Written by my daughter Tristan xx…
This year marks 12 years of my Dads terminal cancer story. Here’s to a day to celebrate what those years have meant to my family and the lessons my Dad has passed on.
Recently my Dad said to me that he is not sure what is next for him. He has spent the better part of 30 years being a full on, every day Dad and now the four of us are grown and don’t ‘need’ him in the same way. He is freed up in a way he is just not used to, his focus can shift and he’s not sure what that means for him. What’s going to be next. I feel like that could be a scary (or maybe exciting) moment for a parent, when they are no longer ‘needed.’ I certainly don’t feel that way and although life is moving forward I will always need my Dad.
A month ago my Dad lost his Dad, I was reminded there is never a moment when you are ready to lose a parent.
There will never be enough time or a good time to say goodbye.
My Dad said he could imagine what it would be like to lose a parent but until it happens you just don’t know that feeling of true loss. A piece of you is no longer here.
Helping me to accept change.
My first call when I am panicking. Dad – “are you safe? o.k hang up the phone and call CAA.” haha classic.
Grocery store choices. Do
not choose the sugary cereal.
A big hug.
Someone to see me for who I want to be, not just for who I am being.
For long drives when I need the company.
To support me when I need to take a leap. Sometimes I feel the courage to do something just knowing he’s in the background cheering me on.
To say the classic lines when I need to hear them…
It’s been 12 years of my Dad’s cancer journey. 12 years of wondering if there will be another Christmas or Father’s day I am going to like (do you like special holiday’s when they are no longer here to celebrate with you?). That’s 12 years of gratitude that my Dad is here, with “his feet above the daisies” (yes, those are his words LOL.)
This is our journey and how we find light in the darkness of cancer.
That everything I couldn’t, I could.
It comes down to awareness and choice. Having more awareness gives you more choice.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Be there and listen. Influence by listening not by speaking. Be curious. Be authentic. You are enough, you don’t need to prove yourself.
Mind over matter. You just have to believe.
Lead with kindness. Always. How you treat your waitress matters just as much as how you treat your boss.
Your key beliefs about yourself can be your biggest barriers AND your biggest strengths.
To love without expectation. The small things you do for someone when they aren’t watching. That’s love.
When someone enters the room stop whatever your doing and acknowledge them. Make time for it. It’s important.
Be open minded, seek first to understand and then to be understood.
You cant talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into.
Life is not fair but its miraculous and beautiful.
To all of you that have lost your Dad… I am so sorry. That loss must feel unbearable. I am here sending you love and light.
I am trying to appreciate every day I get with my Dad. Trying not to think about the days that he won’t be here and just enjoy the moment, right here right now. It is harder said than done, especially when scary medical results come in. Cancer can be like rollercoaster. Sometimes things get scary really really fast and then there are other times that we just coast and enjoy. There are beautiful moments and sad moments, often at the same time. Just being together. As a family. Learning to appreciate all of it. Each and every time when moments have got hard my Dad has found a way to bounce back.
A true walking miracle!
For all of you still have your your Dad in your life… Love on them hard. Today and every day.
To my Dad ..
PS. What lessons has your Dad taught you? Is it anything like : “You are safe, you are happy, you are loved. Now go clean your room.”? hahaha
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