My Best Friend
by Kim Whitten
Taken one year prior to his death
I am 39 years old, and I lost my dad to Lung Cancer on September 26th. He was diagnosed 18 months prior in Florida where he an my mom live, and went through Radiation treatment and stayed with us in Arizona for about 9 months. We weren't sure what the outcome was going to be, so we did everything in our power to make every day as special as possible for him and us. I will admit, we had a great year together... but then he went home.
He had ups and downs, but it seemed like he was going to beat this thing. I took two months off from work to take care of him and spend more time together... and he actually seemed to rebound, so he sent me home to return to work. That was in March 2013. In September of the same year, his health started turning and I went back to try to take care of him again. I'll admit, everyone thought he would turn around like he did before, but unfortunately he did not.
He was a true fighter. The nurses couldn't understand how he was still alive the last few days, but he just wasn't ready to go yet.
On the morning of September 26th at around 7:15am, I (along with my mom, brother and sister-in-law) watched my dad take his last breath.
My life is so empty now, I miss him so much that it hurts. Even my mom has said that it hit me the hardest... because I'm the "baby" of the family (the youngest), and he and I have a really strong bond with each other that nobody could explain or duplicate. Now there is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled again.
The picture is of me and my dad in Disneyland, taken in September 2012. I made him a deal: if he finished his radiation treatment, I would take him to Disneyland for his first time. (we are originally east coasters, and have always gone to Disney World in FL, but had always dreamed of going to the "Original" parks in CA)