Dying Gives Birth to Living

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Happy November beautiful people. 

I am so happy October is over. Last month was the worst month of my life. Undeniably and absolutely the worst month ever. 

My dad was told by his doctor that he had about a month left to live on the last day of September. Dad had cancer and had been battling it for many years with a positive attitude and his own brand of gumption, with healthy doses of nurse flirting and old man grouchiness thrown in for authenticity. 

That was until this summer when he began chemotherapy. He had undergone two surgeries and various drug cocktails but had managed to elude chemo until then. It just zapped his life force and he never got it back.

My dear, sweet, nurturing, brilliant, sarcastic, argumentative, impatient, happy, kind and loving dad. From that first day I  heard the death sentence I changed all my plans and visited him every day. I drove out to his home and spent hours lying on his bed beside him, holding his hand and talking. I did most of the talking, but he did a little, answering my questions and telling me he loved me. Dad told me he loved me more in October than he ever did for all the days before. I got to thank him for being so dependable and protective, for showing me the ways of the world and sharing his wisdom and passion...for being such a good man and a good father. Those days were beyond bittersweet. I saw my dad disappear a little every day but am forever grateful for the deep love and strength he shared with me.  

Dad died peacefully near the end of the month with myself, my mom, my brother and his wife by his side and holding his hands. Paul Potts was playing on the CD player in the room of the hospice and the song "Music of the Night' was the song to which he took his last breath. It was so poetic and beautiful.

"Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar
And you'll live as you've never lived before"

 

I am beyond devastated. I'm heart broken and fragile and cry here and there pretty much every day. The little things trigger me like when I'm reading about a current news item and I'm curious to hear my dad's opinion on it and then cry realizing I'll never hear his thoughts on anything ever again. He was always my sounding board and a voice of reason and restraint in my life and I feel a little lost without him. 

Despite (or because of) this great gaping loss in my life I am also unexpectedly inspired and renewed.

This thing called life is such a transient, elusive thing. It can be ripped from any of us at any time.

                     Just.

                         Like.

                            That.

 

You can discover a mild pain is terminal or you can be struck by a car running a red or by lightning whilst walking the dog. None of us knows when our day will come - when we shall take our last breath. 

  We must

make it count. 

It sounds cliche but darn it, it's the truth.

Each day is a gift. I don't want to waste a single one of the ones I have left. I want to walk every road,  eat every dessert, drink every wine, sing every song, pet every dog, laugh at every joke, see every movie and generally accept invitations and opportunities when they are presented.  I feel hyper-alive and wish I could bottle this intoxicating sensation of possibility and delight. I wish nothing more than each of us recognizes the beauty and potential of each day. 

Life is wonderful. 

Live it well. 

 

 

Posted on November 1, 2014 .