I’ve hesitated to write about my soon-to-be father-in-law’s cancer since our blog started. It seemed something too sad then too hopeful to bring up. Cancer is a roller coaster of emotion. You have to continue to stay positive, yet knowing in the back of your head the severity of the situation. Gastric cancer is terminal, it is just a matter of time before it takes over your body. It usually ends with a considerable amount of suffering, just due to its location and inability for chemo to hault its progression.
Ted’s dad Kevin, lost his battle with gastric cancer on New Year’s Eve, after being diagnosed in September. He died without any suffering or pain. We will never know how he entered heaven, but he did it with great speed and little complaint. He was at home, where he wanted to be, in his bed. We weren’t ready, especially with his excitement for our coming wedding, in just two weeks. The wedding kept him going. He loved the thought of his family, who all live far away, his co-workers and his friends all being in the same place to celebrate is son’s marriage, probably seeing him for the last time. He was so excited to get his tux fitted this weekend, that’s what makes all of this so much more tough. He was such a gentle and kind man. Everything he did in life was for his kids, he just loved them with all of his being. We are all so crushed by his sudden passing, but take thanks in the small glimmers of light. He had no pain, we were all with him the night before, he was happy, laughing, in great spirits. He was the first in line to heaven, there is no better definition of a Catholic. He found a lot of comfort and peace every Sunday at the Basilica in Minneapolis, it was his second home.
I know the hurt will pass, I know it will get easier. I’m working on being the strong wife that I’ll need to be in years to come, I just wasn’t ready. I wanted to video Kevin with his words of advice for his future grandkids, I wanted to get more photos with him, especially at the wedding, I wanted to have more conversations about his past and stories of his life. I didn’t get those, and I want them. I want them for Ted, and I want them for Ted’s sister and brother too. I should have done this before, but he never seemed so bad that we didn’t think we’d be here today, meeting with the furneral director and picking readings for his funeral at the Basilica.
This is our last family photo with Kevin, it was at Christmas this year. He had just gotten out of the hospital earlier that day, complications with his kidneys and lungs, but he was out and happy. We love you Kevin, and will love you forever.