Ever since I sheepishly shared that my father has been diagnosed with cancer, I’ve had a number of friends and colleagues thoughtfully asking how he’s doing. I’ve probably also had a few people not ask because of my post discouraging people from trying to find the right thing to say in a time like this.
So, let me give a quick update on my dad, for those who want to know.
I was able to spend a few days with him last week, as I was coincidentally already in Orlando for work and I extended the trip into a 3-day weekend back home. It gave us a good chance to catch up; we probably talked more in that weekend than we have in the last year.
I’m pleased to report that he’s keeping his spirits up; he seems to be in a generally normal mood. Which is to say, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, he’s cracking jokes, and he’s as cranky as ever. Right now his biggest concern is getting everything situated with the rental houses, attorneys, etc. Fortunately, that’s an area that I can help with, especially given my connections at work to financial advisors and such.
My first priority last weekend, though, was getting the man to eat. He’s lost an alarming amount of weight, so I took every opportunity to go out for food and make sure he was at least having a few bites every chance he got. We had a late lunch one afternoon sitting at a little shack on the river, sipping a beer and nibbling on some bar food, watching a German shepherd play in the water. Sitting together in silence was surprisingly comforting.
Now that I’m back home in New York, we talk on the phone almost every day. It’s sad that it took something like this to give us reason to connect more, but whatever the reason, I’ll take it… We’ve caught up a lot on career, and school, and even on marriage (which, given the gay thing, isn’t always an entirely comfortable subject of discussion). It’s been nice.
I don’t know how much time we have left together, but I’m glad to be making the most of it.