Today is the 86th anniversary of the day the world was blessed with a you. And that’s pretty damn awesome.
Not everyone has a role model in life that has accomplished so much.
- You spent tax season with us for 20 years
- You swam every summer of you life, went tubing at 75, and waterskiied at 60
- You travelled the world; Tahiti, Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Okinawa, London, Copenhagen, Canada, Mexico, Hawai’i and even came to visit us kids all over the States well into your 80s. Though good thing you didn’t need a passport to get to my graduation in the UP of Michigan…
- You taught us manners and respect and good Catholic values like giving up watermelon and waterskiing for lent
- And then a little over a year ago, you even became my tech savvy Gigi; Skypeing with your great grand daughter half way around the world.
You make me proud. You make me dream big. You make me a better person.
But then this past February you also decided we needed a lesson in never knowing how good you have it until it’s gone.
On February 7th they told us that the cancer was back; and aggressively. Which makes sense, because cancer is as asshole like that. So, as best we knew how, we started bracing for one last summer… one last visit… one last trip back home… one last weekend at Gramma’s. But I suppose with 86 years of experience, you knew how to be ready sooner.
Way too sooner.
And on February 28th, 21 too short days later, I had to have one last FaceTime call… one last E and Gigi pigeon noise session… and one last ‘I love you biggest’…
No one told me then that last fall would be the one last time you sat on my lap… and the one last Chalice mushroom sandwich… and the one last time I would get to hug you close…
So I’m going to take your last lesson and do my damnedest to learn from it. I need to make the most of the time with my own parents and family and life. I wasn’t ready for it to be your last anything, so I’m sure as hell not ready for it to be our last anything either. They have way too much Nana and Grandpa-ing to do and we have too much exploring to do.
So right now… today… that means we need to make the most of our remaining time in Asia. And we need to live up to what this blog was started for to begin with — living in the now. Because one of these days will be our…
- last 61st floor sunrise with a view of 3 different countries
- last stroll around the Marina
- last run through MacRitchie or the Botanic Gardens
- last sunset at the Barrage
- last quick long weekend to Thailand or Cambodia or Bali
I have no idea when those things will happen, but I know they will.
I can’t imagine what kind of strength it takes to decline treatment and say goodbye like you did; I know they didn’t give me near enough morphine for this past few months. But if I can live and die with even half of the vigour and dignity and courage and gratitude that you have, I will be proud. I will have done something right.
We were beyond blessed to spend as much time as we did with you growing up and spoiled rotten that you stayed so active and able to keep up with us well into your 80s. I know that so many people don’t get to say that. So instead of being sad, I’m going to have to remind myself over and over that the sad only comes from knowing how great we had it.
Thank you for all the joy. I will always love you biggest.
“I’m going to spend the rest of my life living, not dying.” ~ Phyllis Rothe, 7 Feb 2016