anticipating (summer's) end

My dad is dying. Aggressive advanced metastatic prostate cancer. Hormone therapy, chemo treatment were shortlived. It has not even been an exact two years since his diagnosis was confirmed. The doctor has provided a prognosis and a timeframe. All we can do is appreciate being in the now, support each other and wait for the inevitable. Daunting . . . and real. Dad has stopped chemo. He is in palliative care, receiving various injections on a monthly basis to manage his pain, on the patch. I observe how his health is slowly deteriorating as he has to physically lift each of his legs in and out of bed, the couch, the car. He is walking with a cane now. And on top of all this, he is on long-term kidney dialysis . . . having to go to the hospital every other day for dialysis treatment and the occasional blood transfusion.

We are on this cancer/life journey together. Al & I do our best to visit during the week in the midst of work and trying to balance our own lives, and we make sure to spend a significant part of the weekend with my parents too. It's hard, and I'm constantly trying to see beyond the exhaustion, the emotional challenges. While I maintain a good face in front of my folks, I have my moments -- in the car, on the bus commute, at work, at the gym. I am overwhelmed with grief, love and wanting to make sure that my mom and dad have all the support that they need -- emotionally and practically as they encounter their day-to-day routine.

Anticipating my dad 's death is like anticipating the end of the summer . . . and so Emerson's quote has reminded me.

"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson