These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

miss you

its christmas time and its a time for cheer, laughter, togetherness, sharing and festivity. i will feel all of those things this year, as i do every year. except that this year things are slightly different for my family with my dad's cancer.

things appear to be going well with it and yes the tumors have shrunk, with the exception of one. he has had more chemo during themonth of december, chemo that should have continued to shrink. he will have another exam some time in late january to see where things stand and at that point determine what the situation is and what is next to proceed.

however, it is still sad. my dad is not my dad anymore. he is not the person dawn and i saw last in june when he had his surgery. and he most certainly is not the same man we saw during our first visit to texas in march. then, he was blissfully unaware of the cancer lurking inside his colon and liver. he was the man i knew and grew up knowing, the quiet, soft-spoken man with the hidden intelligence and wit that lie just beneath the surface, things i sometimes wish i'd gotten from him.

i talked to my mom this morning and she was happy to hear from me. we talked about dad and how he and my sister were in cahoots to get her something. he told her he needed help from my sister to choose something for her. he couldn't do it himself. he admitted to her finally that his mind isn't what is used to be -- the chemo is taking its toll on his brain and thought process. she broke down and cried several days ago after that conversation, a rare thing for her. but i think a necesary thing for her to do to release that emotion that had been bottled up inside her.

i have not yet seen my dad since his chemo started and i will be shocked somewhat when i see him. but i do get glimpses of him on the phone. when we talk, he cuts conversatons short. at other times i ask a question or finish something in the conversation and he doesnt' answer or continue it. there is a pause and then he asks something else or goes off in another direction. so i have noticed his lapses.

i guess what i miss is my dad being the way he was before. the simple things he did when i was growing up. the things he said or sounds he made. one of them i'd give to hear again and never complain about it. when i was growing up during breakfast my dad would hve his first cup of coffee in the morning. he'd take his first sip and say "ahhh" after he tasted it. being a non-morning person, it would irritate me to no end, since i was still half asleep. and of course he'd do it on purpose. now, the sound of my dad, in good health making that sound, is something i'll carry with me. a fond memory from childhood.

my mom said my dad misses me.
well, pop, i miss you, too. love.