Saturday, July 18, 2015


I am so angry.  I want nothing but time to sit with my father-in-law to tell him what he means to me.  I know he knows, as they took me in as family nearly 17 years ago and I have thanked him endlessly ever since.  I love him so deeply because he is a good man.  He raised a good man, who I am lucky to call my most significant of others.  He is a hardworking, honest, selfless man.  I do not want him to go away.  I want him here with us.  I want Benny to have his best friend, Papa, to talk about tractors, trains, hammers, swings with.  I want him to take Logi to the park, like he has done for her life (until this last trip home when she would cry daily because he couldn't take her).  I want our hearts not to hurt so deep that it stings in our stomachs.  I just want him here.  I want to chase after him on the ski hill, as he still rips in his 70s. I want him with my mother-in-law.  I want their union to continue here on earth, not put on pause for eternal life where they will meet again.  I just want him to be okay.  I want the last 9 months to be a horrible dream. He is so good.  He is just so good.  I just want him to just be okay.

Unfortunately every bit of selfishness I can muster up will not keep him here with us.  He is dying.  He will die soon. Cancer has stolen him. I can't believe this is real life that I type this, but I need to write.  It helps me process.  So as tears poor like a heavy spring storm from my eyes, I am flooded with happiness, sadness, more anger, more sadness for my children and so much respect for this wonderful man.

I have been caught in a roller coaster of grief since they day my husband stumbled down the stairs, like a zombie, after receiving the news that his dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I could barely hold him up, but I did.  We cried and cried and booked him a flight home.  Since then our tears have subsided in great moments of happiness, as little kids so graciously bring to daily life, but the pain has cut so deep that it has never left us.  We have traveled homes several times in the last 8 months to spend time time with my in-laws (and on each visit I have thanked and praised them for their ever-presence in our lives.  We did not have to bum rush memories, photos with him being sick...they have just always been with us, so we have all the wonderful memories that will carry us through). In this process I have also realized I have never watched someone die.  I have only lost those closest to me in tragedy.  That seems crazy, but that is truth.  My grief usually begins with the phone call that someone is gone (all too young and soon) and I never knew how to handle that shocking, life altering grief. Time to figure out grief management (there has to be cliff notes on that, right?)

We were going to head back to Minnesota in a couple weeks, on Zac's last day of work. Instead we are heading home Monday night, giving Zac that day to wrap up work (however that may look, it will have to be good enough) so we can get home and be with them.  How can this be?  We were just there less than two weeks ago.  I even asked my MIL, pretending she had the power of a crystal ball, if he would be okay when we returned.  I guess I asked that because I knew.

Man, I am not good at this stuff.  If I could please ask you to surround Jim, Joan, Zac, Rocky, the grand kids and all all those who love Jim so deep in your prayers.  I am praying for peace and comfort for Jim in these final days.  I am praying for love and support for Joan, as she cared for him so courageously and loved him so big.  I am praying that Zac will not close himself off.  I am praying for the little hearts of Benny and Logi and their cousin Roisin, who will miss their papa.

 Benny in his happy place.  With his best pal, papa.
I cannot believe we snapped this just 2 weeks ago.

A heavy yet overflowing heart, when I look at these.

Will forever treasure this trip to the woods.


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