Friday, June 25, 2010

A chance to say good-bye

I kissed my husband good-bye this morning and off he went, suitcase in tow headed to the airport, then on to  Kentucky. I wish he was traveling to create wonderful life memories with his parents who live there. Not this trip. This visit was planned quickly and under tense, sad conditions. His father is nearing the end of his battle with brain cancer that started six months ago.
Our family Easter trip to Kentucky in April left our sons with some of the best memories of Grandpa Fish, as they call him. Though not feeling great, he could talk, attend Easter service with us and watch as my son caught a bigmouth bass in the backyard lake. The kids flew kites that Grandpa Fish picked out for them and both boys were able to wrap their arms around his big frame. It was such a special trip because Grandpa Fish’s ninety-three year old mom, Grandma Katherine, from Tennessee was there too.
Two months later and Grandpa Fish is in hospice. My heart feels heavy for my husband, mother-, grandmother- and sister-in-law who will soon say their final good-byes to this loyal veteran, dad, son and husband. I know, I know, death is part of life. It’s not an easy part for those left behind, but I have to keep faith that death is the final awakening into peace-filled eternity.

My husband’s sad trip helps me realize that this is a chance many people never get; a chance to say good-bye. It is heart-wrenching to think about looking deeply into your parent’s eye, especially when it’s likely that won’t register or recognize who you are, and say “I love you and thank you” through so many stories and memories that only you two have shared together. I have friends who have never been given the option to say good-bye to their parent who unexpectedly passed on. They always wished they had a final chance to say farewell, hold their parent’s hand one last time and deliver a kiss with an “I love you.” We all don’t get this special opportunity and my hope for my husband is that he reaches out to the moment. The present, literally, the gift of the present moment, a few minutes, to say good-bye.


Cheeseboy said...

I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your husband.

♥ Sarah @ FFP ♥ said...

Oh, I am so sorry. *hugs*

My grandmother died from brain cancer when I was a couple of months old... I am sad that I never got to know her.

I know each moment we have on Earth is precious and is heartbreaking as it is you are right that at least your husband has the chance to say goodbye.

I really hope your family makes it through this tragedy alright and has happier memories to celebrate in the future.

Dalia - Gen X Mom said...

So sorry but it is wonderful that you are looking at this in the way you are. So true that so many people don't have that opportunity.

Kari said...

What a beautiful tribute to Ralph Sr. - a beautiful way to say good bye.

Sommer Cornett said...

:'( I am so sorry...this is so hard. I am very thankful that Ralph and Debbie DO get these moments with their dad.

I love you all.