June 15, 2000 Email from Mom:
I feel rather down in more ways than one. DAD HAD AN APPT AT THE UROLOGIST TODAY AND THE NEWS IS NOT GOOD. He said dad has many spots in his bladder and will be going down next Wednesday to have a biopsy surgery to verify the cancer and then will have to have chemo. Dad said on the way home that he feels he will not be around next year at this time and it would not surprise me in the least and he said that by all means he wants to come up there as planned as he feels it will be his last time. He loves to be outdoors and taking care of his flowers and all the things he planted so there will many things to remember him by.
TRICIA, I love him so and do not know how I will get along without him as he is my only.
Oh Mom, what can I possibly say? It's only just these past two years, and even moreso this past year, that I can even begin to say that I am finally understanding how you must feel about Dad. I am a most fortunate woman to have Chris in my life. He is a quiet man, but his love runs deep. He puts up with me when I am cranky sometimes, but he gives as good as he gets, and sometimes we just have a night or two on our own, and I putz around, and next day we start again. But we respect each other, and he has his good and bad moments, like I have mine. He rubs my legs or feet, or massages my shoulders after sitting in front of a computer all day and they're SO sore, and it's like magic, his touch, with a healing effect. So I think I am beginning to understand what you've known for many years: having that special person in your life is the most precious thing in the world. Only when we're faced with hard news do we fully realize it. We know all along, but it magnifies it in our minds. Don't look on this time with dread, but cherish it. It's a very special time, strange as that may sound. We all know we face a transition down the road from now into eternity, but we don't really have any idea how it will be, nor what we will do, until we face it. I cannot tell you I know what you're feeling, I can only imagine. But I do know it would be hard, very hard. My love and prayers are with both you and Dad, and I am so glad you will be coming up here this summer...We greatly look forward to the visit. Take every day one day at a time. Don't allow fear of later steal the joy of now.