Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Crickets are Taking Over This Journal

...and the cobwebs are accumulating at warp speed.  This school thing is kicking my butt, but now that it's over, well, I'm back!

My dad is not doing well.  My dad, once an international businessman who made his living negotiating with foreign governments to allow the construction of oil terminals, who at one time had a passport that was so full it had an accordion insert that fell about 3 feet when opened; who opened corporate offices in Japan, the Philippines and Singapore; who in his retirement ran half-marathons, was studying to be a personal trainer, who was once a NCAA track & field official, is now bedridden and giving up.  About 8 years ago he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins' Lymphoma, and went through a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation that took away everything that he loved.  He lost his ability to taste, has no salivary glands, and developed osteoporosis.  About a month ago, several ribs and a couple of vertebrae became fractured (no injury, just fractured spontaneously).  Imagine the pain ... he couldn't eat for the pain medication made him sick, and getting out of bed was painful.  He has developed a bedsore, and mom is talking about bringing in a hospital bed.

I can hardly blame him for giving up.  Nothing of any quality remains for him.  His athletic loves are no longer possible for him.  He has lost much of his eyesight from cataracts (which were removed recently) and he can't move around.  He is 80 years old, the same age as his own father when he died, 31 years ago.  He believes he is done.  For some reason I'm praying for the release for him.  Strangely enough .. when someone you love is in so much pain, and there is no hope for recovery, you pray for something better for them.  Is that wrong?  To pray for someone to die?

My dad is a faithful Christian man.  Even after my mother stopped going to church, he kept on.  Losing my sister in a car accident was the last straw for Mom, and God had given up on her, so she gave up on Him.  But Dad still had faith in a higher power.

The priest from our church has been coming to the house to give him communion.  I know that Dad is confident about what lies ahead.  That is a relief. 

What an extraordinary life.

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