My dear sweet friend,
My mom continues on her path to heaven, and my dad for the first time today began to accept that he will be separated briefly from his love of nearly 70 years until his body is ready to give up and his spirit ready to join her. He has been in deep deep denial and slaps whomever tries to prepare him for the inevitable.
“don’t say that! Stop talking like that!!! You’re giving up! she is permanent!!!”
I took my dad to his oncologist, Dr. Safa, yesterday. If ever you need an oncologist, he is the man you must seek. I don’t care how far you have to travel. He is the angel and doctor you must have. Two years ago, tomorrow, my dad was declared clear of lung cancer, thanks to Dr. Safa. We were there to express our annual thank you to him and to have him check to see if there were any more growths.
I shared with Dr. Safa about my dad’s fear of losing his wife. This doctor pulled his stool to sit down close to him. He put his hand on his knee and spoke from his heart. I wish you could have been there to hear his wise words.
He spent the next 30 minutes consoling and counseling him and giving him love that angels speak. It was the most beautiful moment that encapsulated the meaning of life.
First, he said, you must take care of your self. There is no guilt – you, nor anyone outside of you is responsible for her dying. Dying is simply part of life’s journey. Our bodies weren’t meant to live forever. Our spirits live on. She will be with us forever. “I don’t care about your lungs today. I just care about the rest of you – your head and your heart. We are not going to do any scans today. We are going to talk.”
Then he went on to say how important it was to appreciate all the support and love he’s getting from family and friends. He encouraged him to stay connected to the people he loves, and who love him and to make the effort to reignite friendships and to reach out and share. “Yes, I want you to do things with others, but I also want you to share from the heart. open you heart and talk to others about what’s going on inside. Don’t hold it inside because that is what feeds cancer. Cancer loves stress, and secrets. Keep your heart open and share your feelings as much as you can.”
Finally he asked my dad what his favorite pastime was – music and art my father said. Dr. Safa smiled and slapped his knee! “Well, there you go! you must dive into your music and art! You must leave your legacy. Tell your story through your music and art! Next time I see you, I want to see what you have created. Do it for your wife, your children, do it for yourself! No more spiraling down a deep dark hole into that comfortable place of depression. No more being a scared boy who has been cared for for all these years, you must now be the man your wife married. You must be the man who provided for his family. Do you remember that man? You must pick yourself up and begin creating your legacy. This is what will keep you alive and well. Nothing is more important than taking care of you and telling your story!”
Love yourself, share from your heart, tell your story and leave your legacy.
“I wish all my doctors could be like him.” The love of an angel heals.
And for the first time, I could tell my father was in a place of acceptance. He put his arm on my shoulder and we cried together.