This year has been pure hell on me and my husband. It all started last Autumn. In November my parents moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico. For them it was a dream come true. For me it was filled with worry and heart-ache. I missed my mother so much. I cried every night for nearly a month after she moved out there.
In January my husband and I had made plans to take time off and go out for a visit. Unfortunately before that visit we got a phone call from my father. My mother had a severe stroke on the 2nd of February. After driving 26 hours across country we made it. Then 3 hours later, my mother died. Everyone said she was waiting for me to get there.
After a few weeks we returned back to Virginia. We were starting to plan a move – after LK’s discharge from the Navy we were going to be moving closer to my dad than we had planned so we could look in on him. In March, my father had several tumors removed from his bladder. He was sick and getting worse. My aunt and uncle were still in Carlsbad with my dad and waiting on me to get things tied up in Virginia so I could come help. In the middle of April I returned to New Mexico to care for my father. He was officially diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Bladder Cancer on the 18th of April. We had suspected it was Cancer for a while. He turned down chemo-therapy. A week later he was put under the care of a wonderful hospice. Vista Care’s nurses and staff were nothing short of amazing. They helped us out and were it not for them we never would have made it as far as we did. My dad died on 21 June, 2002 – Four months, Two weeks, and three days after my mother.
I am in Virginia with my husband. I am glad to be home with him and thankful that my dad is no longer in pain. I wouldn’t trade those last memories I have of my dad for anything. I can sleep at night knowing I did all that I could to be there for him. I never turned my back on him because he was in so much pain or because it was too hard to watch. I may not have been his biological daughter but no one on this earth can say that they loved him more than I did. Step-daughter or not.
My friends who were always there for me: THANK YOU … I just can’t say it enough.
VistaCare of Carlsbad, NM: You all will be in my heart – always.
Carlsbad Animal Clinic: Many thanks to Dr. Payne, Dr. Heinrich and their staff for helping Maynard and Paddington cross to Rainbow Bridge with dignity and in love.