Ever since I can remember, he’s been there for me. Yes, there were times that I got very upset with him and we fought. However, I feel that those disagreements helped us grow together. Growing up my parents took my brother and I to church. They raised us to be great adults that could stand on our own two feet. There have been struggles in my life, but I know my parents have always been there for me.
One thing that I enjoy is being able to sit down with my dad and have a drink. We can sit and visit about many things during this time. Sometimes we’ll grab a deck of cards and play a game as we visit. I remember watching him do the same with his father when my grandparents would come and stay with us. It makes me feel great to be able to go to him about anything.
In 2008, I was living in Tacoma, WA. Throughout the summer my dad would tell me of some difficulties that he was having health wise. In September, I received the call that I knew might come some day. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Here I was almost 2,000 miles away. There was nothing that I could do. In early October he went into surgery to remove the cancer. I would call and talk with him, then call mom later that night hearing that dad had no recollection of me calling and talking to him for 30 minutes. I understood that he was pretty drugged up, but it was still difficult to know that he didn’t remember talking to me.
At the end of the month I was in a situation that I moved back to Kansas. I was back in my hometown and was able to go with my dad when he went for his chemotherapy sessions. Sitting there talking with him and getting to know him more was great. He always enjoys sharing stories of when he was younger with his family.
In March 2010 I was living 1.5 hours away and got the call that he was in the hospital. His lung had collapsed. They thought he was having a heart attack and rushed him to the emergency room. Luckily, it was just a collapsed lung. He and mom then came to visit me for their anniversary. We were sitting and watching the race and his breathing changed. He realized that it had happened again, but wanted to get home, so they left. He ended up going in and having surgery to patch his lung that had had a tear in it for years, but this was the first time he had troubles with it.
As I’m getting ready to head back home, I look back at my years with my father. He is 100% cancer free for over 2 years. He’s a fighter each time he gets knocked down and put in the hospital. He’s a great man for all to know.
I love you, Dad, and I can’t wait to get to know you more in the many years ahead that we have together.