroom experiences. Little did I know or understand what I was getting myself into. This blog has become my little outlet. Not only about education, but about life. I’ve shared some experiences that reflect pain and tragedy and how I’ve tried to use those experiences to help people. My latest hardship doesn’t seem to have a lesson in it, but God is still working. So we will see.
*Warning* Extremely Personal Post Ahead*
My father was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. He fought it and he BEAT it! His health, however, suffered tremendously. In 2008, he had to switch to a feeding tube, because his food was going into his lungs, causing him to aspirate. The aspiration was causing chronic pneumonia. He was getting it almost every other month or so. When Daddy would get pneumonia, he was in ICU for a week or so and typically went into septic shock. I remember the Dr. telling us that people typically do not go into septic shock more than once. Daddy has been septic so many times, I’ve lost count. He was a strong man, and never let the fact that he couldn’t eat slow him down. He still lived life everyday. He did a *few* things I didn’t approve of…like long motorcycle trips, and just living on the edge. He told me he wasn’t sure how long he had and he didn’t want any regrets. Thanksgiving was always his favorite holiday, daddy was a foodie for sure! Every year, after he went to the tube, he just said “I know I can’t eat, but I’m alive and still kickin'”. The feeding tube did slow the pneumonia down, but it didn’t prevent it. The last two years, his voice started to become very difficult to understand and our main methods of communication became texting and FB messages. Every Thanksgiving, my family comes from all over to the mountains of North Carolina. Last week, we were gearing up for that very tradition. Dad went up a little early, and had only been there a few hours. He pretty much went straight to bed that night…
So about 12 days ago, daddy text me, “I went shopping today, I bought the kiddos a 3 piece suit”. I was like…what? You went shopping by yourself? And why a suit? You don’t wear suits, my hubby doesn’t wear suits? We are jeans and pearl snap shirt folks! That’s our dress up! My hubby got a *tad* irritated at the thought of his kiddos in a 3 piece suit (ummm okay). I just said “Ya know, daddy never just randomly buys gifts, just let it be”. That was Thursday. I told Daddy thanks for the suits and we looked forward to seeing them.
Then the phone call that changed EVERYTHING. That middle of the night, gut wrenching phone call of someone you love crying. IF you haven’t experienced this, I pray you never do. By the sound of my sweet Aunt’s voice, I knew, this time was different. The hubby made some calls, and loaded our family up..the longest car ride of my life.
We got there, just in time for the doctors to tell us the most awful words ever “Your father has no blood flow to his brain”. Daddy went to be with Jesus that day. I am thankful that we all had the chance to see him one last time.
After we got back to my family’s house, someone gave me another surprise. On that shopping trip, Daddy had bought my sister and I two pieces of jewelry. The first time in my life that he’s ever randomly done that. I’ve shouted this from the rooftops, I don’t think my daddy knew he was going to die. I do, however, believe that GOD put those impulses in his heart. God knew that Daddy would soon be called to heaven. Dad had just finished his “honey do list ” all over his house. Something he’s had for YEARS to do.
I wanted to share with you a few pictures, so that you could see the changes he went through. Cancer is an awful thing, and we were so excited when daddy “won” the battle. But the thing with cancer, it’s not a battle, it’s a war. The war continues for years after you are “Cancer Free”.
My Wedding Day (4 years post cancer)
My brother and daddy ( 8 years post cancer)
10.5 years post cancer
Our Last Picture
My kiddos proudly opened their gifts from their papa and wore those brand new suits to lay him ,to rest.
Now, as I attempt to figure out this new way of life without my daddy, I hope that I can show the courage and the strength that he did. I hope that one day people will say that I blessed their lives the way my dad did. I could not have asked for a better dad, and am so honored when people tell me I’m just like him (Except SOME areas haha)
Thank you for letting me share this with you. I am so honored that so many of you have become my friends through this little ole blog!!!