I was half-watching the evening news as I worked to keep my fussy milk monster/baby latched and feeding. Just beyond the TV that I was blankly looking at was the house door. I vividly saw the door opening and dad stepping in, with a wide infectious grin as he threw his arms wide open for me to run into for a hug. Just like he always used to do when he came home from work. As he walked in, he explained that it's all just been a mistake - he had been away for a while but he is here now, finally home. He's ok. He's healthy, energetic, happy. He's alive.
My eyes catch the date on the screen. It's the 25th of the month. It's been 25 days since dad left us. Twenty-five days. Then I felt it. The sinking feeling you would feel as days tick by after an unexpected tragedy turns someone you love into a missing person who is searched for, with no leads...and the days turn to months, years.) Its a nightmare that I can't wake up from.
Dad is missing. He died in the ICU. Mom was right there by his side, just as she had been nonstop for the duration of his 9-month battle.
I miss dad today. I wish I had just one more day with him . No, a month. No, at least a year!
He was diagnosed with cancer 9 months ago. He sought treatment from well known oncologists and surgeons. His prognosis was great.
The cancer was aggressive. It spread while he was on chemo. The oncologist dismissed signs of its spread. I wanted to ask questions about strange CT findings and challenge his dismissive statements, but Dad comes from a culture where you respect and defer to the doctor. So we didn't question his care. We trusted him. Our health care system is so broken.
Maybe dad would still be here if the spread was identified sooner and treatment changed.
Maybe dad would still be here if other therapies were tried.
Maybe dad would still be here if he was diagnosed sooner, when he first went to the doctor complaining of abdominal pain and fevers. Or the second time. Or the third time. (Before he finally quietly asked, would it be possible to get a CT scan?).
Maybe if none of these things had happened, he still would have died at the same time on the same day - 12:20 am on the first day of the year. "There are many causes, but there is one death."
Life after experiencing death is so different. I hope one day I will be able to experience joy again, see colors as bright as they used to be, laugh as hard as I once did. God's ways are higher than our ways. I have so many questions about His timing, but as a piece of clay cannot second guess the potter in his work, so, too, am I.
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!”