80 IS NEVER TOO LATE TO SAY "I LOVE YOU TOO"
by WL Stewart
MY DAD circa 1957
My Father is presently undergoing Rectal Removal Surgery, the 2nd time he's had this type of cancer in less than a year. He had to get the dreaded "BAG" from a large TUMOR removal last year. For 3 months just prior to that he was in a rehab hospital in a successful attempt to save his leg from diabetes. The Summer before he had seizures and broke his hip while doctors were diagnosing his brain ailment. He's had prostate removal surgery 15 years ago and has continuously dealt with diabetic neuropathy with pain to his lower stomach and groin area for many years.
I am writing as form of therapy and mostly to grieve the loss of my DAD, before he's really GONE. Yes, I told him I loved him before he went in less than an hour ago. But no longer can I go on vacation and golf with him, no longer can he come visit and take my daughters to the Zoo. Its so sad and I feel very bad about this surgery for some reason. Its an overwhelming feeling that its just NOT going to turn out good.
When he was first presented with the option of having this second surgery, regreting having the first, with the colostomy bag, he was convinced that he would NOT have this surgery at all. However, after researching the death rate and cruel way this cancer kills, he quickly changed his mind, which was a huge relief for my Mom and the family. I was at peace with his decision believing that its HIS life, not mine and I'm pretty sure, I'd feel the same way.
I am just now receiving texts from my older brother and sister and he's in Surgery and not due out for 2 hours. Again, I am having an overwhelmingly HORRIBLE feeling that this one isn't going to go as all the others in the past have, its just so strong, this feeling. I am SAD that I'm feeling this way AND somehow I should be more positive about the outcome. I know that after writing this and when I get the call he's doing fine, that everything will be okay, but until that time, I'm very worried.
We've been here on several occasions over the past 17 years and this time for some very spiritual, very force of nature type feeling I'm experiencing, I am suppose to be writing this down? I do pray for his quick healing and for this surgery to be over with. Time will tell.
Dad is an old school Father and rarely says "I love you" back whenever I say it, but I've gotten used that and respect his generation. More logical and less emotional.
However, this time, he said "I love you, too"... was a huge impact as he's an amazing man. Seriously one of the most intelligent people I know, not just I'm proud of Dad smart, but rather, the real kind of SMART. He skipped 2 grades in elementary school, self-taught bolean algebra and was on several patents as an electrical engineer. He worked for RCA then GE (General Electric) which was purchased by Honeywell Information Systems and later merged with a French company called BULL or as my Father would say, "Now its just- "BULL!"..
My Dad started our local baseball little league, served as the first President and spent many years as coach, coordinator, umpire and light pole installer, whatever need to be done to give the boys baseball, he was there. He also coached Pop Warner football for many, many years. He's married to my Mom for now 55 years and will turn 80 next April. Its never too late to say "I love you, too". Which is the words I heard so loudly this morning when I hung up the phone an hour before his surgery. So whether or not the surgery goes as planned, I know how blessed I am to have had such an incredible, Father force in my life and wanted to share that blessing and despite his old school outward appearance, I know he loves me AND I love him. Thanks Dad!