On the day of the recent USA congressional elections, I received a text message from my oldest brother that summoned me home (Greece) immediately. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in his lower abdomen (one kidney, his liver and his colon) three weeks prior. Instead of the couple of months remaining (as the oncologists had advised us), the prediction was changed to “a matter of days.” I caught the earliest flight to Athens available and Aaron, my spouse, was followed me a day after.
It has been a very emotional week. My father is heavily sedated due to intense pain. He decided that he didn’t want the chemotherapy and radiation treatments and only wanted pain management. My mother and all of my brothers support his decision.
This past Friday, I was able to have some time alone with him. He was awake and I was able to keep eye contact with him. I thanked him for everything he’s ever done for me. I let him know how much I love him and then did our “good-bye” routine. I kissed his forehead.
As I was leaving his hospital room, he made the sign for Aaron. I leaned out into the corridor and got Aaron’s attention and motioned him inside with me.
With great effort, Pop made the international sign for “I love you.”
I then blew him a kiss and had to immediately get out of his room and out of hospital. I’m not at all ashamed of crying. He is, after all, my father – the only one I’ll ever have.
He’s the man who taught me how to love, unconditionally. He’s the man who taught me how to be a man.
I’m still in Greece and Pop is lingering but progressing towards the end.
Author’s Note: To everyone who’s blog I follow, if I’ve neglected your site recently, I apologize. This is the reason and I hope to return to my “normal” routine soon. Naked hugs!