Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Grown Up Adult Type Stuff

Tomorrow is the type of day when one must put on their 'grown up' pants and act like an adult. Explanation: My mother-in-laws oldest sister will be 87 this month. A year and a half ago she suffered a stroke and moved in with her oldest son. Now she has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and she has been moved back to her home with hospice coming in to care for her.

Tomorrow Mrs. Chief and I, will take my mother-in-law to visit her sister for the first time since she heard this awful news. And this is tough stuff. It is hard to do. But there is not any alternative. You can't not visit. And just because you've done this type thing before, it definitely does not make it any easier. It is just that having done it before, you know you have the courage to do it again.

When Tommy was dying of cancer, even tho we had been co-workers, I could not summon the courage to visit him before he died.

It was the fall of 1997. Hunting season. Jack had some discomfort in his left side but postponed a visit to his doctor until after he went hunting. After the requisite tests, Jack was scheduled for exploratory surgery in early December of 1997. Surgery revealed that Jack had advanced pancreatic cancer. Unoperable and untreatable. Jack died exactly 6 weeks after the surgery.

Jack and I were more than co-workers. Jack was developing GIS coverages. I supported his hardware and software and the IT infrastructure. We socialized, he helped us move in '95, we went to his wedding in 1994.

The absolute hardest thing I have had to do was to visit Jack during that six week period as he slowly lost weight, lost strength and withered away. But, I couldn't not visit him.

And that is the way tomorrow will be. We will 'suck it up' do what we have to do and after we leave and head for home we'll all be teary-eyed or just plain crying.


Kathy said...

Chief, that was very moving. I really like your writing style.

Chief said...

It is difficult to write about a subject so personal, as I am sure you are aware. But it is absolutely necessary for me to do the writing.

There is a certain catharsis that takes place. I can focus on the essential and ignore the rest.

Life is finite. Someday I'll post my thoughts on death.