Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Dad Your Dad

An open letter to my friend Michelle: 

Two best friends of 20 years.

Our Dads both got cancer within 2 years of each other.  

My Dad was first.  He was always one of your favorites and you could tell it in the easy way you could talk to him.  He spent time taking us to swimming pools, friends houses, rattling down the streets of Grand Island in his little white pickup truck with one of us sandwiched in the middle.  My Dad made you laugh and you made him laugh.  You were his favorite too, always referring to you as Mooshie.  The day my dad got diagnosed with cancer, you were one of my first calls.  It took the breath out of you, I could tell instantly what my Dad meant to you. 

Your dad was next.  Diagnosed with cancer just two years into my Dads diagnosis. Your Dad was my favorite too.  I remember him towing us behind the boat at the lake, sporting his blue blockers and smoking those ever so smooth Marlboro menthols.  He always was happy to see me, saying "Kaity-lynnnn!" when I walked down into the basement.  When I got your call I cried with you, told you that treatment works and we both agreed that our Dads got the short end of the stick.  

Both of our dads endured close to four years of chemo and treatment.  It lurked and reared its ugly head again in the end.  Both of our Dads never returned home after that ambulance ride.  Both of our Dads breathed their last breaths at St. Francis.  We have both walked the same halls, ate the same hospital food, stroked our dying dads smooth silky hands, cried the same tears and both rallied them onto the next stage.  

I hurt for you and you hurt for me, just like best friends should do I suppose.  Just now you are experiencing the real feelings that I felt almost 3 years ago.  It is painful and rejoiceful.  Our Dads both were a gift unlike any other gift in this life.  We were both taught how to love, how to have fun and celebrate the good, how to be responsible, and how to really embrace life.

We will meet up with them again and hopefully none too soon.  We have a friendship to maintain, Moms to take care of and life to celebrate.  We have both been good daughters and caregivers.  They will be walking the clouds of heaven protecting us and caring for us just like they were here.  

I love you friend, your tears are my tears too. 


1 tidbits of your thoughts:

Peggy/Mom said...

Kaitlyn and Michelle, I have watched you both grow into these beautiful young ladies. You are both so much "your dad's little girls". To have a friendship as true and special as yours is, is truly a gift from God. It's been said that God places people in our lives when we most need them. I believe that is what he has done for both of you, with your journey's through life and the loss of your hero's-Your Dad's. Kaitlyn your words to Michelle are so beautiful and full of love. Cherish forever this wonderful gift of friendship.
I love you both so much.