Monday, 4 January 2016
On letting go and the importance of family
The last week has been a grueling one - from the moment my MIL phoned just after 10 last Monday night to say that my FIL has lost his long battle with cancer, to stopping at home last night after a 14 hour trip from Port Elizabeth - filled with lots of traffic and an hour long delay at Kroonstad. We are all exhausted - two daylong trips with 3 days in between including a memorial service will do that to the best of us. I am just thankful that I have a week before work starts - not like Hunter who had to be at work this morning. I am also very proud of our little family and especially how well the kids handled all that was thrown at them during this period - and the rest of the holiday that was just a prelude to the conclusion.
But in all the sadness there is so much to be thankful for. Two years ago during the December holidays we received his stage 4 cancer diagnosis. In stead of the estimated 8 months we had two full years with him. We made the best of those two years - we visited whenever we could. We took photos, we made memories. We had good times together. We once again were made so aware of how important family is - even in the wider sense of the word.
My FIL was a wonderful man with a huge kind heart. He called me his daughter, not his daughter in law. He was the dad for me that I did not have as mine passed away when I was 7. We had a creative connection that I love and he always made me feel worthy of his love and a place in his family. He was an inventive and creative grandfather that spent time doing things with his grandchildren. We will all miss him so very much - but we are all relieved that this last period of suffering is over for him. We feel assured and calm that he is completely healed now that he is with God.
In a sense this is a fresh new start for all of us -aptly it falls at the start of a calendar year. The last two years everything was coloured by cancer. Now we move on - we will honour him by living our lives to the full. Positively - every day.