Monday, February 27, 2006

Last Time I'll Be With You

I'm in New Jersey. I've been here since Thursday, visiting my folks. My Dad, Sy aka Seymour, is dying. Developed bladder cancer ten years ago and it has metastasized to his bones and he's now home with hospice care. Mom, who just finished chemo and radiation for her newly diagnosed breast cancer, is doing fine. Life is something, huh?

I go back home today.....so how do you say goodbye? I know I probably won't see him alive ever again. Though, he's been quite the fighter. He won't go down easy....never did, never will. Mom on the other hand is a woos. I got my tenderness for people from Mom, my tough edge from Dad. I'm a survivor cuz of Dad. I'm a lover cuz of Mom. I need both, and at this point in my life, they are both a part of me.....so I know I've gotten all the lessons I'll need in life that Dad can offer. Now all I want is time. But in a few more hours, that will be gone.

Dad grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York. He was a child in the middle of the Depression. Got food from the bread lines. Was raised by a single Mom, who actually kicked her cruel husband out years before, but he came back and raped her.........ps,, Dad was born 9 months later. So, all these years that I saw the tough side of Dad, who was tough as a Father and Husband, I gave him leeway. I understood. He had unresolved anger in him, yet he always sparkled for me. He was an extremely handsome man, people asked me if he was my older brother...it's why people think I'm younger than I really am--thanks for those genes Dad.

And while I'm at it Dad, Thanks.....
...for supporting our family as best as you could with only a JHS education,
...for yelling at the speeding cars that went by the backyard where we played,
...for passing on to me your love of building things,
...for giving Mom the first flower that bloomed in our garden,
...for teaching me how to drive that humongous station wagon,
...for your love and respect of Judaism,
...for your love of the Yankees only because they had a player with our last name,
...for loving my grandmother (Mom's Mother) and letting her live with us til the day she died,
...for not letting boys in my bedroom,
...for making me take a car mechanic course in HS,
...for helping me leave you with no guilt after your heart surgery, back to Illinois to be with my new husband 26 yrs ago,
...for the unconditional love you have for my children,
...for my conviction to do whatever it takes in life to get through.

I'll miss you bunches.....but I will survive.

19 comments:

Jack said...

I think you just said a very fitting goodbye! Now, take your words to heart, you'll miss him bunches, but you will survive - chin up and keep pressing forward.

nancytoby said...

That's a wonderful tribute! Best wishes to you all.

jeanne said...

I'm so sorry. That is a beautiful tribute. He sounds like a wonderful man, father, husband. You were very lucky to know him.

Flatman said...

Very touching...you both are lucky to have each other.

Sheila said...

You are definitely cut from some fine, fine parents. Your dad goes on living in you, and that is the best gift he could have given. May you find peace as you move through this difficult time.

Black Knight said...

What can I say about your wonderful words? Great tribute to a great man.

olga said...

So nice to think that of a Dad...and it means a world to him. And to you. I am sorry.

Todd said...

Wow. I am left sadden by such a lose. I know you are tough and you will survive.

keep your chin up, and run tall. I know you are a fighter and I am really impressed by you.

Mike said...

Lora- i'm sorry. I've been there myself....that is a beautiful tribute.

Iron Benny said...

I'm sorry for your grief. My deepest thoughts and condolences for you and your family.

Lora said...

Thank you all....what a special group you all are!

*jeanne* said...

Oh, Lora, I'm so sad for you.

I returned to New Jersey from Maryland to be with my Mom when she was finally giving way to the cancer that took her. There is no bottom to the sorrow of losing someone so important in your life.

But what your Dad has planted IN YOU will live with you all your life.

Take care of yourself, you'll be in my thoughts.

~jeanne~

robtherunner said...

What a wonderful post of reflection. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. Take Care!

jp said...

you've written a wonderful tribute to your father and while your grief will pass, its clear that the strength your father gave you will carry on.

Brooklyn said...

Sorry to hear the news about your Dad, but ultimately, he'll be at peace. My mother, incidentally, is also undergoing radiation and then chemo for breast cancer and my aunt just had radical mastectomy. Seems like this winter has not been a good one for anybody.

Stay well, keep it together, hope to read more from you soon.

*jeanne* said...

How are you doing, Lora?

I hope you are able to grieve as you need, and heal.

a.maria said...

you will survive, and it'll be the part of him that is in you that will get you through.

Bolder said...

you will be in my thoughts.

cancer, unfortunately, will touch all of our lives...

Susan said...

Very sweet and thoughtful. Cancer does touch us all . . . my thoughts are with you.