Detroit in June

The second blog post I ever wrote was on Wednesday, June 11, 2008.  It was my birthday and right before my dad died.  I told him if he died on my birthday I’d never forgive him.  I know, nice, right?  He laughed and said he’d do his best, and he did.  I spent almost the whole month of June in Phoenix, and he waited until June 14th, the day before Father’s Day that year.


So it’s my birthday and I’m 37, halfway to 74 I like to say.  But my dad is dying and he’s 66.  How is that possible? 

There’s a plan, they say, and I believe it even when this happens but I really want to see the plan.  What’s the plan?  Why is this the plan?  What do I have to learn from my dad dying?  He was healthy and on April 21st he had swelling in his leg, blood clot.  Then May 9th, no cruise to Alaska for us because of the clot; May 19th, a mass on his liver and pancreas; May 27th, pancreatic cancer spread to the liver; June 2nd, oncologist says two months; June 3rd, oncologist says nope, only a few weeks. 

What?  I’m prepared for surgery and chemo, how did we get to hospice?  I don’t understand.  He has such faith, “It’s in God’s hands”, he says.  Why him?  He’s healthy: walks his dog three miles a day, hikes all the time, has faith and wonderful friends.   “I’m not through being raised”, I tell him.  I’m too young to lose a parent and have never felt more alone.  I’m not ready to be a grown up and not have my dad come help me when I need him. 

Who’s going to help me move next time?  Who’s going to fix my toilet?  Who’s going to help me build another swing set if I ever wanted to (which I don’t, that was horrific, but he did it)?   Who am I going to hike the Grand Canyon with?  Who can I see the Northern Lights with?  That was our plan.  I would be 40 when he was 70 and we were going to take a photography trip to see the Northern Lights.  Who’s going to take pictures of us in San Diego and everywhere else?  He was the family photographer and always had a camera around his neck.  Dance recitals, the Nutcracker, soccer games, it didn’t matter there he was with his cameras making memories.  All I have left are memories and I’m sad. 

I’d like a copy of “the plan”, please, so I can read it on the plane to Phoenix in June.


Much more serious than my first blog about finding my purpose, but I had to get those feelings out.  They were festering inside me, and I couldn’t talk about it without becoming a blubbering mess, I still can’t.  I think that’s why I like blogging so much.  It’s just something that goes out there and gets out of me, and it doesn’t even matter who reads it.  Not that I don’t love my three faithful readers, especially when they comment.  But I also like the people I’ve “met” through blogging, and the ones I’ve reconnected with.

So as I turn halfway to 78 at the end of this week, I start to get sentimental about my dad’s death.  I hope that lessens over the years, but it’s still very fresh.  At least this year I’ll be with my sister on the anniversary, and it won’t be Father’s Day this year.  And we’ll be in Detroit.  I’ve never been so I’m excited about that.  And I’ll be with my sister, which is always good.



  1. carikelley

    I’m bummed I won’t get to see you when I’m in Colorado, but it’s cool we’ll both be with our sisters at the same time! I know you’ll have a great time in Detroit with Sherri!

    I hope your birthday is fab. This is gonna be your best year yet!!

  2. Sister Sherri

    I can’t wait to see you!!!

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