Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017: The Journey

I won't lie to anyone, 2016 was a low point for me as an American citizen, I'm not taking sides here, for me the whole system let me down.  That's just my 2 cents and I don't care to discuss it further.

I had actually hoped we would move on from 2016 into something better...well, we all have our opinions on that too.

On a personal level, I am extremely blessed. I work with my wife, selling comics and games and am able to take my kids to work. Heck, in May 2017, my oldest daughter became the manager of our Louisville, KY store. It's bittersweet, because I loved her living at home, but I'm proud to see how good she is at the Family Business.

Additionally, my parents and my in-laws are still with us. My oldest son, at 16 and a Junior in High School, took his first College class and got a 96. I have two other amazing daughters and the best wife in the world (and yeah, I'll fight you over that title).

But back around Easter, my parents (both 77) came back from a few months in Florida and my Dad's shoulder hurt. He'd had shoulder surgery a few years back and just assumed he might need it again. In fact, his Doctor concurred.

Unfortunately, in June, we found out he had Stage 4 Cancer of the spine, neck, hip, shoulder, lymphnodes, and liver. Stage 4 meant he probably has about 18 months left (then) and he'd be on Chemotherapy and Radiation as long as they were effective.

My whole family was a mess, but not Dad. No, Dad was more worried about us. He didn't want to leave us behind, he was ready, but he knew we weren't.

I'm going to take a minute to share that I've thought of writing about this before, but I couldn't yet. Part of it is that when someone doesn't know, and this is selfish of me and I'm sorry for it, but I don't have to face it. It's cowardly, but it's nice to talk to people for a moment and not think about it. But it has affected the Blog and I felt it was time to explain where I've been.

So my Dad, after a round of Radiation and two rounds of Chemotherapy is still more worried about us than himself. In fact, his spirit is amazing, he's up, he's in a good mood, he always has a kind word, and he's always more worried about others than himself. He's in constant pain and take morphine twice a day and he asks about others long before he will utter any complaint.

I'm blessed because that is the Man who raised me. That is the Man who made me who I am. He taught me about doing the right thing, about treating people fairly and not being prejudiced, about remembering I had no idea what their troubles were, about loving people and respecting them, about how to raise a family and treat women and your wife. The Man I am, and I pale in comparison to him, is due to everything he did for me. I marvel at what my parents could achieve for us. I don't know how they did it. I marvel at all that he game to me.

I've watched him physically dwindle, I knew what the treatments would do, so I took some "before" pictures, but I keep taking them because the Man in the "after" pictures seems to get more heroic each time I see him. His love for the world and others continues to grow.

I don't know how much time I have left with my Dad or anyone, but I'm on here less because right now it's what is best for my family.

The Blog isn't going away, it's just a little less important right now.

I will share this with you and it's an old and trite saying, but cherish each moment, you never know when it will end.

Merry Christmas if you celebrate it and have a Great Day if you don't. And I wish all of you a Happy New Year.

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