Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I think one of the things about my husband's family that drew me in immediately are his father and grandfather.

They never once have made me feel like I was nothing other than a part of the family, one of theirs.

I never had that feeling from my own father.  I knew I was not his favorite, that was my sister, so I just never thought differently about it.  My father's father was never a part of our lives, and my mother's father always seemed distant.  There was never a time where I can remember any of these men being a strong influence.  I do know that I never relied on approval from men, have always been comfortable in my own skin, and while lonely while single, I never craved having a boyfriend.

Most of my friends had different relationships with their fathers.  Once of my closest friends, someone I've know for almost 20 years now, introduced me to her family a long time ago and they took me in. 

Her mother is a typical "eat, you need to eat" type even when I was overweight and knew it.  She still will do that, and when A met them I warned him about it.  He learned after the first visit to not eat before going because they weren't satisfied with being told we had just come from lunch.

Her father, from the first day, called me his other daughter.  He always talked with me, hugged me, and just made me his own.  All my memories of him are warm ones, from discussing sports, talking about fishing, or just telling me about the house they lived in and showing me how proud he was of his grandchildren.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer.  I don't remember the name, only that it was a rare form, and he was given a short time to live.

But his strength carried him forward.  Almost 4 years later, he did everything he could, and my friend became his caregiver, watching him start to fade away.

He finally passed yesterday.  He'd been in a coma for a couple of days, and they had been told this was coming, but it still didn't make it any easier.  I wish I could have been there, could have said my goodbyes to a man who I came to love as my own father, and who will be so missed by all of the family.

I can't be there, and I can't stop crying, but I also will never stop thinking about him.  I will also always know he is still somewhere watching over all of us.  And I hope he'll be proud of us all as we move forward without him.

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