Lessons learned…

Although the Holidays can be stressful, normally around now I am starting to think about Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Almost three years ago Eric & I started shopping on Black Friday. We would leave before midnight, shop till around 4A.M. then I would meet my friend Jenn and shop from 5-? Last year Evan came along with Jenn’s son & we had a blast. Made some great memories!!! Life to me is about making memories and the quality moments that we have together.

I learned first hand this year all about making some great memories and I learned to savor the moment. This past Christmas my Dad & Donna were home to visit for a few weeks from Florida. (Donna is my step mom for the last 27 years, although she has always been more like another Mom to me) Anyway, they left shortly after Christmas and that was the last time life would seem normal to me. After my Dad got home he felt like he was getting sick…maybe pneumonia… so he went to the doctor who said you should go to the hospital as you have pneumonia. They checked him in and he thought he would be home in a few days. After running some tests they thought they saw something in his lung…maybe a tumor. Not but a week later my two older brothers & I were on a plane to Fort Myers to be with my Dad after he learned he had lung cancer. We stayed for a couple of days and tried to make some good memories when he was feeling up for it. My world was torn upside down! After never being away from my kids for more than one night I would now be spending the next month going back and forth to Florida to see him as much as I could. My brothers and I along with my step sister made two more trips before that last flight there on Feb 9th to say goodbye to my Dad. In the short span of a month, we made enough memories to almost fill a camera card, keep the liquor store in business and we learned lessons to last a lifetime.

I remember the day that we learned the cancer was pretty much everywhere… Tom & Rick were cleaning the lanai and Heather & I were playing Harry Chapin or some country music that my dad liked… we were all trying to keep busy as we waited for him & Donna to get back from the Doctor.  Rewind a few days to the Cat scan… The day of the cat scan my Dad said he was laying there pretty much knowing that the cancer would be everywhere…as he laid there he prayed a simple prayer “Please take all the prayers that people are praying for me and send them to a young child who has not lived his or her life yet” WOW!! How selfless… I can barely type through the tears right now as who would have thought that the prayer he prayed that day, the child he asked for those prayers to be redirected to would not but 8 months later turn out to be one of his own…or actually TWO of his own grandchildren. It breaks my heart a little bit more every time I think about it.

Thank God for that month with my dad…somehow that month prepared me a little bit for the future that awaits. God I miss him so much but what incredible things I learned in that gift of a month. FEAR NOT!!! Yes that is my blog but it is how he lived and how he has taught me to live. He used to say “I worried about a great many things..most of which never happened” SO TRUE!!! I am sure we can all relate. All the things I ever worried about and none of them were Metachromatic Leukodystrophy I can tell you that. The brave face my dad wore in the last month is something I will never forget. He would say what a great life he lived, how Donna gave him the best 27 years of his life, how although he was sorry for things that happened or did not happen, he could not change them so there was no reason to dwell on them. He knew he made mistakes, said he was sorry and tried not to make those same mistakes again. What I learned from him in that month has prepared me and given me strength for how I need to live for today…enjoy the moment…don’t worry about tomorrow for that will worry about itself.

Thanks Dad for giving me the greatest gift ands teaching me  how amazing the human spirit truly is. I remember as we boarded that flight on Feb 9th just a day and a half after flying home to be with Eric for his 13 th birthday what my thoughts were… “please don’t die on Rick’s Birthday dad, he would never have another normal Birthday”. I remember calling and texting Heather every 15 minutes asking if he was still holding on… her answer was always “yes” I would tell her to whisper to him that we were almost on the plane…I bought wifi on the plane just to tell her that we were an hour from landing. “Is he still ok? I remember when Heather said “I whisper in his ear every time you call and he seems to smile” He knew we were on our way and I begged him to wait to go till we got there. When we landed I learned he was stable! YAY!!! He waited! We drove quickly to the hospice and as I walked through his door I broke down and cried… he gave us all a gift and proved how amazing he was! God is GREAT!! Along with Donna & Heather now Tom, Rick & I were there by his side. We had a nice few hours talking to him and telling him we were all there…”its ok to go” As we woke up when the nurse came in to check him in the middle of the night he was ok but the second she walked out the door he left with her. He made sure we were all up and he was outta there! Thank you! Feb 10th…not the 9th and he waited!!

So the month of January into Feb was a month of lessons learned…lessons that I never thought I would need to put into place so quickly after he departed, yet I am grateful for them all. I will live today and be grateful for the gifts in my life, appreciate the support from those far and wide, and know that I have learned more in 2012 than I hope I ever have to learn for the rest of my life!


~ by Rebecca on October 29, 2012.

7 Responses to “Lessons learned…”

  1. Becky, your blogs leave me speechless and tearful. Thinking and praying for you everyday…

  2. Such a beautiful post! Praying for your children!

  3. Wow Becky, you amaze me…this was very tough to read brought tears to my eyes. You are one incredible person. Xo

  4. Keep on writing my dear,you are amazing and your dad was too! He always had a way with words and it looks like you got it too!! love you

  5. Becky, you are amazing and as you describe your Dad it is easy to see where it came from. And now your children will get this strength from you. Prayers always, hugs, too.

  6. becky-i just rad what you wrote-i have been keeping in touch with your aunt anne all through everything-we are saying prayers at church for the children-although i must say because of everything i have been through we haven’t kept in touch lately so i don’t know what is going on-my love to you with all the strength you have debby

  7. Becky, you are so special and always have been. All my love to you and your family.. I had a similar experience when my Dad died and he hung on for me.. We were all alone.. Yet he waited for me. I just kept praying that he wouldn’t be alone, had no idea God had me in mind for him to spend his last moments. Life is a mystery sometimes, the world can be challenging at times, all we need to do is treasure each other with all our hearts all the time. 🙂

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