Life After Death
May 19th, marked the 3 month anniversary of my dads death. And honestly, it still feels like it happened yesterday. The pain is still fresh, that day plays over and over in my head and the tears have yet to dry. But I wanted to share my heart of what I went through since my dads been gone. Yes, the wounds are still bloody-- but this is my way of expressing myself through my words.
On February 12th (Monday) I got the dreadful phone call from my mom that dad had been diagnosed with cancer for a second time. In 2011 dad had prostate cancer, but with treatment and chemo he was fortunate to beat it. But this time around it was stage 4 and the cancer was now in his pelvic, lungs, liver and kidney. My first reaction to the news was so heart wrenching and uneasy; I immediately felt uncomfortable. I had gotten the news the day I was flying back home from New York so the plane ride back to Miami was full of tears and prayers but I somehow still felt heavy. Part of me had the faith that dad would be healed again while the other part of me prepared myself for the worst. That same day, they let dad go home from the hospital, so of course I thought to myself "well it cant be that bad if they're not keeping him" But I was wrong. Dad wasn't eating and having trouble breathing one night so mom called an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital not even 3 days after he had been discharged. I remember that phone call. Mom informed me what had happened and suggested that I took a trip to GA (where they live) just to be with the family. That scared me and it took a while for me to even process what was happening. In a very polite way, my mother was telling me that the doctors weren't giving good news and that dads life was at stake. I think it really hit me when my mother, brother and I were on a 3 way phone call trying to decide if we'd put dad on life support or not if something bad were to happen. After that call, my aunt immediately booked my flight to GA for Sunday morning.
My flight was real early. I was in GA by nine a.m and the first stop was the hospital. As we walked into the building and made our way to dads room, I started to shake. My anxiety was flaring up, but I made sure to conceal it. I walked into the room, and there was my dad lying on the hospital bed, with one arm raised above his head, face swollen, white beard not shaven. He turned his head toward my direction and I said "Hi Dad." --- "Oh Melissa, How are you darling" he responded in a very raspy voice. "I'm okay dad" I replied back. "How are you feeling?" I asked. "I'm feeling fine" he said back as he closed his eyes and opened them back up again (his eyes were very wide open, kind of like he was startled).
I walked over to where my aunt and uncle were sitting and I flew into my aunts arms and began to softly cry so that my dad wouldn't hear me. I felt so much pain running through my body in that moment, I felt helpless, immediately became faithless and lost any sense of strength that I had in me. My father, the man who loved me and cared for me was sick. He had always been strong, never showed fear, and could make anyone laugh with his sarcasm and sense of humor. And there he was in a hospital bed still saying he felt okay knowing he wasn't.
After leaving the hospital, I headed over to my parents house where I stayed up all night praying, worshipping, writing in my journal pretty much begging God to spare my dads life. I cried myself to sleep that night.
Face To Face w/ Death
The next morning (Monday) I woke up extremely early to head over to the hospital. Dad was suppose to be getting transferred to another hospital where they could perform a procedure on him that couldn't be done at the one he was at. By this time, dad's cancer had spread to his brain causing him to have a brain tumor and also liquid in his heart. Cancer in his lungs, liver, kidney, pelvic, brain tumor and liquid in the heart, but my prayers the night before had me feeling real faithful. I told myself that dad was going to get this procedure done and it was going to save his life, God was going to do a miracle and every nurse, every doctor, family member would give their life to Christ after dads healing. I walked into the room, started playing worship music and just sat there while my mom held dads right hand; just the three of us. My mom hadn't been home or to work since my dad was in the hospital. She never left his side and did not sleep at all. About an hour later, a doctor came in to inform us that an ambulance was on the way to pick dad up to transfer him to the hospital where he'd be getting the procedure done (draining the liquid from his heart). He looked at my dad and said "Alright buddy, they're on the way to come get you, I'll see you when you get back." My dad replied, "Ok Dr. thank you"
The doctor walked out and I glanced over at my mom who kept staring at my dads EKG monitor. Thats when things began to get scary for me. She wasn't just staring at it, but looking at it with fear in her eyes, and being that my mom is a nurse I knew that something was wrong. She looked at my dad and asked him "Yves are you ok?" He nodded his head up and down but my mom knew something was wrong. She phoned for a nurse and mom kept asking dad "Are you ok? But this time he responded in letters. C R I E - C R I E. He said it twice. By this time, there were different nurses in the room, my mom began to cry and I was extremely hysterical -- And can I be completely honest with you, this moment is still a blur for me cause I honestly blacked out. I remember a nurse holding me back to let the Dr's do their job, my mom saying "you cant leave me like this" and me being on the floor crying uncontrollably. My dad was dead. I walked over to my mom and hugged her so hard. My heart hurt for her, she lost her husband of 30 years, her best friend, her partner in crime, the father to her children, the man she never spent a night without.
Its been 3 months now and if I can just be transparent with you all, its not easy and I'm still dealing with it. I wake up everyday having to remind myself that dad isn't here anymore, that I'll never hear his voice anymore, that he wont walk me down the aisle when I get married, that he wont be a grandpa to my kids, that he wont be able to watch me accomplish my dreams and aspirations and that he wont be there with my mom; and thats whats hurting me the most. We lost him a week after he was diagnosed so no one had the time to prepare themselves. I've been handling this grieving process so poorly and I've tried to act as if my pain doesn't exist which has cause my anxiety to flare up a lot. I have my good days, but when my bad days come, they come in like a rushing flood -- they're real bad days. My last sense of hope right now is counseling and seeing a therapist. Since dad died, I haven't really expressed myself about how I've been feeling and what I'm going through. Me writing this post is me trying to be more open and trying to come to terms with my reality. My dad is gone, no longer coming back and his death has taken a huge toll on me mentally, physically and spiritually. My prayers and my faith are what's keeping me sane and composed for the most part. God is slowly but surely giving me the strength I need to push through. There are pros and cons to every trial and tribulation that occurs in your life. The only pro to what I'm going through is that my relationship with God is on another level. He's all I got to lean on right now, so my grip on him is tighter than ever. In the mean time please continue to keep my family, my mommy, sister and brother in your prayers. I also want to thank anyone who has been supportive throughout this time, I love you all!