Friday, June 28, 2013

Let it Be

I've been thinking of writing this post for a few weeks.  I have so many projects I've been working on.  We are finally getting the baby's room ready and jumping into full summer mode.  We have been doing lots of fun stuff off of our "Summer Bucket List" that we made. I have wanted to share all of these projects and pictures, but before I share all of the fun stuff that I've been doing, there has also been some not so fun things going on in our house.  It has been weighing on my mind, but I don't know if I have the right words to say.  Sometimes I feel like it isn't my place, and it is a somewhat private matter.  I wanted to make sure that Drew is comfortable with me sharing this part of our life.  But here it goes.
This is the day Alaire was born.
My father-in-law, Jim, has had cancer for over three years.  He was diagnosed when Alaire was three months old.  We almost became comfortable at times with his illness, thinking that it was a normal part of life.  At first he didn't have typical reactions to chemo.  He didn't seem "sick".  He wasn't bed ridden or obviously ill for the first few years.  He worked everyday and lived a fairly normal life.  He never quit working or playing.

The last year has been much different.  My mother-in-law, Deb, has had to take care of him round the clock sometimes.  (As a side note, that woman is probably the most dedicated wife I have ever seen.  She lived out for better or for worse, through sickness and in health.) To say the least it has not been an easy year for either of them, or our family.  We have had multiple last minute trips back to South Dakota.  Each one ending with the circumstances becoming a little more complicated and have left us wondering what is coming next.

In April we went to see him after he had an infection in his chemo port and was airlifted to Sioux Falls to a better hospital.  It was really scary.  He had a 106.7 temperature at one point.  We stayed for about a week and a half and when we left things were better than when we got there, but still not good.
We didn't know that things would unravel so quickly and ended up going back a few weeks later to see him for the last time.  As difficult as it was I am glad we were able to be there to see him one last time and say our goodbyes.

This whole experience has been a whirlwind.  I don't think it completely sank in until we drove home.  I don't know what is harder to see, my husband losing his parent or my daughter questioning all of deaths' mysteries.  People often question what is worse, losing someone unexpectedly or knowing that they are sick.  The answer is both suck.  We've known Jim is sick, but you keep hoping the whole time for some miracle to take the illness away.  After living on borrowed time for a few years, you start to forget the circumstances and it becomes a new normal.

Drew and his dad were best friends.  They talked everyday.  He always has told me what a great dad he was.  He took Drew swimming every weekend, he encouraged him to conquer his fears, made lots of family memories on vacations and boat rides and picnic lunches,  let him be himself, shared an insane love for football movies, reading, and politics.  Jim was always a fun person to be around.  He loved to get out and be social and he loved to do things.  He also LOVED the Beatles.  They even played, "Let it Be" at the funeral.  His honorary paul bearers were: John, Paul, George and Ringo.  He would have thought that was awesome.

 When he came to visit he wanted to go to the zoo, a museum, the pool or out for dinner.  We are definitely going to miss sharing those memories with him.  It's really hard to think that he won't be there to see Alaire and any of our unborn children grow up.  He loved being a grandpa so much.

We always remind ourselves of how lucky our little family is, because we really are.  We have a great life.  We have everything we could possible need and a lot more.  We have each other, a home, a sweet daughter and another one coming any day.
Even with that said, there is still a huge hole in our hearts.  I think there always will be.  There is still a longing for a different outcome and we are left with a lot of questions.  I'm sure, like with all things, that time will make things a little better.

For now we are doing the best we can.  We are trying to be happy for everything good in our lives.  We are trying to grieve while trying to be excited for the birth of our second child.  The support of our friends and family has just been amazing and we are so thankful for that.

When things like this happen it makes me step back and watch myself as a mother and a wife and wonder if I am doing it right.  If something like that every happened to me or Drew, would I have wished I would have done something different?  Would my kids talk about me the way Drew and his brother talked about his dad?  Would they say I am a patient, intentional parent and spouse?  Would they know I am proud of them and want them to do what makes them happy in this life?  I hope so.  

I hope you have a great weekend with the ones you love. 
 Thanks for reading.
 I hate to write gloomy posts, but this is what is going on in our lives right now, as some of you have already known.  
I felt like I couldn't skip talking about it and post pictures of something I nailed into my wall first, because that stuff really is meaningless in the grand scheme of life.

1 comment:

  1. Anna,
    Great tribute to your father in law. He sounds like an awesome guy. My condolences to you and your family. You are in my prayers.
    Jill Esteban