I was brave.
I joked while I waited.
and then I bawled like a baby when I got in my car.
I was just visiting. I wasn't there for myself but I wish it was me that needed to be there instead of all those others that were there. I wish I could have stepped in and done something magical to wipe the worry away from all those in that room. I especially wish I could have taken the place for my dad.
I watched him grimace as they poked the needle into the port into his chest. He didn't complain. He just joked with the nurse and was his usual friendly self.
I tried to joke, too. It was hard but I was strong. My dad didn't know I was struggling. He didn't know that behind the smile was a big lump in my throat.
I watched the others that came to lend support to their loved ones. Most people in that room had somebody. I was grateful for that. Those people come and sit, they read the paper. They knit. Some chat quietly with others who are waiting too. I couldn't help but wonder how they were all holding up. What their circumstances were. How are they doing. They are lending support but do they need someone to support them?
My dad has cancer. My dad has a good woman who supports him. She sits with him during his treatments and she is patient. I'm thankful for that.
After I left I got in my car and bawled. The reality of the situation hit pretty hard. Until recently I didn't know the stage of his cancer. But, as I sat in that room I felt the finality, and the fragility of life. His life. My life with him.
Compared to the time we've already had together, 39 years, the time left will be short. I'm sure of this.
To add to the tears that I was crying for my dad, I remembered that my dear friend, Judy, and my mother-in-law, Shirley, just went through this last year. Judy made friends in chemo. She's like that. She took the opportunity to socialize as she was getting her weekly dose. I can picture it now. I have a visual. But I couldn't then. I was naive as to what both these women went through.
I appreciate their trial so much more now.
The tears kept coming because as I was leaving the office, I approached the exit and the door out was blocked by a woman who was being hugged by another woman. She had just been told she has cancer. The emotion was uncontrolled. The pain was real and my heart broke for her. She sobbed and all her friend could say was "I'm so sorry!". I didn't know her but I wanted to hug her too.
Cancer! Why do we have cancer in this life?
I don't have the answer and I know there isn't one. All I know is what I tell my kids. Every situation we are dealt in this life leaves you with two choices. We can consider it a blow to our existence and wallow in our sorrow or we can make the best of it.
Right now, I'm still raw with emotion but in time I will make the best of it. I will try to appreciate life for what it is, cancer and all.
* P.S. - The courage pendant shown above was made in honor of my friend and Mother-in law who both had breast cancer last year. If you want to make one there is a full tutorial, go here for details and step-by-step instruction: http://www.thenshemade.com/2011/08/word-pendant-tutorial.html
* P.S.S - I'm in Utah again but will be heading back to Colorado on Saturday. Normal craftiness will resume on Monday.