Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I miss you, Papa (cancer sucks)

Cancer more than sucks. It is an evil thief that robs entire families.

It is SO hard for me to write about my Papa, so this won't be a long post. But hopefully, it will be meaningful. When I wrote about where I'm from, this is the young country couple I mentioned:

I could stare at this for hours. (My dad is the baby.)

He was the rock of our family. The man everyone gathered around. When he spoke, everyone listened.

I have so many favorite memories of this man. When I was little, my grandparents watched me & my brother all the time. We couldn't get enough of each other.

He made me feel so special to share our birthday month. We went to the fair. He bought me a real gold necklace for my 10th birthday. We went to the mall and ate at Arby's and people-watched. He took me back to school shopping and let me buy all the trendy stuff. (a denim shirt & a vest! hello 90s!) I spent all our holidays together sitting by his chair at his feet.

Christmas, 2004
He accepted Nick into the family and made him feel welcome. He made us laugh. We gathered to celebrate my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.

60 years together. Amazing, right? Not if you knew them.

The weekend before my wedding in Las Vegas, he found out his cancer had moved into his bones. My grandparents couldn't fly out to be there that day, couldn't be that far away from his doctors. We did dance at the reception back home, though.

I am so grateful to have this picture.

He got very sick not long after that day. I can't believe it's been 2 and a half years that he's been gone. I held his hand as he took his last breath. I can see in my mind the pain on my Grandma's face when we realized he was gone, and how she bent to hold him one last time.

The hurt is still so fresh.

Papa's 80th birthday - November 30, 2007

It breaks my heart that he never got to meet my son, his great-grandson, because cancer took him too soon. It's hard, but I try to remember that they got to know each other for a whole year before Oliver was conceived. There was a time when they were both angels.