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A Difficult Day

 
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Star
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Joined: 30 Mar 2006
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Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: A Difficult Day Reply with quote

Went to visit my Aunt Rosanne in the nursing home today. She's been in there for about a month and a half. She has terminal cancer (kidney...she's been battling it for 8 years now), and seems to be nearing the end. The family pretty much consider her passing to be a blessing because she's been in pain for a long, long time. Still, it's hard to watch. It seems to be especially difficult for my dad. He's the oldest sibling (my aunt is 10 years younger), and I think when you're the oldest you're sort of prepared to pass first. My aunt will be the second sibling to pass. The first was my Uncle Dave last December. So the timing is also a factor.

She had plenty of family members visiting with her today. My dad and I stayed for a few hours, but it got to be too much for my dad. So I explained to my cousin Jaime and she said she understood and we should go. On the way home, I talked my dad into driving through the park for a while. We do that sometimes. It seems to have a calming effect on us.

I'm handling the situation all right. I'm not emotional about it, and probably won't be until the family gathers together to scatter her ashes on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Rosanne's favorite movie is Somewhere In Time, which was filmed there. She went there on vacation once and fell in love with the place...all the Victorian houses and such. I know she always intended to go back, but unfortunately was never able to make it. So the family told her we'd find a way to have her ashes scattered there.
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Mike2000
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so sorry to hear about that, Star. Having been through the loss of my dad so recently, I can certainly relate. I too can understand what your dad is coming through, because I also lost a brother some time ago, with whom I was very close. We're not positive, but it is almost certain that he died of cancer, and I know very well how devastating that disease is.

I know it is very difficult to let our loved ones go, and we tend to hold on our loved ones for as long as we can, but sometimes, like you said, it is some sort of a blessing when the end comes because it means that our loved one will stop suffering and having pain and discomfort. When my dad passed away, I was sad, but also relieved because of that; he had been in a lot of pain for years due to a back injury and other diseases, and since his first heart attack his health and quality of life deteriorated noticeably.

The best you and your family can do, in my humble opinion, is to be close to each other and visit your aunt as much as you can. You are blessed to have the chance to say goodbye, not necessarily with words, but with deeds; you know, being there, showing her your love, and letting her know that she is loved and cared for. I wish I could have had the chance to say goodbye to my dad; he passed away quite suddenly. But we all had a chance to spend some extra quality time with him, and I know for sure he knew we all love him very much.

In a sense, it's good that you are not being emotional about this at this time, because that way you will be able to be there for your dad. I'm sure he'll really appreciate to have a strong, steady shoulder to lean on during this difficult time, and he will be grateful for that.

Star, I don't know what else to say, except that my prayers will be dedicated to you, your aunt and your family. May you all be strong and patient in this difficult time.
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BeverlyHillsChick
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too can relate to losing loved ones from cancer. Both of my grandfathers died from cancer. One had Lung Cancer and the other had Pancreatic Cancer.

I remember going to the hospital in Missouri when I was about five or six years old and seeing where they had cut him open to get to his lungs during surgery. The incision started at the top of his chest and went all the way down to about his belly button. He then had another incision right above his belly button that went from side to side, so his chest looked like it had a great big "I" on it. That really scared me and I remember asking the doctor why he was like that. He told me "He's like that because he smoked cigarettes." He then told me to never start doing that or I'll probably end up just like him and he explained to me that cigarettes kill, in as simple terms as he could for a little kid. That scared me enough to make me never want to start, and I've never even tried one. I really don't care to, either. I hate the smell of them and even have a difficult time breathing when I'm just around a smoker, so I can't even fathom putting that stuff in my body.

My other grandpa died from Pancreatic Cancer when I was 15. His death was really hard for me because I was really close to him. I was the only one out of all of his grandchildren that he got to see be born, and we shared a bond that he didn't have with any of my cousins or my sisters. (My sisters, though, were not his granddaughters.) I used to go and spend whole days with him when my parents were at work and I didn't have to go to school. I loved it because he always played with me and gave me stuff and was just an all-around great grandpa. My grandma was really bitter and kind of mean, and she honestly didn't want me because I wasn't a boy. (Growing up I sensed there was something wrong whenever I was with her, and when I was a teenager I found out why she disliked me so much from my mom. Shortly after I was born and she was told she had a granddaughter, she actually said she didn't want me because I wasn't a boy. That's a horrible thing to say, I know, and you can probably imagine how I felt when I was told that. I'm sorry that I didn't make her happy, but I had no control over what I was born. It's who I am.) I actually remember having to ask her if she loved me, because she never actually said she did. If she did, it sounded like it was forced out of her. My grandpa, on the other hand, loved me so much he couldn't stand it. I still wish he was here.

I loved both of my grandfathers dearly, but they were far from perfect. Both of them were alcoholics, although my dad's dad (The one I was really close to), had an easier time keeping his drinking under control. I never knew my mom's dad when he was an alcoholic, as he'd completely changed by the time I was born. He was very active in church and was a Man of God. My mom and my uncles, on the other hand, remember a very different side of him. All the way up until they were teenagers, he was a drunk. He used to take off and leave my grandma with five kids and be gone for weeks at a time and nobody knew where he was. He drank up most of their money, and there were times when they barely had food. When he did come home, he'd beat the snot out of my grandma for no reason at all. My mom said she remembers one time they were having an argument about money and she was hiding behind the couch in the living room, where they were, and he pushed my grandma down and started beating her on the floor. There was blood everywhere, and my grandma was all black and blue. My mom said she remembers having to clean up my grandma's blood from that incident.

Those are only two of the alcoholics in my family. I have several other cousins and uncles who are also alcoholics. So yes, it runs very rampant in my family. I chose not to even get into it, but I have to tell you that as I was growing up the pressures to do it were everywhere.

Both of my grandfathers lived with their cancer for a really long time, though. My mom's dad lived with his for seven years, dying in 1992 one day after my 10th birthday, and my dad's dad had it for almost three years. I absolutely hated seeing both of them dying and knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I think the best thing you can do in situations like these is let them know they're loved and just let them go.

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Star
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

My aunt passed away last Tuesday. I miss her already and think about her a lot. Triste

Friday night my dad, Jaime and I went to Pennsylvania for a family reunion. We stayed overnight in a hotel and then continued the rest of the trip the next day (it's like 5 hours one way.) It's only the 3rd reunion I've been to. It's held every year, alternating between Penn and New Jersey. Most of these relatives are strangers to us. My grandpa's uncle had 27 (or more!) kids so most of them are distant cousins to us. I recognized a lot of the faces, but not always the names. I'll have to take my camera next time so I can take pictures to help figure out the genealogy! A computer program couldn't hurt either! Rire I really wish my grandpa were still living because he knew EVERYBODY, and everybody loved him.
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superyo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear that Triste

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ottoman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so sorry to hear that. At least she isn't suffering anymore. To lose someone to a dreadful disease is a terrible thing to go through. My thought will be with you, Star. *hugs*

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