Saturday, June 29, 2013


Dad passed away on June 18, 2013.  

He was surrounded by family and love and peace.  I am so incredibly blessed to call him my Dad and so lucky to have been able to spend every one of his last days with him.  Holding his hand, talking to him, laughing, crying, sitting in silence sometimes, shooting the shit just like we always do.  

It's cliché, I know, but I am heartbroken over his passing.  Though I would never wish for him to have remained in the state he was in, I want nothing more than to turn back time and have him here, healthy and happy.  Knowing I've been assured that, at some point, the pain lessens.  Letting go is hard.  I'm finding it easier to deny what's happened.  Deny it by trying not to think about it.  Is it the best thing to do?  Of course not.  But I'm just not sure I can do everyday things, on top of all the things we need to handle now...and grieve.  There's just not enough time in the day and frankly, I need to figure out how to do this.

He was truly an awesome guy.  Even if he wasn't my Dad, I would have wanted to know him.  He was always willing to try new things.  He was generous with his love - I have never, ever questioned whether he loved me.  Not for one second.  He made it abundantly clear that he loved me and was proud of me...and I cannot thank him enough for that gift.  Such an amazing father.  I only hope that I can continue to make him proud.

We've been overwhelmed by the amount of genuine love that we've encountered.  Love for our Dad.  We knew he was a hell of a guy.  But to hear just how much he meant to so many's such a wonderful feeling.

Here's some photos I've got handy of my Dad.  They're all pretty recent and hopefully, I'll get around to putting up some older pics - once I get back to San Diego.

Having some fun with Grampy, April 2012

 Me, Dad & Ezra - April 2012

Dad and Ezra...hanging out, having some man-time in Dad's front yard.  June 2012

Getting a piggy back ride from his Grampy!  June 2012

Me & Dad, Negril, Jamaica - November 2009

Josh, Dad & Matthew, getting ready to jump off the bridge!  Tensing Pen, Negril, Jamaica.  
November 2009

Me and Dad, Negril, Jamaica.  November 2009

Dad, gazing out at the Caribbean from the SeaSong Hut at my wedding rehearsal.
Negril, Jamaica.  November 2009

One of my favorite pics of Dad.  Getting ready for the wedding in Jamaica.
November 2009

Jordan & Dad before the wedding.  Jamaica, November 2009

Dad walking me down the aisle.  We laughed the whole way :)  
Jamaica, November 2009

Me and Dad at the zoo, June 2010

Jordan & Dad, enjoying some delicious brew at Stone.  June 2010

Me and Dad in the Rose Gardens at Balboa Park.  June 2010

Dad & Me...OB dogbeach, June 2010

Josh, Dad & Jordan...cooling off in the snow in Dad's backyard ;-)  Pretty sure they're taking a break from a (very likely) heated game of pool down in Dad's basement.
December 2010

A proud, happy Grampy.  Dad & Ezra, December 2010

Friday, June 7, 2013

Where we're at

Sooooo.....Ez and I are squatting at Dad's house for awhile.  Considering the whole reason for this blog was to keep family up-to-date on the goings-on of the kid, I'm guessing that if you're reading this, you probably know all of this already.  But I'm going to say it anyway...

When Dad went in for some testing to see why his leg and hip were getting so weak and got the news that lung lesions were spotted on chest films, I immediately went into denial.  "Oh, okay" I said.  He'd had prostate cancer before and lung cancer would be alright.  He'd be okay.

I booked flights for myself and Ezra for a couple weeks, about 2 weeks from then.  We'd spend some QT with Dad, I'd pack his freezer with ready-made, homemade meals, drive him to and from any necessary treatments, etc.  All would be okay.

Then it was preliminarily determined that his lower-limb weakness was due to metastasis.  Radiation started the next day.


Then he had a serious decline over the final weekend - which was the end of his radiation and the weekend prior to Ez and I flying out.   He'd lost sensory from the waist - down.  He was severely dehydrated and in an enormous amount of pain.  He was so bad that he had been unable to even reach a phone to call for help.

He was admitted to the VA the day before I arrived.


Stage 4 adenocarcinoma.


The day after I arrived, he was moved to the hospice unit of the VA.


Whatintheholyhellishappening?  How did this snowball SO fast?

He had a streak of really bad days.  Lots and lots of drugs to combat the pain.  That led to some pretty scary times.  For the last couple of weeks, he's been improving and finally got back to being "Dad" again.  He's lucid, he's talking, he's Dad.  Just, in a bed.

Am I absolutely heartbroken?  Yes.  Devastated?  Yep.  Overwhelmingly sad?  Uh-huh.  Angry and pissed and bitter that this is happening to MY Dad?  Hell yeah.

He's my Dad.  He's funny, he's kind, he's generous.  We disagree on most things, politically speaking, and if you ask him, he'll tell you that he has no idea how I came to be such a bleeding-heart liberal ;-)  I know exactly how &'s because he taught me to do the right thing and to stand up for what I believe in. (See how I did that?  I just blamed my FoxNews-watching-conservative-father for me being the polar opposite.)  He makes the best pizza.  He likes to shoot guns.  He has some pretty crazy stories from his time in Vietnam.  He's also got some pretty crazy stories from his travels within the US.  He'll buy an outsized jar of pickles at Sam's Club simply because it's a good deal....even if it'll take him a decade to go through it.  He insists on stocking his "beer fridge" next to the pool table with shitty Coors Light for his buddies, because damnit, that's what they drink.  He's easy-going.  He's read every book in all the local libraries.  He'll put hot sauce or garlic on anything.

He's awesome.

I'm so lucky that he's my Dad.  And I'm lucky that I'm getting to spend time with him and tell him just how lucky I am and just how amazing a father he is and just how much I love him.