Monday, July 22, 2013

There is no instruction manual for this.

(I started this a few weeks back. Don't let it deter you from reading. It's going somewhere.)

I just got back from spending two weeks with my parents in Colorado. It was such a great trip! The weather was gorgeous, we had fun, the kids were (mostly) well-behaved. Headless Dad couldn't make the trip this year due to his shoulder and work obligations, which was a complete bummer. I got to see old friends-some that I hadn't seen in over 15 years! We worried over friends that were evacuated in the Black Forest fire and had wine on the deck. We cleaned out closets and made many trips to the charity donation places, and the trash bin! I cooked for them. It was so, so good to be there with my parents and to be able to help out.

Most of you probably don't know that my dad has been battling cancer this year. Cancer sucks, if you haven't heard. Cancer has an opposite and equal suckage partner. It's when you live far, far away from the loved one who is sick. There isn't a name for it, but it goes something like this: I don't get to be around for the day to day. I don't get to drive him to treatment when my mom has had.enough.already. I don't get to stop by with dinner so they don't have to think about it. I don't get to spend a morning sipping coffee with him on the deck watching his friends go by on the golf course. I don't get to help my mom go through her 'stuff' when she gets on a cleaning-out roll and wants to clean out another box/shelf/room, then take it all to the donation center. I don't get to bring him AllTheFood to keep him from losing more weight. (I'm the daughter. I can get away with being all pushy like that. Love you Daddy! ;-)

No, I just have the telephone and it is no substitute for being there. Mr. Bell had it wrong.

For all of the technology that we have there is no substitute for being with your family when a Big Thing is going on. There is no instruction manual for this.

So for all you young folks out there that think that getting far, far away from the crazy that you call family is the only way to go? Take my advice. Unless there is serious abuse, (and if there is then run far, far away,) you will someday come to regret that you live more than a 5 hour drive from your family of origin. You will sob when you can't be there to take your dad to chemo, or to support your mom while she is supporting your dad. Talking on the phone will be a sore substitute for being there. Go ahead, sow your wild oats while you're young but when it comes time to settle down? Try to settle close to home. You won't be sorry.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for everything !!! Love ya Babe !!!

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  2. Hugs to you and the whole family. I'm glad you got to get out there and spend time with your folks!

    Keeping you in my thoughts...<3

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  3. Oh this one kicked me in the teeth. My daughter lives in North Carolina and I'm here in Minnesota. It looks like it's going to be up to us to get down there. (She has rheumatoid arthritis, so MN winters don't work for her.) I'm trying to figure out how to move not only my husband and me, but also my now 17 year old son. He'd happily come now, but I fear he'll fall in love with a Minnesota girl one of these days.

    I hear the ticking clock and it scares me.

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  4. And that is why I do now hate being far away from my parents. Sigh.

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  5. Ahhh this one brought tears to my eyes cuz I know how much this hurts you. I am sorry, and you are a great daughter, and do more far away than many who live close ((((((Kendra)))))))))

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  6. Ahhh this one brought tears to my eyes cuz I know how much this hurts you. I am sorry, and you are a great daughter, and do more far away than many who live close ((((((Kendra)))))))))

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  7. Beautifully written...praying for your whole family, especially your mom and dad in these next days and weeks. I'm pretty sure your support far and near is a comfort to them. So sorry this is SO.VERY.HARD.FOR.YOU.TOO. Ann W.

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  8. Yes! I've been there and done that. I lived 19hours away while my younger brothers and sisters were able to live close and while not old enough to drive were able to help my Mom with all she had to do while she worked and kept things going. My Dad came to visit me inbetween his radiation/chemo/surgery. Really not something he was "up"; to but that's what Dad's do. It's been 16 yrs Cancer Free but his heart suffered the affects of the drugs. He's on his second pacemaker. I live 7hours away now. Being near Grands is what has us here. If something happens, we drive.

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  9. Great post and I hope some of those young folks read this. It is very hard to be away from family and when they are ill it makes it unbearable. ((HUGS))

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  10. This one speaks to all of us. What a well written and beautiful post. Full of true honest emotions and life experiences. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

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  11. I love the fact that you are so close with your family; in my own weird sort of way, I can live vicariously through your blog posts. I adore your folks and think they are truly wonderful. Who invites 25+ teenage college freshmen girls into their home for a weekend?! The answer is.. Your parents! You have truly amazing role models who have helped shape you into who you have become! I'm sorry you don't live closer to them but I can only imagine how much you all treasure your visits. You are truly blessed!

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