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Matt Herring 09-13-2009 01:44 PM

Hug Your Dad Today
 
I usually don't get into the mushy stuff on any websites but I thought my recent experiences might help someone down the line. This post probably serves as more of an outlet for me to get things off my mind than anything so take it for what it's worth.

My dad was recently diagnosed with late stage liver cancer and he has just a short time left. He's 53 years old and he's lived a full life...although seemingly cut way too short due to this illness. My mom and dad were divorced when I was very young and while I've always been in contact with him for visits and phone calls I've usually never lived closer than 4 hours from him (and since being an adult usually 7+ hours). So, as you might expect, the next few weeks or so will be spent saying goodbye with precious few hours left to spend together. I'll be traveling back and forth from MA to PA over the next few weeks to spend as much time as possible with him.

So, if you are able give your dad a hug today, or call him on the phone or if your own dad has passed spend a couple minutes thinking about him.

Sorry for the babble...thought it might be a good reminder to some to spend time with your dad while you have the chance.

alohaspirit 09-13-2009 02:45 PM

I totally understand.


Life is too short.


Make every moment count.

bgd73 09-13-2009 09:46 PM

of course it is understandable.
My dad is also in his 50s. Some are surprised from his past to realize he recovered (personal history). I would also focus on an outstanding thing to remember, and make it valid, interview or what have you for ideas.

My father moved on to over 5 million miles as trucking, not a newb seeking "lot lizards and a joint", hes been an independent for 20 years or so, he even worked at a time when all trucking was absolutely horrible..starting in 1973. This evening I helped him with a chore on his rig. This past weekend, I saw a sign of alzheimers, he misinterpreted my age/abilities entirely. It is frightening. the past couple of years, sensing this, I have made several hours of video driving with him. I lost one parent when I was young, my mother, she gave me a heads up on my dads silent history. Communication, if not a hug, and keeping history of the stubborn old man is a great idea.;)
Odds are broken hearts have a seemingly endless abyss, staying stronger than this finds something incredibly special to cherish, no snapping defenses to dwell on, once it is known.

MetroMPG 09-13-2009 10:17 PM

Matt - sorry to read this news. Here's hoping you both make the most of your time.

My sister-in-law lost her dad to sudden onset cancer earlier this year, but she also managed to spend a lot of time with him before he died - both were really grateful for it.

Christ 09-13-2009 10:58 PM

Matt - this is part of the reason I came "home"... I'm not sure how long my Father has left in him, but I hope it's a good long time yet... However, it seems like each time I talk to him, his health has declined moreso than last time (which sucks, because I work with him every weekend...)

I don't go easy on him, though. He'd have it no other way... when we're working together, I'm the boss - I decide what project to work on, and how hard we work on it. He does his best to keep up, and I razz him for taking breaks and such, although he knows I don't expect him to work any harder than I would, and often, I don't expect him to work at all.

Today, we were digging pits of shale out of the hill across from his house. While I was throwing 300+lb pieces down the hill, he was resigned to picking up and stacking the smaller, sub-50lb pieces. He just can't do what he used to do...

Matt, life lasts only so long - please, make the best of the time you have left with your Father, and the time left in your own life. I don't believe you'll ever regret dropping everything to be with your loved ones. IMO, nothing is more important than family. They're all you truly have in this world. No one can take your family from you, so don't give them away, either.

Sorry to hear about your Father, and here's to good times with Dad.

RH77 09-17-2009 04:20 PM

Matt-

Sorry to hear. I'm sure he knows how much you care.

It's a good reminder not to take someone for granted -- even if you're miles apart. I admit I don't call as often as I should.

Stay strong, but cry if it helps -- we're all human.

Take Care,

-Rick

IsaacCarlson 09-17-2009 04:28 PM

Don't just spend time with Dad, tell him you love him, and laugh and cry with him
 
REMEMBER:*taps chest over heart* where there's no rain there is a desert....

tasdrouille 09-17-2009 04:47 PM

Matt,

I'm at a loss for words. It's a part of life we're never prepared for.

Good luck,

Martin

SentraSE-R 09-17-2009 09:42 PM

Matt, Cherish your remaining time with your dad. The last Christmas we had with my dad, he ended up in the hospital with heart arrhythmia. He came home the day after Christmas, and told my mom not to call the paramedics the next time. He'd suffered 20 years with chronic hepatitis C, and also had prostate cancer working inside him. So we knew he wouldn't be with us the next Christmas.

I drove the 800 mile round trip every weekend to my parents' until my dad passed away in May. I don't regret doing it a bit. Tell your dad you love him - every visit.

Matt Herring 09-28-2009 03:46 PM

Thanks to everyone for the support...while I've only met a few of you it is good to share some things on here that you know like minded people will appreciate.

My father passed away last Friday, September 18 in the home our family has owned and lived in since 1850 as was his wishes when he passed. While I was only able to spend his last few days with him I was at his side holding his hand until he took his last breath. I wouldn't want to do anything like it ever again...but I also wouldn't have had it any other way.

Thanks guys for the kind words of support...

Matt


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