My father died at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer. It was devastating and difficult and while he took his last breath his family stood at his bedside holding his hands. He was not alone and he died surrounded by love. It was a beautiful September day, bright blue skies and sunny. Unusual for Newfoundland. This moment in time is seared into my being like a brand on the skin. He was young and so were we, it was an unexpected death, he went before his time, or so I was told over and over at his memorial service.
Since that moment my families, both of them, have more or less remained intact. As though the gods, having decided that this particular trauma was enough for the time being, had left us alone. Now the past few weeks that has changed. And once again I found myself in a hospital with all the familiarity and uncertainty it brings when a loved one is in need of medical attention, a looming heart surgery and the possibility of not being on the planet in corporeal form anymore.
We are of the age when parents start to get sick, become frail, break down. When unexpected phone calls mean holding one's breath, when the waiting begins for that terrible what if, because it's no longer a what if but a when?.
We are of the age when we need to learn, if we have not already done so, how to let go, how to prepare, how to cope with the knowledge that the table may very well be set for one less. It's the moment when everything changes, as it always does.
we are of the age....