Wednesday, March 31

Expecting is different than Experiencing

Lot going on trying to get a paper out by a 4/1 deadline, registration for next semester (my 8:20 stats class is full at 24 with 24 on the waitlist - Are these kids insane?), EMT class etc.

That all said, what has been consuming my thoughts this week is the difference between expecting something and experiencing something. Our neighbor and friend lost her father to cancer last night. She new it was coming, but it clearly has hit hear hard.

Today, less than 24 hours after finding out about our friend's father, my wife got a call saying her father had been taken to the ER by ambulance for difficulty breathing. The reason? Stage 4 lung cancer. I still have not heard a prognosis from an M.D., but the little reading I have done suggests he will not have a lot of time left.

My father-in-law is almost 70 and has smoked almost all of his life. He is a recovering alcoholic who lost his leg due to his two addictions. We expected that he might be the first parent we'd lose. That expectation was an abstract idea always pushed to the back of our minds. It is not so abstract anymore.

I regret he won't watch my kids grow, see their graduations or attend their weddings. My daughter will likely not even remember him. I know we all have to die, and as a parent, I selfishly hope my kids have to deal with my death because I don't know how I'd deal with theirs. This hope, of course, means that the price we pay for the normal order of things is that we have to watch our parents die. This sucks.