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Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Dad

Have I ever told you much about my dad? Probably not. I normally keep this blog close to the garden subject area. Sometimes I stray and talk about my kids, but there is usually a gardening slant. I suppose today will be no different because my dad has always been supportive of my gardening projects. He's been there for most of the big ones.  I couldn't have built the garden shed without his help. He was there for advice, a helping hand, and company too.




He also helped me build this playset for the kids. That really doesn't have much to do with gardening but it is a prominent feature in our backyard and the kids love to play on it all the time.


When I was working on the arbor project he was there. He helped me raise the top onto the posts and did some of the staining.

Over the years we've done other projects too like the retreat in my parent's backyard. It's a pavilion over a patio that they've used as an outdoor living room. On a blazing hot summer day it's a great place to retreat to, hence the name! We also built this bench for my mom, although I can't remember if it was for her birthday or Mother's Day. Either way the bench was both a way to make a present for my mom and spend some time with dad.  It's weathered well even if the paint hasn't.



Dad and mom both helped me to get our house into livable shape after buying our house which was in foreclosure at the time. We spent two months rehabbing the inside, getting the walls painted, hardwood floors installed, carpets removed and installed and several other issues straightened out. Our projects brought us closer together.



I am so fortunate to have had those times with my dad, I just wish they could have lasted longer. This past Wednesday dad passed away due to cancer. My mother, brother and me were there as dad succumbed to that deadly disease. He began fighting the cancer in November when it was discovered in his esophagus. He fought through the debilitating effects of chemo and radiation treatments and prepared to have surgery to remove a section of the esophagus to prevent its return.  During the surgery the doctors found the cancer had metastasized to his liver. He continued to fight but soon discovered it had spread again, from his liver, to his pancreas, to his lungs, and near his heart. To make it even worse the cancer in his liver had grown and was causing pressure on his side along with pain, lots of pain. He went into the hospital a week ago from this past Friday and we truly expected him to come home for a while but the cancer spread too aggressively. To make an impossible situation even more impossible a blood clot in the liver needed treated with blood thinners which prevented a rupture in the intestine from closing. On Wednesday my dad died.

I've been spending a considerable amount of time trying to get a grasp of everything.  It's hard to accept that someone who has been a part of my life since I was born is no longer there. We had the funeral today, with full military honors. Dad was an Air Force veteran of 20 years and served his country with dignity and honor until he retired. And he did the same for his family.

I'll be resuming posting again soon, once life has returned to a new normal. I'm grateful I had the chance to tell my dad what he meant to me but I wish his 67 years would have been more like 87 years.  We don't always get the opportunity to say goodbye.

Edit: I have detailed more of dad's fight with cancer on my stay at home dad blog: This Dad's World.  You're welcome to visit there and read.  I haven't been updating it frequently but I felt that I needed to write more about dad's struggle with cancer.

24 comments :

  1. My mom passed away early in the spring. It is a difficult thing to lose a parent. I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family to have strength to deal with the days ahead.

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  2. Dave,

    I am so sorry to hear this! I totally understand how you feel as my dad died at the age of forty-seven when I was twelve. Life was never the same after that. He would never see me grow up, get married and have children.

    My mom did a great job with us until she died at the age of ninety. I think sometimes the more memories we have the harder it is. I still think of her every day! Take care and treasure the moments and memories.

    Eileen

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  3. Dave,

    So sorry for your loss. Your Dad lives on through you and your children. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Freda

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  4. My sincere condolences for your loss. I often think of my Dad when I am working in my yard. It is wonderful that you have such good and close memories of sharing together.

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  5. I know the feeling. Sorry for your loss, may you find healing and good memories of your dad in your garden.

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  6. This post was a beautiful honor to your father. Deepest sympathies to you and your family at this time. May the beauty his legacy live on through your passions.

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  7. What a beautiful post about your father.
    My sympathies. Do whatever you need to at this time. Take care of your family and I look forward to your posts when you are wanting to do them again.
    All the best.

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  8. My thoughts are with you and your family. What a beautiful way to share his memory and some of your favorite tomes with him with the world. Good bless. Jill

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  9. David,

    What wonderful memories you will always have of your dad. He was a good man and he was so proud of you and your accomplishments.

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  10. Dave,
    I am sorry that you had to lose your Dad at such a young age. My Dad died at 69 over 16 years ago and yet I feel his presence often. Your Dad did so much to help you and your family see his love for years to come. He saw your vision in both glass, garden and playset. My Dad touched many lives and still does and your Dad will too.
    Take time to grieve and know that
    it only hurts because your Dad was such a good man. The saddest thing of all would be to not miss him.
    His life will always enrich yours even in death.
    Thanks for sharing your passion in glass and garden. You are all in my prayers.
    Barbara Desmond
    bdesmond@fuse.net

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  11. Dave, so sad to hear about your dad - there is a bitter sweetness in being so well loved - makes the loss so much harder yet at the same time so much more bearable. CS Lewis said "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal." You are a blessed man to have been loved so deeply by your dad. Let your children absorb your tears; allow them to cherish his life as you process through your memories together. May comfort come to you all.

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  12. You are so blessed to have these memories Dave.

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  13. I'm so sorry your father has passed away. May the God of all comfort be your source of strength today and in the days to come. May He wrap his loving arms around you like never before. My sympathies.

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  14. So sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Donna

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  15. I'm so sorry to read about your loss. Perhaps you need a memorial tree/bush/bench in his honor?

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  16. Dave, I wondered. I made a similar post in May. My father, too, died of cancer. You will miss him - a lot. I know you are also relieved that the battle is over and that he is now pain-free. Your dad is enjoying a happy reunion.

    Prayers for you and your family. May you feel the Lord's presence very near.

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  17. Dave, I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. No matter how much we prepare for it, it's still painful to lose a parent. He sounds like he was a special, wonderful man.

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  18. Dave,
    I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. It is just never easy to say goodbye to someone we love.

    I will be thinking of you and your family.

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  19. Dear Dave, I am so very sorry...My thoughts are with you all.

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  20. My condolence for your lose. I too have lost both parents, child & husband. I feel your pain. Time will help heal but the memories will always be there. Take solace that you have them.
    My prayers will be with you & family.

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  21. Dear Dave,
    I'm very sorry to read this sad news. Sending my condolences to you in the loss of your dad. Good memories will continue and help sustain you.

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  22. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  23. So sorry to hear about your dad. I know it has been a rough 7 months for your whole family.

    So glad you have the wonderful memories with your dad. I know how comforting that is.

    Thanks so much for sharing some of those precious memories with your blog fans.

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  24. Wow. I just happened upon your blog today and this post is really close to my heart. I am so sorry for your loss. My dad too is an Air Force veteran and fortunately is still with us though he has his health issues. Sometimes those military men are difficult (I hope your dad wasn't!) so I am glad that mine is mellowing enough with age that I'm able to spend some time with him doing projects before it's too late. You have made me even more appreciative. Thank you.

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