Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I lost my dad.

It's not the same as losing car keys. I actually lost a person. He was right here a moment ago, and now he's not. I have no idea where he went, so I don't know how to find him.

And worst of all, even if I do find him, I can't bring him back.

Cancer kept putting up these little orange cones along the road of my dad's life. Detour after detour. He couldn't catch a break. Every time he tried to make a new road, another detour cone appeared. Lung, then bone, then brain. Ba-da-boom.

So the term, "I lost my dad" feels a little off now. I think he knew where he was going. Somewhere along the road - maybe it was when I was scooping up ice chips for his "dinner" - he decided this kind of life wasn't worth the effort.

Every life needs to be equipped with dignity, strength, and integrity; if it's missing those key ingredients, I think the owner of the life tends to re-evaluate the point of diminishing return.

You have to let me go. He told me this. Point-blank. He said it just as I would say, "Hey, grab the milk please." He knew exactly where to go and what to do; like a baby taking his first breath when he comes into the world. He just knows.

And when he takes his last breath leaving this world, he just knows.

Where does that leave the remaining parts of the whole? My mom, sisters and me. We're like rusted joints trying to figure out how to turn the wheel without all the pieces.

But I have to believe that if we are capable of helping our loved one die, then we have the ability to help each other live.

And what's strange is this little golden thread that seems to be pulling my head up high. There is a sense of strength and peace that is coming from somewhere and I honestly don't give a shit where it's coming from, as long as it keeps coming.

It's a strange thing to be left here while a loved one moves on. We seem to blink, look around, and try to walk forward; because we would we look silly trying to walk backward.

We hold on to that little thread that gives us some odd new feeling of strength and peace, like a bright balloon tied to our waist. A signal to others in case we do get lost, they can find us, hug us, and hold our hand.


  1. Kelly- This is so wonderfully written. I know my dad evaulated the same things as he battled his brain cancer. I remember having to buy a suit for my son and wondering how in the world I was going to choke out to the lady at the register that it was for my Dad's funeral when she asked me what the occasion was...but she never asked. You feel totally broken, pieces of a whole like you said. But then comes a spark- like a red flannel shirt my dad wore in a dream that showed up in his closet after his death. you're dad will continue to give you moments to know he is there. I am thinking of you often kelly. be you and you will be fine. love you!

  2. Well said Karla. Thank you so much. Love, Kelly

  3. I just stumbled upon this post. It's lovely. I'm sorry for your loss and understand how you feel. We "lost" my stepfather to cancer two years ago.