Grampa's stories always have happy endings

When my parents last came to visit, he was having headaches. He gets migraines occasionally but his usual medication for them wasn't working. He has persistent allergies and recurrent sinus infections but a thorough treatment for both of these didn't touch his pain. He is plagued by soft teeth and jaw problems, but a visit to the dentist and several crowns later and he was still clutching his head at regular intervals.

But he came anyway, that weekend in October, because it was Z's Grandparents Day at her school and he didn't want to miss it.

So he didn't.
He rallied. He and my mom watched her do a few of her works and ate the snack she brought to them. My dad gamely played Grampa Jungle Gym on the playground and just had to try out the kiddie bikes that go in a circle.

I wish I didn't feel the need to blur out the kids' faces because they are laughing their heads off.

By the end of the weekend, he was pretty miserable. On Monday, he found out he had shingles. On Thursday, he found out his cancer had returned, this time in his brain.

To say this hangs heavy on my heart, on my days, is an understatement. I knew that nothing in life is promised, that every day is precious and shouldn't be taken for granted. I knew that. I know that.

Cancer, I don't fucking need to be reminded of that.

By the way, I love to address my anger to "Cancer", like it's a person. Someone to be reasoned or bargained with, or if all else fails, to be beaten into submission. It's not, of course, and there is no reasoning or bargaining with this wily and vicious disease that has touched or will touch so many of our lives. But talking to it helps. Yelling at it helps more. The anger has to go somewhere.

He has completed his three weeks of radiation, battered, weakened but hoping to be victorious this time. When we went to go visit them two weekends ago, he was tired. But not too tired to tell Z bedtime stories, which, next to playing with my old collection of Barbies, is her favorite part of visiting my parents.

They are always princess stories and they always have to have happy endings.


Hillary said...

Oh, man. He sounds like a wonderful father and grandfather. Sending good thoughts your family's way.

Marie Green said...

Honey. I'm so sorry about your dad. And I'm sure it's not easy seeing him in pain or weakened. I think addressing Cancer personally sounds like a great way to face anger. But again, I'm so sorry.

And I'm so hopeful that this "Grampa Story" will also have a happy ending.

B said...

"On Monday, he found out he had shingles. On Thursday, he found out his cancer had returned, this time in his brain."

This made me start crying. I'm so sorry. It's just not fair. At all. Cancer sucks. I hope it goes away for good and that he is able to tell many more stories!

GratefulTwinMom said...

Cancer does suck. And I agree with Marie Green. Do address it with all your venom. It deserves it.

Those pictures are priceless.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking healing, healthy thoughts.

miyoko said...

F#cking cancer. Words can not describe how awful awful awful.


Sas said...

Oh Jen, what a couple of years for you. At least you are closer to them while all of this is going down. We love you so much out here - hope you can feel it all the way over there! XOXOX

Swistle said...

CRAP. Stupid mean cruel cancer.

Aging Mommy said...

GreatefulTwinMom is right. Those photos are precious and I am sure spending time with his grandchildren is the best of tonics for your Dad.

LA and BD said...

Oh, what terrible news. I'm so sorry you guys are having to deal with this terrible disease.

Gina said...

I am so sorry. He sounds like an awesome grandfather.

Kathi McCracken Dente said...

You have a truly wonderful family. I am so sorry you have to go through this. We have something similar going on here with K's family. I wish it would all just go away! Big Hugs!

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