I live in one of the most beautiful places in Australia – according to ME. I have a job I love (most of the time), 3 beautiful girls, who are old enough now to be independent…but still need their Mummy. #1 is nearly 21, lives with BF, #2 is nearly 18, saving hard for a gap year in the UK and # 3 is 14, loves One Direction and the Hunger Games. Hubby and I have been married 21 years and I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I spend far too much time on the computer – often pretending to work, so when all my words with friend’s games are played and the gossip and news of the world read, I will BLOG.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I miss you Dad

It is one year today since my father died of lung cancer, not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I still reach for the phone to ask him something or to tell him a bad joke I know he will appreciate and share.

My Dad and I had a very rocky relationship when I was growing up, I always seemed to be the one who rubbed him the wrong way...***and him me*** At the time I thought it was the middle child syndrome, especially as my younger sibling is the much wanted boy. (There is 5 years between me and the golden child). While this is part of the  reason, the main reason we did not get on is because we were too much alike. Both very stubborn and determined. 

I am forever grateful I became friends with my father, after not speaking to him for about 10 years, my darling husband forced me too, using the kids as blackmail. After a slow start we worked it out, the girls had a good relationship with their Grandpa (Grumpy) when they were together there would often be shouts of "ohhhh GRANDPAAAAA" when he did something silly. It may be wrong of me to say this, but he was a much better Grandfather than he was father.

He was forever the joker, to the point of being annoying at times, not knowing when to stop. He loved a good joke and was often so straight faced it was hard to tell if he was serious. I learnt to read the signs - funny because Mum never could - man they used to argue, they would go on for days. Both thinking they were the wronged party. Mum would ring me and bitch, then Dad would ring and bitch....it would often end with me telling them both to grow up and be the parents - I had my own kids I didn't need them to behave worse. This would work for a few months. 

On of Dad's favorite things was to answer the question 'How are you Bob' with not bad for a Tuesday - no matter what day of the week it was. We all knew he was joking but it caused a few problems in hospital, there were concerns for his mental health. Looking back now his silly comments and playful yet annoying antics were the way he copped with his lack of mobility, he kept himself amused this way.

He did not a cancer for long, the doctors first found a small spot on his lung during a routine test for emphysema (Dad smoked from the age of 12) a few weeks a radiation and he was given the all clear, this was in July 2011. In November he had a fall - very common with Dad and he hurt his hip, a trip to the hospital and he was told it was muscle damage it will get better soon, take it easy. After a few weeks of pain he went to another hospital where they did more tests. The cancer had moved from his lungs to his spine - the pain was radiating to his hip. Another 2 weeks in hospital and more radiation and he was home for Christmas. Mum asked me to bring my camera as she wanted a photo of all the family together....this is the hardest thing in the world to do...how do you get 6 teenagers and 3 men to pose for a photo and look nice. It was even worse as I had to be in the shot too. No good photos of the family - although enough to keep Mum happy. I did however get a great photo of Dad, for once he was not waving his hands trying to ruin the photo (I was a bit sneaky, I set my camera on the tripod and used the remote shutter release. I was on the other side of the room when this photo was taken).

Unfortunately Dad was back in hospital on New Years Eve, his respiratory system was shutting down. Amazingly he pulled though, the doctors were surprised at his will to live, the cancer has now spread all over his body and it was just a matter of time. For a few weeks he was doing really well, the morphine was relaxing his lungs making breathing easier...the morphine also made him very silly. The nurses had to take the bed controls of him as he would play with the bed, once taking it so high it jammed against the wall. He would try and get new staff and visitors to give him the control...this became as much of a joke as the playing did. 

It is very hard to watch someone you love die, days and weeks sitting in the hospital, just waiting. On the day he died he waiting until we had all gone then just stopped breathing. It was peaceful at the end the nurse told us. I hope so.

I miss you dad, I still talk to you, I make up your answers and listen to you laugh in my head. I like to think of you with your brothers, counting cars and watching out for your family.

If you smoke. STOP  I know it is hard, I have done it. But for the love of your family don't let any one have to watch you die of lung cancer.