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Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting Through It

Our goal is to just get through this. Yesterday was November 16. Today is November 17. Tomorrow is November 18.

And we continue to wait for a phone call we don't wish to receive.

For two nights now, the hospice nurse told us she didn't expect my father-in-law to survive the night. It's difficult to wait, knowing his tremendous level of suffering. Feeling the agony of his loved ones. Hearing the confusion of the grandchildren.

We are all dealing with this in different ways. Each of us retreat to our own individual shells, withdrawing using our own coping mechanisms. I am not returning e-mails, blog comments (sorry!) or answering the telephone. The husband is zoning in front of old movies and You-Tube. The Tongginator exists amid a codeine fog due to a severe ear infection, poor little mite.

It's not easy to wait and watch. I barely know this man... I met him twelve years ago, but we live on opposite coasts with too few visits to list. But this is the man who taught my husband a tremendous amount of patience. Who taught my husband that it's not shameful to embrace faith and simplicity. Who taught my husband that love doesn't always mean blood. My husband's father - his stepfather if you get technical - raised my husband as one of his beloved children.

Which indirectly led my husband to embrace adoption as our path to parenthood.

And now this man is dying. He won't be a cancer survivor, but neither is he a cancer victim. Cancer is something that he lived with, but it did not and does not define him.

This man... my husband's father, my father-in-law, the Tongginator's Grandpa... this man is so much larger than cancer.

46 comments:

Rhonda said...

Thinking of you.

Briana's Mom said...

I wish I had the right words to comfort you. Sending hugs and prayers to all of you...

Norah said...

Sending my thoughts your way. He sounds like a wonderful teacher/father/father-in-law/Grandpa.

3D said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Keep smilin!

3D said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Keep smilin!

The Byrd's Nest said...

This is such a hard time for your family. Please know I have not ceased in prayer for you. Big Hugs.

LaLa said...

I am so sorry...I hate cancer!!! Thinking of you : )

prechrswife said...

(((((Hugs)))) and prayers. I was thinking about you and your family just a little while ago.

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

I'm so sorry. Sending up prayers. May God's strong arms comfort you and your family!

Gerbil said...

Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Rebecca of "China, Baby!" said...

TM, my prayers are with you all. I lost a grandfather to cancer 12 years ago and I remember very well the feeling of his death being imminent. It was almost a relief after he passed because then we could grieve. I know that sounds awful but I do remember feeling that way.

Praying,
Rebecca

Lynn said...

Hugs to you my friend.

Sabrina said...

Im so sorry... thinking and praying for your family.

Juliette said...

Very sorry.
Hugs to you and your family.

Becky said...

I'm sorry. Your father-in-law sounds like an incredible man.

Carla said...

{hug} As only someone who has been in the spot you are can understand, this post eloquently describes that waiting for THAT phone call. Dreading it's arrival, but at the same time knowing it also means an end to their suffering.

{HUG}

He sounds like an amazing father!

Praying for you all.

McEwens said...

He sounds like an amazing man! Thinking of you TM... been a tough few months

Dawn said...

Thinking and praying for your family today.

Patricia/NYC said...

What a wonderful man! Thinking & praying for all of you!!
HUGS!!!

TRS said...

May God bless you with peace and acceptance.

My deceased sister's birthday is tomorrow - Nov 18th. I'm sure she'll run to meet your Father-in-law and give him a warm greeting! If you get the chance, ask him to say hi from me!

Funny how we're all connected through pain and experience... just this thing we call life.

Blessings.

CC said...

Hugs :( What a hard time of waiting. :(

Suzy said...

He's not my father in law, but I thank God for men like him and for what he did for you and your family. I must be in a weepy mood cause this is the second time I've cried today. Bless your heart (and I mean that in the deepest truest sense - not the trite one).

Patty O. said...

I am so sorry for all of you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

This was a tremendously touching and beautiful post. I am sure your father-in-law would be touched if he could read this.

Pug Mama said...

cancer - I can't type the words that I want to about that word here on your blog.
It has ripped apart my family more than once.
Thanking of you.
XOXO

Janet said...

I'm so sorry. I know what it is like to wait for "that" call. You can never be prepared. Honestly, when my dad died, I was actually relieved that it was over. It was sudden, but those 3 days felt like forever. I was thankful for it to be over so we could finally grieve and not feel on the edge of our seats. My nerves were completely shot. I hope all goes well with you. Rosie being gone is still so raw for you. God be with you, TM.

Shellie said...

Beautiful thoughts on him, I don't expect an answer, just know I care.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

So sorry that you are going through this again. I know it is a difficult time for your family.....thinking of you all!

Hugs and Prayers,

Lisa

Momto3 said...

Hugs and prayers sent your way.

Kate said...

Oh my. This just makes my heart ache for you all. I am so sorry. YOu are in my thoughts and prayers...always the prayers...peace to you all in this difficult time...

Laura L. said...

Prayers for you here in MN. Thankful for your faith.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You'll be in my prayers!
And don't worry about the undone things! Being with your family is always more important!

Kerry said...

Thinking of you at this very difficult time. Hugs. You are an amazingly strong compassionate person and I am impressed and inspired by you.
All my very best.

discombobulated said...

still thinking of and praying for you.

Sharie said...

Oh my heart goes out to you and your entire family. I don't know exactly how you're feeling, but I know what it was like for me in those last few hours with my own dad. No matter how prepared you think you are, it is NEVER easy. I hope your father-in-law passes peacefully.

Monica said...

I am so sorry you all are walking through this time of pain and sorrow.

Jennifer said...

Thinking of you and your family in this difficult time.

Jen

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry. You have had so much loss lately. So, so sorry.

Hannah said...

I don't know how many times you can read the words, "I'm so sorry", TM...but I don't know what else to say. I AM so sorry. Sending prayers for strength and comfort and peace that passes understanding...all your way. And, oh dear, I hope this isn't confusing but I am somehow logged in under my daughter's account, so it will say it is from Hannah, but it is from me, Lisa, at a motherlode.

Heather of the EO said...

There are no words to make you feel better. I'm sorry, I wish I could think them up. I'm sorry for your husband too. I'm also thankful for your honesty in expressing how you're dealing with this. There is no RIGHT way to deal with this. You just...DEAL. I'm sorry.

Stefanie said...

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry to hear he is so close to passing, waiting has to be almost unbearable. Praying for comfort for all of you during this time.
Big hugs.

Jamie said...

My heart goes out to your family. That kind of waiting is hard for everyone. I hope that your FIL is not in a great deal of pain during his last days, and is surrounded by loved ones.

Praying for peace and comfort for you all.

Alyson & Ford said...

So sorry about your FIL. You wrote such nice, compassionate, loving words. Thinking of you during the difficult wait. We have been there.

Alyson
Alyzabeth's Mommy
Forever Family Day 09/16/08

Amie@HeartSmiles said...

I just love you! I am praying for you! And sending you BIG HUGE HUGS!

Lots of Love and Prayers!

:(
Amie

Cheri H said...

Cancer is so limited ...

It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquor the Spirit.

Author Unknown

Ada said...

I'm so sorry that you are faced with another loss.

Peace to you and your family

PIPO said...

I am sorry...you are all in my prayers.