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April 11th

April 12, 2007

I was sitting on the desk of a co worker- a few months earlier she had confided in me losing her mother when she was 14 to lung cancer- I swung my feet back and forth as I sat, “I just can’t imagine losing a parent.” She responded, “You can never imagine it and then you do and you just handle it.” She was so together, so smart, so mature, so with it… she had done it… if I had to, I would do it. I didn’t really let myself go there yet, I kept convincing myself it wouldn’t be me. I went back to my desk and the phone rang soon after, the call I’d been waiting for. It was cancer. I left work immediately, called Matt, headed to Concord Hospital. In the car I couldn’t focus, on anything. I tried some mellow, depressing, moody music, it didn’t help, I tried something update, poppy, dancey, I couldn’t handle that either. I chose to drive in silence instead. My thoughts swirling. What was going to happen now? he would be okay, he would fight this, people fight cancer all the time. I’m going to be optimistic, I’m going to be strong, we’re all going to handle this and get through it.

When I got there Dad wasn’t in his bed. He was downstairs getting a bone scan. I went down with my mom to get him. We were both speechless in the elevator. We stood in the cold hallway, leaning against the cool cement block wall waiting for him to be wheeled out.

I had envisioned myself arriving, seeing Dad in the bed, climbing in with him, hugging him hard and saying: “You’re gonna fight this, alright?” Instead I wheeled him back to his room, sat, all of us staring, waiting. Dad started his death talk, “I’ve had a great life, I’ve done some wonderful things.” I wouldn’t let him continue, I couldn’t hear it yet. What he would later say is, “I’m having so much fun living though, I don’t want to stop.”

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