Gift or Curse?

I’ve always wondered if it would be better to know you are dying or to just go unexpectedly. If you had asked me that question before this July I probably would have said it would be better to just go suddenly and painlessly.

I don’t think I agree with that anymore. Learning and realizing that my father has a finite number of days left has been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to accept. It has also been a gift for which I will forever be grateful. I moved away from home in 2003 and over the past 10 years I haven’t exactly visited as often as I should have. I’ve missed a lot of special occasions and family dinners. I have been given the opportunity to try to make up for lost time the best I can. I will not miss another birthday or holiday, and I will spend as many weekends with my parents as I can while I still have them around. Dad may surprise us all and beat this cancer, against all odds. Even if that happens I will be sure to not miss any more holidays.

Yes, I now feel that knowing that my father is dying is a gift.

I don’t know if he sees this as a gift or not. I honestly don’t know how I would see it if I were in his position. I would like to think I would see it as a blessing, and even more so, I would like to think he is grateful for this time. Truth be told, I don’t know that he sees it that way. I know he is enjoying all of the love that is surrounding him during this time, but I also know he takes anxiety medication regularly these days. He smiles and speaks of happy things. Even his eyes are smiling, but I can see the sorrow hiding behind them and it breaks my heart for him. I know this will be a difficult year for me, but I cannot begin to imagine how hard this is for him.

So, gift or curse? Definitely a gift for family, but for the patient?  I think a little of both, maybe.

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P.S. Cancer sucks.

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