Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest Blogger: My Brother

my dad and brother would take these road trips.. they drove route 66 into new mexico one weekend.. just on a whim.. they went to disneyland (just the two of them).. they camped and visited friends.. and went on a trip to tombstone.. i don't know whose idea this photo was.. i am sure it was my dads (see like watching nature for the solo photo taken years earlier) but it is one of my favorites... anyone can see the camaraderie and friendship between the two

if you have read my blog for any amount of time then you know that my brother plays a big part in it... because as much as this is my blog.. my dad was OUR dad.. so i could never leave his views or experiences out of it.. for past blog posts featuring my brother see:

brother bear, mine, his, ours and we are

i woke up this morning to an amazing surprise.. a guest blog email from none other... it was so hard to read because we don't really talk about this.. we try to think about the good times.. and i think we worry about protecting each other's feelings.. but it made me think about something i learned over the weekend..i am in training to volunteer for hospice... and in our first training we talked a little about the dying process.. we were told to listen to the patients in their process of passing.. we should take it seriously if they are talking to people that have passed before or if they are reaching out.. our dad waved into the corner.. my mom asked if he was waving to the angels.. he nodded yes... we were also told that hearing is the last sense to go.. so they can hear us even if they do not respond.. my brother and i took turns telling our dad that we would be okay, that he can rest.. it was not permission to die.. never that.. it was the understanding that this cancer had taken his body and my God we would miss him and hurt for him but we didn't want him to struggle... or worry about us in his last hours.. he waited till my brother and i left the room to pass.. and in my brother's writing of his last words to our dad i fully believe he heard him.. and was proud of his strength.. and as much as he didn't want to leave us.. knew.. we would be okay...

and i am so proud of him for doing this.. for putting his feelings into words.. into taking such a cathartic step.. so without further ado.. my brother's words

I always think back to his sick days and I feel like it’s healthy to write a little about it. The first time I found out my dad was sick was a week after we went to go see Gran Torino and my dad was shaving and told me, “hey don’t I look like Clint Eastwood?” The day before he told me I had went with him to a doctor’s appointment, he said to come with him inside where the doctor was going to talk to him, then he told me “maybe you should just wait outside”, I began to worry. Let’s skip through to the part where they told me. It was a Saturday after the doctor’s appointment and I felt something was weird, as my mom and dad and I sat down to eat breakfast my mom said “your dad has cancer.” I looked at my dad and cried and ran outside then called my sister right away, she explained to me he will be having surgery and everything will be okay.

The night of my dad’s surgery I remember doing the most stupid thing ever. I smoked pot. I guess I felt like this was the thing to do at a time like this, I was wrong and I told my sister and she was very upset and I trashed the weed that night. The surgery, as we were waiting in the waiting room I was just anxious I wanted it to be over already. We got to see my dad before he went into surgery and I cried, he told me “I will be alright and I’ll see you when I get out.” I left my dad and went outside, I needed fresh air. Just then my cousins Mike and Gj and Jr came to get me and we went to eat. When my dad got out of surgery I felt so much better, happy and thanking God. Thinking to myself that everything’s over now, but I was wrong. The doctors tested my dad again and found that there was more cancer and it spread. I couldn't believe it and started blaming God. After the doctors tried treatment a couple different times, my dad became very weak and I hated it but as long as the cancer would go away he needed to keep doing it. I was let down those times the treatments failed I had hoped something would work. It didn't.

My dad gave his life to Christ, September of 2009. He was so full of hope and we had an angel with us, Gilbert Castillo (Gj). He did so much for my dad, he loved him so much and my dad loved him, Gj was at our house everyday praying and keeping my dad full of hope. When my dad was coming to his last days Gj was suppose to go on a trip with his soon to be wife, my dad told Gj “Go have a good time.” My dad didn't care about himself; he wanted Gj to have a good time.

Another angel sent to us was Natalie Zaragoza, she would take my dad to all the appointments and treated my dad as if he were hers. It seemed like she always knew what to do. (I’m not trying to leave people out, the others I didn't mention you know who you are).

The last day, I remember everyone coming over. My Tia Kinney played the guitar, I guess to make his final breath peaceful. As everyone was in the room my mom begged my dad to get up and drink coffee begged and cried, and just told him to get up. I finally did the hardest thing ever, I stood up and gave my dad a hug and told him “dad, you can go now, you can go dad, we will be okay, mom will be okay, you don’t have to fight anymore. dad you fought hard enough dad now you just rest”(11:00pm). My dad did not pass away until 3:35am he waited and still fought to his last breath.

My dad left me with his personality as I’m told by some people. He left and touched so many people’s hearts and left spaces in their hearts as well. To this day I always have my dad with me. I know God is preparing a place for me in heaven so I can be with my dad. I wish I could just hug him and tell him I love him and tell him thank you one last time, but I know the next time we meet it will be forever.

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