Saturday, July 18, 2009

Papa...

There are four men in my life who are "it" for me: God, Brian, Ryan, and my Papa. And yes I did add the "my" to his name... :-) But he is my Papa despite the fact that he has seven other grandchildren, one great grandchild, and four children. During highschool, I went to his house almost every day; it was required that all the guys I was interested in passed his test. His tells stories over and over again about World War II and to pass the test it was required that these boys were intrigued by theses tales. I remember the first time he held my son (I have the picture in a frame in Ryan's room), the first time he said out loud that he loved me tragedy had struck our family- I was 22- eight years later every time he sees me he says "remember what I told you, you are my sweetie pie." (He could have never said it outloud and I would have known he did love me. His actions prooved this.) When I got divorced, he encouraged me to do what was best for me- he is an expert at unconditional love.

Four years ago, he became very ill and has been fighting this journey for awhile. I have sat at the brink of death with him mulitple times and it gets harder and harder the closer I think death is. Last year after years of not really knowing what was wrong, we got the diagnosis no one wants- cancer. Well, the time has come to treat this cancer with chemo. But now the cancer is in his liver and we still do not know where the cancer started. Typically, my family protects me by telling me only what I "need to know". Now he is telling me everything.

I feel like this chemo makes it all so much more real and his death so much more imminent. He is 83 years old, lived a wonderful life and I know I will see him again one day- in Heaven. However, my spirit is burdened. I am 30 years old and have had four fabulous grandparents who are all still with me. I enjoy my Papa so much, he is such a neat man. But this recent news just burdens me. It makes it hard to not think about death and I have no idea when that day comes how I will ever be the same again.

This, however, is the perfect place to be. My burden means I have loved him completely. My burden has allowed my son to a side of me that he might not have seen. I say "Ryan, I love Papa." and he replies "i know". The relationship I have with my Papa is worth every moment of hurt and every tear I have and will cry. He says to me to not worry about him. He is funny like that. My relationship with my Papa is proof that the relationship was worth it. Not many people can claim the love we share. Praise God, we can!