My Darling Daddii

Today's my dad's memorial. November 24. I can hardly believe two years has passed. Time waits for no one indeed. This following is something I wrote last year September and I think it goes well here....

Everyone was downstairs, gathered around the t.v mindlessly watching whatever 20/20 was feeding the nation. I walked upstairs. My dad was lying on the bed and the room was dark, as usual. It's like the further his health slipped, the farther hope was, the darker he wanted to keep his surroundings. So I entered, turned on the light and lay next to my father. He said "so u think we should do the Germany treatment." we had been discussing treatment options for the last two weeks. The family was divided. We all knew anything from now on would be palliative so the issue at hand wasn't how do we cure this but how do we keep him alive the longest. A doctor in Atlanta promised 6 more months with his immunotherapy which focuses on strengthening the immune system to battle the invasive effects of cancer. This treatment was costly. The other option was an Ukrain Therapy with a German doctor in ulm, germany. Ukrain was a new cancer treatment gaining momentum around the world but illegal in the United States mainly because of the pharmaceutical companies not being able to trademark it and making money off of it. Still, ukrain has been documented to prolong life for 11months. This treatment was extra costly. My mother and sister felt Atlanta is cheaper and more accesible to us, we'd be able to be with my dad the whole way while germany is largely a huge risk, costlier, and would take my dad away from the family for 3weeks. Time which really was running out. However as a researcher I read the graphs and the statistics and if Ukrain could keep my dad alive for 11 more months, then that is the way to go. My dad agreed with me so we were now just in a battle to convince the rest of the family. We talk treatment options. Just he and I in darkly lit room upstairs, on his bed. Then my dad bursts into tears. Starts crying in a very hopeless way. He said to me, "I don't want to die Lola, I don't want to die. I want to see you kids grow up, I want to see you get married and I want to see my grandkids. I don't want to die." I think at that moment we both knew that no matter how much he wished it, no matter what treatment, the reality is, he IS going to die and he IS dying. I want to cry too but I know that all my dad has left is hope. So I turn to him and tell him how proud I am of him. How proud I am of the way he is handling this whole thing, that I don't know anyone else who would be dealing with this with the same dignity and strength that he has been. I tell him that this is a hard thing for anyone to go through. how would anyone else react when their doctor says to them, you have at the most, 6wks left to live? I tell him at that very moment I respect and admire and love him not just as a dad but as a human being. I said he's alright. He stops crying and holds my hand. He always held my hand, and we just lay there, counting the moments. I knew that was going to be the most poignant point of my life.

I remember when I was young, my dadwas everything a little girl dreams of. To me he was strong, handsome, funny. He loved me and protected me. A smart, intelligent businessman who travelled the entire span of the world. I never got along much with my mother but my dad and I from day ONE were buddies...I remember being maybe 5/6 and we'd have guests and i'd still run into his arms and just sit there. whenever he was away on business and got back, I would run into his room and as he put his luggage away I would rat on every single person in the household and tell him everything everyone had been doing . I was his little secretary too when i was like 10. I'd help balance his checkbook, call his suppliers and tell them to "hold for your caller"..... he was a giant to me, a superman. From much younger he told me anything a man can do a woman can do so don't let anyone tell u because you are a woman blah blah blah. When I was older he said stay true to yourself and never let a man railroad you. The very first laptop I owned my dad had gift wrapped and sent it
to me in college for Valentine's Day. Always encouraged, always held my hand, there were times it felt like it was he and I against the world. The strongest man I knew and I had to stand and watch as literally he shriveled up and disappeared right in front of my eyes. I had a conversation once with my mother yesterday and she told me the day before my father died, he called her and said to her that for him, she has to really really take care of me and guide me, and support me. Even as he lay dying, he did think of me. At the morgue, I held his hand and even though it was cold, it felt familiar and it felt comforting and I just knew everything would be ok. And it is.

It's so weird when you have a parent die. Especially if you tie so much of your identity to that person. You lose that aspect of your life forever and are left wondering if all those aspects of your identity still exists if the person whom they stemmed from is dead. There's no day I don't think of my dad. None. Especially with me being in Nigeria. My Dad would have been soooo ecstatic to see it happen. He would have been OVER the moon. We always dreamt it together and when it came time for me to actually make that big step, he wasn't even around to see it. To be proud of it. Sometimes I forget that he's no longer here and want to rush to the phone to call him and gist about some of my experiences here. I can imagine we would have stayed on the phone for hours :o)! Or sometimes I think of some of those few last moments when even as it happened I knew I was going to cherish the moment forever. One of such moments was during Howard Dean's democratic "crazy rant"...........we were talking about it and my dad was like how crazy is that?!?!?! and he proceeded to re-enact the whole thing................."from here it's to Vermont, to OHIO, TO BOSTON, AND RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"................lol, all crazy like. lol, lol. Or when we finally convinced him to take the codeine pills he soooo refused to take, and he took it and within minutes just jumped up, and started joking around like his normal self. And my sis and I were joking that he's a druggie, he's high....................... :o) Man, if I were to write about my dad, my journey with him in this life, our journey with cancer et. al. it would take forever. But it will all sum up to this:

I love my Dad.
I miss my Dad.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lola....that is so beautiful. I'm glad you can write about your Dad with so much love and admiration. I'm sorry he passed away but I know he lived a fufilled life and he was proud of how well you turned out. Thanks for giving me one more reason to hold on to my loved ones. Take care Sweetie and God bless you. Desola

Bella Naija said...

My eyes are all wet.
I am sorry about your loss.
As you described, he lived a fulfilled and happy life.
He surely is proud of you.
May God continue to rest his soul

bibi said...

your story put tears in my eyes. Im so sorry to hear abt ur dad. I know he's watching over you..and proud of you. May God continue to give u strength.

bhookey84 said...

awwwwww i can sorta relate to what u wrote, lost a coz a month and a half ago, its nuttin like loosin a father tho, i like ur strength and may God continue to be ur strenght! Take care

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Lola.

Smoothvibes said...

Aaaww.. that's just touching.!

LondonBuki said...

That was beautifully written. Thank God he was able to have an impact in your life, a lasting memory.

May his soul rest in perfect peace... Amen

Lola said...

Thanks you guys....you realize that perhaps one important thing is how people will remember you when you're gone, and i'm just glad to say many will remember my pops fondly. Sorry to make y'all cry!!! :o)

Oye said...

Lolo, wow it's been a very long while since I used that name, and I'm not even sure if anyone still calls you that. Hope I didn't start something I wasn't suppose to. I just read your blog and it brought back many fun memories we've all had with you Dad. Believe me, he is truely missed. I'm sure he's looking down and he's very proud of you. I'm also proud of what you're doing. Stay strong and keep your head up. May the Good Lord in his infinite mercy continue to be with you. Take care.

Oye

Life through rose-tinted glasses said...

babe i know i'm very late on this one but i just had to say something...May God rest your father's soul in his peace always.
This was really really deep and i cant even imagine what it feels like but dont worry i'm sure he's proud of u what with u been nominated for professional person of the year and all lol. take care and stay blessed

Nanya said...

Lost my dad to cancer this year and man, there are no words to express how I feel. not yet, but I can relate to some of what you've written and I thank God for good fathers.

Queen of Procrasti Nation! said...

...just brought myself to read this 2 months after you posted it :-)

Chalingo rocked... he still does!!!

Just FYI, there are many of us that are super proud of you :-)

Anonymous said...

quite deep......brought some tear to my eyes. i'm sure ur dad will always b proud of u...bless u!