Away From Home

Just to let everyone know who email me why I haven’t been responding as quickly as I normally do, I’ve been in Jacksonville with my family taking care of my dad while my grandmother is in the hospital. My grandmother had major colon surgery to remove nearly 50% of her colon due to a section of it being bad. She is doing fine now, and recovering, but won’t be home for a week to 10 days.

My grandmother normally cares for my dad, who has throat cancer. The tumor has swelled up under his jawline so bad that they fear it may cut off his ability to breathe. He is in pain a lot, but hospice come by to make sure he is as comfortable as possible. The doctors say that he has only two months to live. I’m taking this time to care for him and spend time with him.

Yesterday I cleared his apartment, and it was not only physically draining, but emotionally draining, as well. His entire life was accumulated in that apartment; photos, clothes, memorabilia, rings, and his entire business he has worked out for nearly 20 years. He wanted me to take anything I could use, and then whatever is not taken, a local church would go in there and take the rest.

It was especially painful as he told me to throw away all his files and paperwork. So many years of work. A dream he once had, cut short and thrown away. It’s too painful for me to contemplate too much.

While resting on the bed, I smelled that familiar smell of my dad. Not a stench, just a personal smell, something that is created from luggage, using a particular type of cologne all the time, clothes you’ve had for so long, and so on. Every single one of us has our own smell, and everywhere my dad goes, no matter where, he has that particular smell in every house/apartment he lives in. I realized that’s the last time I’ll have that familiar feeling of my dad.

I think that’s when it all hit me, that I finally realized that my dad is dying and that I’ll have to live the rest of my life with just memories of him. Now I have to hold on to as many of them for as long as I can.

Here’s a rare picture of my dad and mom together, taken recently:

Mom & Dad (Mike & Deborah)

11 Responses to “Away From Home”

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  1. Monica

    I am so sorry Matt that you have to go through this. I am glad you get to spend these final days/ months with your dad so you can tell him things you may have put off before, however, I can only imagine how difficult this whole situation is for you. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there as best you can :(

  2. I’m sorry for your pain Matt and I hope you get to spend all the time you can with him. Stay safe.

  3. Thanks horai. Your web design and photography skills get better everytime I visit your site and see your work. :)

  4. Cindy

    ((( Matt )))

    I didn’t realize that your father had fallen victim to the cancer again. What a terrible ordeal that must be for him to suffer through. All the while knowing that HIS mother is ill herself. How difficult it must be for you right now. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    I’m very thankful to know that you have been given the wonderful opportunity to spend time with your father before he passes. So many people don’t have that opportunity at all. I lost a very close friend of mine within the past year to breast cancer, and as difficult as it was, to come to terms with the fact that there was nothing left that could be done, and she was in fact going to die.. I tried to be ever mindful of the fact that I had been given a gift, and that gift was time. It would have been devastating to learn over the phone, or after the fact that it had happened. I felt very blessed to have been given the time to spend with her, and share our thoughts and feelings with each other.

    (((( Hugs & Kisses )))) I am ALWAYS here for you if you need me. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to talk, or a shoulder to cry on.

  5. Curfew

    Be strong, I was in pretty much the same situation 2 years ago. I know it won’t give you much comfort when I say this but believe me, you and your family with get trough this.

  6. Steve (Master Wolfe)

    Matt, sorry to hear about your family’s ills. Here’s a man-hug :-) and to hoping things get better!

  7. Matt, be strong, and know that pretty much all of us will have to go through that some day. Just cherish every last moment you can spend with him, and make sure that he knows you love him.

    I don’t know what it is about me and the whole father/son relationship that really touches me, and it really saddened me reading all that. Just be strong and know he’ll be OK, wherever he is.

  8. All the best Matt, I’m sorry to hear of these unfortunate events and my regards go out to you all. It’s great to see such a lot of love is there (you can see it in the photo) and you clearly have a great deal of respect and appreciation which is something so many people take for granted – I think that is very important in times such as these and although its saddening to read your comments its also heart-warming to know you are all there for each other.

    Take care Matt, love to you all.

  9. -Magic-

    I’m deeply saddened by your story, i hope things get better for you and your family soon

  10. Hey Matt,

    Really sorry to hear the bad news buddy.

    I wish you and your family all the best for the future.

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for hosting some of my mashup’s within your tune section.

    All The Best Matt.

    Boasty.

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