I knew by his face it was not good news. When the doctor came in Wednesday, he had a somber countenance and began to wash his hands. While he did, Dad said, "Well, I hope you're going to tell me you'll see me later." But, I was watching his face. As he turned around from the sink, he said, "Unfortunately, the growth did not come back benign." I knew from way back in Janis Blocker's English class (I don't know which of the four years) that "bene" meant "good," but "mal" meant "bad. I knew "benign" meant not cancerous; the opposite is "malignant." It didn't register with Dad at first; he said, "Well, at least you didn't tell me I have cancer."
I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. Everything will fall to me to handle. All business and I will always have to be the one who goes to really important doctors' appointments with him. Mother is nearly deaf. My brother is just about there, and he and his wife have their own medical issues. In fact, he was at his own doctor's appointment when I took Dad to his. While Dad can hear fine, he is the patient, and patients don't always hear what they need to.
I have been processing this new reality and trying to stay sane. I have five months from tomorrow before I retire. It had been my prayer this year, and it still is, that I will have some years with my parents once I do retire. Time....we can never get back time. There is so much I regret about time and my own child, but I can't dwell on any of that. I am fortunate that I have an understanding boss about when I have needed to go with Dad to doctors' appointments.
For the last two days, this thought has been weighing heavily on my mind: Tomorrow night is the big Clemson-Ohio State semi-final game of the College Football Championship. I have a zoo, so leaving for a night has always been a concern. However, it would mean so much to Dad to watch the game with me, so I am getting everyone settled in here, and I am going to spend the night and watch the game with him from his "man cave," i.e. Matthew's old bedroom for three years and my childhood bedroom. We will both wear our Clemson shirts that I bought him. I feel this is a message from God to do it because it has pressed on my mind so hard for the last two days.
Seize the day, for we do not know how many we have left....any of us. Don't live with regrets of "I wish I had...."
P.S. If you are a praying person, I would covet your prayers for strength for me and healing for my dad.