That's what got the whole thing "rolling". My dad had always been the picture of perfect health. From what my mom has told me he never even suffered from a cold. He was a farmer and we lived on a 2,000+ acre grain farm. Farming was his life, he grew up farming for his dad and after high school, and a "stint" in the service, he came home and bought his own farm (after marrying my mother). To say the least, my father lived to farm, it was in his veins! But during the "off" season, when there really wasn't much to do on the farm, he drove truck. Not those fancy over the road ones with the sleeping sections in them, a "straight cab" that simply had 2 seats or a bench seat in it. But as a kid I LIVED for the times when I could go on the road with my dad! It was always an adventure and we had lots of fun! But one winter dad started having vision problems and headaches. So he went to the eye doctor who told him that at the ripe age of 43, he needed glasses for the first time in his life. I remember us all making fun of him in his new glasses, but he took it in stride, knowing we were just teasing him.
But the glasses didn't help and the headaches and vision problems got worse. By spring dad was at the doctors and was ultimately given the bad news. He had a brain tumor and they were going to try to operate, but they were fairly sure they would not be able to remove the whole thing, thus the diagnosis being made "terminal". So he had his first surgery, and although he came through it like a trooper it was easily the beginning of the end. As the doctors suspected, they were not able to remove the entire tumor, so my dad ended up having to have radiation treatments in attempt to shrink what was left of the tumor. My poor dad, he was so sick! It was "prime" farm season and he couldn't even walk out the door, let alone attempt to get on a tractor. So the farming fell upon my older brother that year, along with the help of some other farmers in the area who got wind of what was going on with my dad.
The next couple of years are a serious blur. I don't remember much about them at all. I have a memory of us going to church alot more than we used to, and I even remember my father being baptized. I remember TONS of people coming and going. But that's about it until the day that I talked about earlier, the day my father passed away.
The years since that day seem to have flown by. I often wonder how different our lives would be today if my father hadn't have died from cancer. Would they be better? Would they be worse. My fathers death had a direct impact on my brother and his future. Shortly before my fathers passing my brother and his long term girlfriend had broken up. When she heard that my father had passed away she came to the visitations and funeral. She had always been a "member" of our family, so it just seemed natural that she should be there. And because of that, she and my brother ultimately got back together and were married within a couple of months. I'm happy to report that they are still married and are now brand new grandparents!!
So, today is my "rememberance" day. Remembering things that mean alot to me. Like Christmases past. The holidays were always a very special time in my family when I was growing up, and my dad always went out of his way to make sure there were TONS of presents under the tree for us. Not that my mom doesn't still do that today...LOL. But I also remember things like those precious road trips with my dad, or time out on the tractors in the fields, and even the week he took off every summer so that we could go to the cottage and just relax! He was a very special man in many different ways, too many ways to list. And he touched so many peoples lives. At the time of his funeral the line of cars from the funeral home to the cemetary was quoted in the local paper as being the largest in the history of the area. People loved my dad, and he loved them. If you needed the shirt off his back, he'd give it to you without even thinking about it. And yeah, I still look at him through those rose colored glasses....LOL. I can remember a few times where he wasn't so nice too! But I don't want to talk about those today ;)
Anyway, if you read down my blog a little bit, you know that I planned on going to the cemetary today to "let go". Unfortunately, that's not going to happen today. But that's ok, life doesn't always go as we plan it to. I'll do what I planned some day, I think a warm day with the breeze in my face is a little more "fitting". Or maybe even a day when the farmers are out in the field next to the cemetary. So instead I'm simply going to say