It’s been almost a year since the “C word” crept into my life and changed everything. And this will be my first Father’s Day without my dad. It’s very bittersweet, and if I think about it for longer than a few minutes, grief overwhelms me and here come the waterworks. It’s hard for me to say the words, “My dad is gone.”
It’s really hard to understand exactly what happens when someone really close to you, someone you love, gets cancer. A rush of emotions, fear, denial, anger, sadness, acceptance, they overcome you. You are not who you used to be, you’re changed.
You would think that when death is impending, floating over your head and family like a black cloud, that it would be all you would want to think about, but my dad made sure we didn’t think about it around him. He never brought it up and we just sort of ignored it too. We talked about trips, vacations, memories, we laughed at things that had happened, memories that were clouded by morphine, deciphering clues and piecing together vivid pictures in our minds. Those last 3 months with him were some of the best talks we’ve ever had.
My dad was really awesome. I wish you could have met him, because I am sure you would have liked him. He told horrible jokes that weren’t even funny the first time you heard them. He was fair, and generous. He was kind but stern. There are still days when I want to tell him something, and then I remember and I can’t believe he isn’t here. Then I have days where it feels like it’s been so long since I’ve seen him, that it feels like he’s been gone forever. It breaks my heart he won’t seen his granddaughters grow up, or help me buy a house, or even just get another haircut from me (those were my favorite times with him). Grief isn’t something you get over, you just find new ways to navigate through it.
After the cancer diagnosis my father received in July of 2013, a lot of things happened. Mostly horrible and sad things that you associate with when someone is given a terminal sentence, but the other things that happened astonished me.
People came out of the woodwork to help, give support. Old college buddies, family we hadn’t seen in awhile, friends and neighbors. Everyone! Offering advice, a shoulder to cry on and an understanding that is hard to fathom. Knowing we had such limited time with him made the time we had so precious that we couldn’t help but laugh with him, tell jokes and find unexpected joy in such mundane daily activities like sharing a burger, or remembering family vacations. The chemo treatments made his ankles swell up really bad, and I would sit and rub his feet, and talk to him about golf, or whatever was going on in my life. We never talked about the cancer, even though we all knew it was there. Instead we just spent time together, doing normal every day, family things.
Luckily my dad was a savvy businessman and invested his money really well, so when he left this world he made sure we were all taken care of. Not everyone is that lucky, and paying for unexpected expenses can really take a toll on families in crisis.
GiveForward is a wonderful company who wants to help take the financial burden off of you, by helping you set up a fundraising campaign for your loved ones. Medical Bills, Vet Bills, even Funeral expenses. They want to be the support and the silver lining to these horrible times when you’re confused and not sure how you’re going to make it through. I don’t think I could have made it through had it not been for the friends and family who helped us survive the hardest time in our lives. I want to let you know that “this too, shall pass“, because amid all the pain and heartache there is a silver lining of support.
Setting up a fundraiser with GiveForward is very easy, the hard part is going to be admitting you need financial help. GiveForward has tons of wonderful coaches to help you through the entire process involved with making your fundraiser successful! Plus, their fees are some of the lowest around, meaning you’ll get more of the donation money.
I believe in this program so much, that I am an Ambassador for them. I hope through my own heartbreak, that I can help others as well. This is how I choose to keep my father’s legacy alive. By being a positive force in the lives of those who need a hand up, not a handout. If you’d like to become an Ambassador for GiveForward, I encourage you to apply and share your story too.
I miss you daddy, every single day.