Monday, September 3, 2012

What. A. Week.

Apologies for the slowness in posting this week.
There are lots of fine lines 
all over the place about
what is appropriate to share 
and what isn't appropriate to share

This last week,
we had a big shindig at our place 
(that we do annually)
and I wasn't quite ready to invite the masses
(you know, all three people that read this blog)
to our place via a Facebook event invite.
Maybe next year.

photo from previous BBQ.
Couples withdrew with an injury this year.
Too busy socializing to snap shots this year.

Then, there are the two reasons 
that really knocked me offline.

One of them, I will share here although it crosses that
"this isn't house related" line that some folks flip out over.
But it is important to me, so I'm going to share.

The other, well it DEFINITELY crosses the line.
And I'm not going to write about it here.
I think I'm actually going to start another blog for that.
Because, you know I love to start blogs
(evidence here, here, here and well, not here because this one was private for our wedding)
...tell me you didn't try to click the "not here" link...

All things said and done,
here's a rundown of 
a week full of life
and a heartfelt
for sticking it out
and coming back day after day.

I appreciate you.

This really wonderful man
who taught my husband
much of what he knows about 
how to be a great husband
and someday
Good Lord Willing
a good father
decided that he was done here.

My father in law went in for a 
surgery to remove a mass.
They thought it wasn't cancerous 
going in and thought he'd be 80% back to his old self.

Turns out, not only was it cancer,
it was an aggressive form of brain cancer
that would require an aggressive form of treatment
that they do not do on people over 70.
(unless, I suppose, you're a President)

All said, my father in law didn't want any 
"extraordinary measures" at the end of his life.
He was a "put it in the God Can" kind of guy.

Let's interrupt this sad, vulnerable moment 
to getacademic for a second.

At Cornell, after I realized becoming a Geneticist 
was probably going to take way more time
than the Fed's and my scholarship sponsors were
going to give me money for, I wafted between
becoming a science writer and a biomedical ethicist.

Those last two words were so big
(50 cent words my granny would call them)
that Blogger's spell check is all 
"say what now??"

I digress.

On the ethicist side of the equation, 
we discussed all sorts of things like
DNRs and end of life decisions and living wills.

We talked about how it is always a great idea
to write that kind of stuff when you are well and able bodied
and leading a full life.

We talked about how it was always a good idea 
to update those regularly.

What we didn't talk enough about, 
was how intricate and specific 
you should be when talking about such a touchy subject 
as death.

We didn't talk about how what you want, might well change
if there are other circumstances in your life.

Case in point.
In the end, how coherent was my father in law?
There is no medical formula to calculate that.
There are med professionals who have their own opinions
(the whole, no one over 70 treatment),
there are family members - each who has their own opinion - 
trying to weigh in with what the patient might have wanted.

Your spouse knows you differently than your child does.

Your child who lives around the corner 
knows your differently 
than your child who lives around the world.

The child you raised 
knows you differently than the child 
who entered your life mere years ago.

All to say that in the end, 
it was rough for us.
Okay, for me.

Likely because I went through almost
the same stuff with my granny.

We hosted our annual TPC Boeing Classic BBQ on Saturday.

This after getting a call on Friday 
saying that after a visit to the ER
my father in law couldn't have anything more done for him
 so they were sending him home.

To make him comfortable.

In hindsight, the trigger words
"to make him comfortable"
in combination with
an extreme interpretation of "no extraordinary measures" should have clued us in
to the fact that he had mere hours.

But it didn't.

We got on a flight the next morning
and my husband arrived home
40 minutes after his father passed away.

I said it on Facebook and I'll say it here.
That is a cruel God.
He gives so much and snatches it right back away.

Yes, my life could be a hell of a lot worse.
I've been there, I know.

But sometimes I wonder what the point of all the material "riches" are
when things like this happen.

All said, we are blessed
to have been able to just go with two people
on essentially a same day flight.
If we would have had shot records
and a health report on Mary,
she would have come with us.

Yes, we would have flown our dog
to California.

Ms. Four Paws is an unofficial therapy dog.
I'm certain she would have helped
Robert and my mother in law
through all of this.

I know LOTS of people who couldn't do that.
And for that I should be grateful.

It's hard.
Not going to lie on that one.
Certainly not going to sugarcoat it.

In any event.
We'll have a memorial service
in Orange County
on October 6, 2013
at St. Andrews Episcopal.

I'll have to write another,
less raw,
post about the awesomeness
that was my father in law's life.


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1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Your post made me cry, it was very moving.
    I'm thinking of you and sending hugs. I know you don't know me, so I hope that's supportive, not intrusive.


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