Have you ever had those days when it seemed like you’re just replaying the same thing over and over? I’ve had one of those years.
In life, my father and my father in law could not be more different.
My dad was extremely right wing – tea party level right wing. My FIL was extremely left wing – nearly socialistic left wing.
My dad was super religious – staunch, devout Mormon, born and raised – lived that extreme, restrictive lifestyle. My FIL was “speaking in tongues, snake ceremony” religious. If it was outlandish in the religious world, my FIL glommed onto it.
My dad never touched a drop of alcohol, a cup of coffee, or a puff of a cigarette during his entire life. My FIL loved his wild turkey, lived for his morning coffee, smoked like a chimney.
You did not get any further separated than my two dads.
In life, at least.
In death. Oh my god, the similarities.
Two months after my daughter’s wedding we found out her grandpa was sick. Two months after my son’s wedding (a year and a month later) we found out his grandpa was sick.
In December my dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and he started chemo in January. My FIL was diagnosed with Lung cancer the following January and started chemo in February.
My dad discontinued treatments and hospice was brought in and he died in July of 2015 (on a Thursday). My FIL discontinued treatments and hospice was brought in and he died August of 2016 (on a Thursday).
Three months after my dad died, my grandson was born. Three months after my FIL died, another grandson is due to be born.
After being so heavily involved in helping my family take care of my dad last year, I was so relieved to have respite from the emotional turmoil, and to have my dad not be suffering anymore. With each phase of my FIL’s illness it was like a punch to the gut. I’m not sure how many of my tears over the past year were actually for what my FIL was going through, or because of triggers to my own dad’s illness and death. It’s been a hard year. It’s been a hard couple of years.
My husband said, “It comes in threes. Whose turn is it in 2017?” Of course, my husband also said, “That’s it! Nobody else is allowed to have a baby!”
I’m hopeful for a more peaceful upcoming year. I’m greatly anticipating the birth of my grandson. Even though my husband jokes about no more babies, I’m cautiously optimistic about hopefully getting news of a grandbaby #6. Death is hard. But life? Life is good.