Saturday, November 21, 2015

My father

Back in June I posted this, in which I said
My father ... turned 92 on his last birthday. He's got a few aches and pains and treatable ailments, but on the whole he's still going strong.
Well, amazingly shortly after I wrote that - not two full months - everything changed.

Feeling a bit run-down and thinking he wasn't "bouncing back" from his February bout of pneumonia, he went to his GP. Who did some blood work... and sent him to an oncologist. Stage IV cancer, in liver, cecum, spleen and femur. Untreatable. The oncologist talked with him and they decided to do nothing but palliative care. "I'll tell hospice six months," he said, "but I don't think it will be that long, to be honest. Go do what you want to do."

So my father went home and my sisters and niece took time off work and family to stay with him while I went back to Maryland and sorted out what I was going to do. My retirement's in June, 2016, and I briefly considered just retiring early. But my job allows me to use accumulated sick leave for family care, so I did that instead, and came home to stay with my father as long as it took. If it outran my sick leave allotment (480 hours, or 60 work days) then I'd take my accumulated annual; if it outran that (which was my fervent hope), then I'd retire early. But it didn't.

Nine and a half weeks later, on November 4, my father died. He was at home, with his daughters there, and it was quiet.

And I miss him so much.

Which is why my blogging has been sporadic of late, and may continue to be, a bit.

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