Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Assembly

Happy Veterans day!

I have no idea how to lead into the rest of this post except to say that it's truly awesome that my Dad can be around for days like today. This was our conversation this afternoon:

Me: "Dad, I know I've said this before, but there was a time I really feared you wouldn't be around to even meet my children and then here you are today, going to Colin's school assembly for veterans day. And you're doing great!! It's so amazing Dad."

And he said something like,

"Yes, it is. Every day is a gift and I'm grateful for every day that I'm given. Today was very special." 

I wish the me, who sat stunned and sad by his hospital bedside, when he told me that he had cancer, could have seen into this future. I wish I could have seen today. Today, when Dad accompanied Colin to school as his special "veteran guest". To see them sitting together at the school assembly and to see Colin proudly introduce his Grandpa, "who was in the Navy", to the rest of the school. Just as each of the children who brought veterans did.

Or to see my Dad, last night, showing the boys all his old Navy gear from when he used to fly. To see my boys mesmerized by it all- the helmet, the gear, the sword and the picture of his airplane on the carrier. To see my Mom and I laughing on the couch, after he dramatically pulled out his sword and in turn, caused the boys to jump back about five feet!


The sword!
My boys know him. Not as Pop-Pop, who is sick. But Pop-Pop, who is funny and patient and interesting and who will toss them onto the pillows yelling, "Rough. House. City!!!" without any warning.

He is here. Fully living. Even though cancer is also very much a part of his life, and in turn, our lives.

Last week my parents were once again in Iowa, as they are every three months, for my Dad's check-up. As always, we held our breath, all week, until we heard the news. "Complete remission!" My parents drove from the doctor's office straight to our house where we stayed up until almost 12:30 a.m, recalling how it's been NINE years since he was diagnosed and what a journey it has been. We talked a lot about his doctor and how grateful we are to have found him. He is a brilliant myeloma specialist, who also gives each patient as much time as they need, who can explain the complexities of myeloma in understandable terms and who really, truly cares. Brains, compassion and determination to give patients time and attention. What a powerful combination!

Thank you Veterans, for your service!

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