After a short absence, I sadly announce that just six months after dealing with cancer and death, both have reappeared in my life like a thief to steal and kill and destroy. My father-in-law is dying from cancer in the hospital. Brutal times had by all.
The disease is as invasive as it is unrelenting, having metastasized to both of his lungs after a day-long operation to remove a cancerous tumor from his thigh. A diagnosis of six months to live has now dwindled down to days, and if that's not enough to bear, he is in the exact same hospital, same section and same floor that my father passed.
Through it all, my focus - my purpose - is to be there for my husband, who is the first-born son and named after his father. Any glimmer of joy I can give, whether it's sunshine in a tea cup (thank you to Jenier Teas) to drawing him a bath, I am here to cater to him. Unlike the effect the passing of my father had on me (which was explained in my article These Three Words), Albert has an active relationship with his father.
But no words or acts of comfort can rectify the pain and insurmountable grief I see my husband enduring. Holding vigil by his deathbed is irrational to us; weren't we just cracking jokes with his Dad a week ago in his rehab room, with him telling me that I stepped in looking like I was 18?
The topic of death also brings out the worst in people. Sibling infighting, jockeying for the alpha position only makes matters worse. But on the other hand, this misery opens up the conversation for me to discuss with my mother - while she's still in sound mind and body - what her wishes are and the details of her insurance company.
As much as I would rather be researching the newest footwear for AW 2013 for you to ooh and ahh over, my energy is going towards helping my husband call funeral homes for rates and packages.
Yes, there's more to life than shoes. And for my family, it's standing tall on the eve of death.
Footnote: My father-in-law lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, July 6. May he rest in peace.