Friday, June 24, 2011

Beginning Again...


Much has happened since my last post here. Again I apologize for the length of time between posts.

As you have read this blog you have known that in addition to my being a formerly married man who struggled with being gay, I am also an only child who has been dealing with significant elder care issues for my parents. Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer beginning in 2006. We thought we had beat that, but in the late summer of 2008, we learned that she had lung cancer that had metastasized into her bones...her hip....and her skull.

Aggressive radiation, chemo, and a total hip replacement contributed to her remission which lasted 15 months. In May 2010, the cancer returned with a vengeance...finally taking her life on October 11, 2010.

She smoked.....heavily....for years....and never stopped...even during her battles with cancer.

Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2009. He underwent aggressive radiation and chemo....as well as "cyber-knife" procedures...

Following Mom's death, it became quickly apparent that Dad was not able to live by himself or take care of himself. So, I dragged him -- kicking and screaming -- to live at my home in the DC metro area.

Daddy adjusted to living with me fairly quickly. It was good getting to have him here and we had a ball. I exposed him to a lot of different types of food....people of different backgrounds....and I even brought in some gay folks into the mix.

He thrived!

Sadly though, following a family reunion back in WV at the beginning of this month, he took a turn for the worst. His lung cancer spread to the other lung causing it to collapse. He went to the local hospice house and died on June 13.

I am devestated...

I have lost both my parents within 8 months of each other. I am an only child.

Now I have so many decisions to make.... Daddy's service is July 9. He was cremated at his request. The obituary is written. I had a professional picture of him taken just two weeks before his death.

But I am taking heart in the fact that with all this gloom, doom, death, dying...I was actually able to have good quality time with Daddy. In his words, "We were finally able to say things to each other that we should have said years ago..."

He was my buddy.

I have no regrets.

I kept him safe...he knew he was loved...and now he is gone.

I suppose what I am facing is the double whammy of grief over losing both parents in such a short timeframe. I don't think I actually got to mourn my mom's passing, because I was so wrapped up in Dad's move, healthcare, and all the related decisions.

Now it is all cascading around me...

All I can do is wade through it....

and begin again...

6 Comments:

Blogger Brent said...

So sorry for all your losses. I'll keep you in my thoughts... Keep moving forward.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Buddy Bear said...

I'm so sorry for your losses. I hope there are people there with you who will give you hugs and a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Amigakitty said...

So sorry for your loss...you will be in my prayers!

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

I hope you find peace, Frank. It is hard to deal with that much loss, and I pray that your good memories will help you overcome the sadness. You are so right that the way to deal with it is to wade throught it and, day by day, begin again.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences. I lost my only remaining parent, my mom, to lung cancer. Like you, I am an only child and was her primary caretaker. It was by far the hardest thing I've done.

Take care of yourself and try not to make a lot of decisions until some time has passed.

Know,too, that you gave your father a most precious gift at the end of his life. Don't we all hope to be so loved and cared for when that time comes for us, as it surely will?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Frank, I'm praying for you as you cope with this loss. Glad you had that quality time with your Dad in the last few months.

And once you get through the main part of your grief (because it really never goes away totally - they were your parents after all), you can take care of Frank.

4:40 AM  

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