Sunday, September 30, 2012

Emergency Flight

I was at work yesterday when I got the call. "Come home. Now. He's really bad."

I've not mentioned it here before, but my father has cancer. It's one of the reasons I've been back to Michigan so much recently. It's actually why I bought the airplane--so that I could get back more, and quicker if need be.

It took me five minutes to tell work that I was leaving and wrap up what I was working on. Then it was a fast drive home to grab a bag and pick up Murphy, with a call to the airport FBO to fuel my plane and have it ready for immediate departure.

I'd been watching the weather for days, contemplating a trip up here this week-end anyway. But the weather was looking marginal at best, and my father'd sounded so good when we talked on the phone on Thursday. He was up and moving around and we'd discussed going out to do something when I got there. I'd already decided to postpone my trip until the following week-end because the weather was looking dodgy, but then I got the call and I knew that it wasn't being made lightly.

The flight was somewthing else, to be sure. I won't go into detail but I broke just about every rule of VFR operation in my haste to get home in time. My ride was waiting for me at the airport on the other end and just a few minutes after landing, I was on my way to my father's place.When I got here, I saw that he'd been moved to a hospital bed in the living room by the hospice staff, not a good sign, because you just knew that it was meant to be temporary. I couldn't believe that he'd gotten so bad so quickly since my last visit up here just a few weeks ago. But he was awake, and he recognized me and smiled as he said my name. That alone made the whole stupid, risky trip worth it. He knew I was here for him.

Now just a few hours later, he doesn't recognize me or anyone else. He alternates between a drug-induced rest and periods of agitation where he just wants to get out of bed. He doesn't appear to recognize me any more. But he did when I got here and I have to think that deep down, he still knows I'm here.

Posting's going to be sparse for a while as I deal with this. And your prayers will be appreciated.

Cancer's a motherfucker.

35 comments:

  1. Damn... just damn. The fact that he recognized you when you got there *is* priceless. Hang in there, buddy.

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  2. Losing a parent is a motherfucker.

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  3. Good to hear you got these safely, and in time for your Dad to recognize you.
    You'll both be in tonight's prayers.

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  4. Have done that trip 3 times, toughest trips of my life. Will keep your family in my prayers.

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  5. I'm with WSF. I was out working on something trivial with a computer on the plant floor as my phone buzzed softly in my cargo pocket, far enough away from my leg that I didn't feel the vibrating, and softly enough that it was completely drowned out by ambient machinery noise. Wouldn't have mattered anyway, they'd given him two weeks, so the wife kiddo and I were planning on driving down that weekend. They moved him into hospice on Wed, he was gone four hours later. Been there, done that, wouldn't wish that t-shirt on anybody. You and yours have our prayers, bro.

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  6. Prayers are being said

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  7. Prayers sent. Cancer can f*** the f*** off.

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  8. Thoughts and prayers sent. If you need help, let me know.

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  9. Prayers being sent his way. I lost my dad to cancer last year; it sucks.

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  10. Know the feeling & the heartbreak too damn well. Cancer sucks!!! (Lost both my parents to it only 10 days apart 9 years ago & lost my FIL to it last year.) My thoughts & prayers are with you....

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  11. Oh, my dear friend, my heart aches for you. You and yours are going on the prayer chain now.

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  12. I am now dealing with the aftermath of my own Dad's passing earlier this year. Regrettably, I didn't have the opportunity to see him before he went, what with the sudden deterioration and systematic shutdown of his bodily functions.

    Fortunately, at my insistence, my parents pre-arranged their funerals a few years ago. I accompanied them to the funeral director for the occasion. And for Dad, it all went off without a hitch, which certainly reduced the trauma of his passing.

    You did the right thing by hurrying up to Michigan. There likely will be several more trips necessary to deal with your dad's situation. They will be a pain in the butt, but there will be no doubt that they are the right thing you need to do.

    Even tough guys like you and me need encouragement at times like this.

    And so, to you I say, "Be Strong!"

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  13. Praying for you and your family.

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  14. Praying for you and your family.

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  15. I know there are no words I can type that can mean anything, but you and the family are in our thoughts and prayers.

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  16. Full on positive thoughts for strength aimed your way from Texas.

    J

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  17. Cancer sucks..Stolen much from me.
    Prayers to you and yours..

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  18. Sorry to hear about your Dad, I went through the same with mine 2 years ago. Glad you made it there safely, and this Canadian doesn't mind your impromptu visit. Come back under happier circumstances soon.

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  19. Lu and I send our love and prayers my friend. Call if you need anything.

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  20. God bless you and your family. Cancer sucks.

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  21. Glad you made it back in time. Our prayers are with you and your family.

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  22. Oh, I am so sorry for you and your family. Glad you made it safely. Thinking of you! Big hugs!!!,

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  23. We'll be with you and your family in spirit and in prayer. If you need anything we can do at a distance, just holler.

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  24. Glad you made it while he could recognize you. It's not easy, and I'm afraid that it doesn't get easier.

    Fair wind and following seas to your Dad on his voyage.

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  25. Been there Dad in 2006 and my younger Brother in 2010 hang on in there.

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  26. You and your dad are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  27. Praying for you and your family. I've lost all my family but for 2. It is painful.

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  28. 10,400 is about where differential pressurization kicks in on larger aircraft. That controller was worried about you getting enough oxygen.

    Sorry to hear about your Dad.

    Fuck Cancer.

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  29. My prayers to you and the family.

    Lost my dad to cancer too, but I couldn't be there for him when the time came.

    Hug him, hold his hand. Deep inside, where the disease can't reach, he knows you're there.

    All the joy I get from reading your blog, I wish there was some way to repay it right now, but I know there isn't.

    So best I can offer is: Fuck Cancer!!!

    And my prayers.

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  30. Good to hear that you got there safely. My prayers for your Dad, you, and your family.

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  31. The gal's and my thoughts and prayers are with you folks... lost my dad last year to cancer... a good man and WWII veteran...

    Hope your time with your dad is as memorable as mine...

    Dann in Ohio

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  32. Sorry to hear about your father. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  33. Prayers your way, and yes he knows/knew that you were there. As I former hospice nurse, I can tell you this definitively. Hang in there.

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  34. Very sorry for your loss. Prayers sent for your dad, family, and for you.

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