The Teddy Bear Hugger is in Heaven

I lost my stepfather to squamous cell lung cancer on September 11, 2006.  It was crushing to my heart to see this once robust man of 76, die from the effects of cigarette smoking.
I recall as if it was yesterday the rage I felt when what we were led to believe was a very small operable tumor, was in fact the tumor the size of a grapefruit. We as those who loved George had thought that the scare of stage 1 lung cancer was all we would have to deal with. We confronted my stepfather, and said that he had to stop smoking. He was one of the blessed ones. He was being given an opportunity to stop smoking before it was too late.
Too late. Well, it turned out that it was too late. The palliative care oncologist even after dad had exhausting radiation treatments, told dad to put his affairs in order. He would be dead in three months.
Too late for hope. Too late to change the devastating and cruel course of his impending death.
I remember feeling so helpless as I saw my stepfather with a heart as wide as tomorrow die a little more each day. Each time I saw him he had lost more weight. I stayed strong for him and his son, Tim, Tim’s wife, Liz, and their children, Matthew, Kathryn, Victoria, Danielle and Kelly. Then, where no one would see but my wife, Karen, I would cry about all the tomorrows I would never have with my dad. Remember all the laughs we had together. Reflect upon all those so many times he would give me those huge teddy bear hugs. No one could give a hug quite like my dad. How I miss those hugs!
As his calcium levels rose the blessing was that he started to lose touch with reality. He went back to the days of his youth, a far happier time than this painful unchangeable death sentence.
The oncologist was bang on in saying dad had three months to live. That last day of sorrow and yet with the comforting assurance that dad’s pain was over, will forever be etched upon my memory.
Tears flow as I remember that last day with my dad. He was given morphine to lessen the pain. He began to drift into unconsciousness as respiration decreased.
In my last moments with this man who had taught me about being a man of integrity, knowing when to fight and when to strategically withdraw, and how to laugh, he held my hand.
Through the torrent of my tears, I said, “I love you, dad. I will miss you so much.”
Then, love’s embrace was over. Dad was dead.
In my faith concept, I know he is in Heaven, where there is no more sorrow, no more pain, only a supernal joy,
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About osborne2029

I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. I m in an M.A.-Ph.D program with St. James the Elder Theological Seminary to train to become a psychotherapist and priest. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. After having just read your post on a boy’s calling, I can appreciate what having and then losing this honorable man must’ve been like. I am so thankful that you were able to attain the love and direction of a good man. His honor lives on exponentially through you. Heartwarming.

    • Tina, thanks for the uplifting comment! I miss my stepfather, George, so so much. I can still picture him smiling and then just folding me in with those loving teddy bear hugs. Dad was quite the mentor. He would say to me, “Kevin, always remember to think your way into new ways of acting. Pick your battles. Take time to laugh, because there are far too many who take life too seriously. Treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself. Be a man of your word. Speak the truth about an injustice you see. Never be a yes man. Always be true to who you are. Never assume. Always be respectful of another person even if all you can do is agree to disagree. Never have any debate devolve into personal attacks.”

      Wise advice which I have sought to follow.

      Dad was an amazing joke and story teller. He was a master of wit and timing. One time that stands out in my mind was when he was a superintendent at a luxury condo. A Board member’s wife complained about strangers using a lawn chair, who lived in the next building. This woman was a perpetual complainer. Dad smiled, paused and said, “What’s wrong? Are you upset because they’re stealing our sunshine?”

      I know I’ll see my teddy bear hugger when my work for my Lord is finihed and He calls me home.

      The peace, love and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

      Kevin

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