Time to write about You
For awhile I've been trying to avoid this but I think it is about time that the world knew about you. My father... Wait my Daddy.
Daddy you were the one who was always there the one who always present when I need someone to talk to a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold. I remember when I was little you give me "butterfly kisses" on my noise. How you use dance around the house with me, sometimes you would just be arriving home and even though you were tired, sweaty and sun burned from working all day in the sun you would still twirl me around the living room til I was tired. I still remember when you would let me stay home from school so we can just have a "Father- Daughter Day." I still can hear your laugh perfectly and the image of you when you use to laugh and smile. I miss you so much and facing the world with out you it is scary but I guess it was time for me to stand on my own. I remember when you were perfectly healthy but also you when you were dying in the hospice bed. Sometimes I sit on the couch when I am by myself and go through your journey, your story...No, Your Legacy.
April of 2013 I started noticing my dad was not his being his self. He started getting every day fevers, chills and stopped eating. Came to a point that he was not even eating his favorite food so bad even the smell was of the food would make him through up. We thought it was just a common cold or flu. But.. He started loosing weight, his color stared fading and the most hurtful part he stared smelling like sickness. We spent the rest of the year in doctors appointment one after another. In and out of hospitals sometimes for weeks he was in the hospital. The desperation inside of me when the doctors would say "We can NOT find anything." Every time I heard those words I would want to yell "LOOK MORE!" I denied myself to cry in front of my mother, my sister but exceptionally I denied myself to cry in front of him. I almost gave up til we got news. Cancer. He had cancer. The word alone leaves an awful taste in my mouth. He had Sarcoma to be exact a rare cancer that well to this day there is no cure and doctors still do not know the origin they haven't even made a dent in studying this type of cancer.
Although it is not what everyone likes to hear but at least we had some what of an answer. My father had to be taken to Jacksonville Fl. which is about nine hours from Naples Fl. The doctor saw the MRI the results of the CAT scan that were done on him from a Miami hospital. In shook the doctor told my mother if I do not get this tumor out now my father was not going to make it for the end of the year. Also that week the doctor was going on vacation but he said to do surgery on my father. A surgery that I believe it was longer then six hours the results were tumor the of a large grape fruit I think that is how my father use to describe it. The tumor devoured one of his kidney, a part of his gallbladder and the doctor was able to save his leg nerve but they did have to scrap it.
After the surgery he had to be in rehab for awhile and leaving my father I felt inside of me like I was abandoning him. The room had no color it smelled of hopelessness and despair. I broke down crying after he had left him there. It was not hard to see my father was going mad I can still picture him break down crying when the social work said he still need another two weeks to go. That man giant man broke down in a childish tantrum screaming saying he wanted to go home, that he hated being there begging my mom and I to take him home. Seeing him cry, screaming and trying to get up to go home broke my heart. I almost cried with him that day. In fact I am going to be honest as I am writing tears are falling from my eyes. But we visited him everyday but it isn't the same. After that day he pushed himself harder in is recovery and made a fast recovery.
The day came for his three month cheek up at the hospital in Jacksonville he was so happy to leave the rehab place. So much that when we were backing up he stuck his tongue out at the place. The news the doctor gave us was bittersweet, he was stun at my father recovery called him a miracle. Here comes the but, but that since my father did not have enough time to do radiation or chemo that there was a chance that bits and particulates only visible under microscope may be present. He said he took out everything he saw and that is why he scarped the nerve to try to get everything. My father a little shaken but with everything he had gone through nothing could shake his faith. He kept going he kept dancing, singing and his appreciation for life itself widen. I thanked God for giving me my father back it was something I did not take lightly. I was able to spend Christmas and new year with him.
His next appointment was in February of 2014 and starting February he it started to look like he was relapsing the fevers came back and all the symptoms as well. I am going to admit I was scared. In his CAT scan and MRI showed two new small tumors were starting to form in his abdomen that with radiation alone it was enough to stop it. It seems to me like time speed up they did some kind of scan to pin point the tumors. By the time he was going to start radiation the doctors calls us into his office I was present. He sat in front of us he did not look at us but with a sigh I knew already. He looked at my father and said "It is too late the cancer has spread to far through the abdomen that the scan was not even able to capture the whole extent."
I saw the look on my father's face the lights had faded from his eyes and my mother's eyes were watering up. He helped my mother communicate with Hospice to go arrange pick him up so the can get some pain medicine under control and once it was control the intent was to bring him back so he can stay calm at home. The day came for them to pick him up and I cried myself a river to see him leaving. As he was being lifted up into the van he kept waving bye and sending my sister and I kisses. I went every day even when he was just at the stage of being asleep I went. I would only leave to go to work or go to church, we kept him calm and went along with some of his crazy visions.
April 29, 2014. I get a phone call from my mother at 4:30 in the morning she told me that the nurse said that my dad had all the signs that he may make it through the night. I got there about 5:20. My father's brothers came to see him once they saw him he took his last breath. I was in the hall way calling my godmother to tell her what was going on. Once I stepped back in I felt it. I ran and hugged him in tears I whispered. "Tell Jesus I said hello." People swan through the place people came in and left. Many crying and others speechless. My cousins on my mother's side which he basically raise were the ones who stayed til the end. I sat by his side and so did my cousin Odalys and when it was time for the funeral home to come get him I latched on to my father's body and cried like I never cried before I saw my cousin crying which made me cry harder. I covered him in kisses as if I could make him come back in any way. As I said good bye to his corps I tried to contain my tears and holding my mother close we tried to find refuge in each other. But no one can compare to our strong fort who was my father. That night I cried and screamed my out "DADDY!" All night by the morning my pillow was covered in tears and my clothes lathered in sadness.
The day of his viewing it was a beautiful service my sister danced and our church's singers sang. I was overwhelmed with all who showed up he was loved. When it came time for the barrel only my mother my sister or pastors and I were the only ones allowed to see him one last time. I cried harder as my pastor (Blanca Lagos) embraced me in her arms I knew they were there for us pastor (Freddy Lagos) was our strong fort at that time. As his body was being lowered down just like the funeral I detained myself from crying til everyone left.
Life without my Father has not been easy.
Your Legacy Lives
Daddy even though you are not here your legacy still lives. Not one day goes by that I do not think about you. Finding out I was pregnant after you had left was a shock and I am going to admit I was scared but more sad then anything else. Knowing my child was going to grow up with out his amazing grandfather. But you had to let go but I won't, I won't let go of every precious moment we had. I'll tell your story to my child and believe me your legacy won't end. I am getting stronger day by day but I still miss you so much! I still cry but I thank God for my husband because just like you did not say a word when I cried just held me close til I was ready to talk, same he does to me. A week after you passed away I had a dream with you. You were spinning me around, you ran and hugged me gave me a butterfly kiss, you placed your forehead on mine and with your loving eyes I know you said you "I love you." I woke up crying happy because you looked so well, so healthy. But I pleaded to go back to sleep and dream that beautiful dream and not wake up. But one must live in the reality as well but I hope to see you soon but I know you are watching down on all of us.
I love you Daddy.
Feb. 26, 1962 - March 29, 2O14