Losing a Parent at a Young Age

My children never met their grandfather.  I lost my dad to cancer nearly 25 years ago…

In Fall 1986, while a student at Texas A&M University, I received a call at 1 o’clock in the morning that no person wants to receive, much less a young college student.  My divorced father was in ICU at the hospital back home.  I packed a quick bag and raced to the hospital.

I found my dad in ICU, disoriented, and strapped to his bed.  My dad had had a seizure and had become aggressive with the hospital staff. He knew nobody and when I walked into his hospital room, I was the first person he recognized.

A cat scan showed that my dad had 3 tumors in his brain — he was given 6 months to live.

Because my dad had recently lost his job of 26 years, he had no income, no health insurance, and not much hope.

I discovered that my unemployed father, too proud to ask for help, had been living in his home with no electricity, surviving on a diet of pecans he had gathered from a local park.

I made the difficult decision to leave college to take care of my dad. One of the easiest decisions I had to make.

Me with Daddy and my sisters in 1979. Which one am I?

We were blessed by many that helped us through this horrifying journey of brain cancer.  My heart overflows for all those that helped our family during this difficult time.

I am extremely grateful for the assistance of the American Cancer Society.  The ACS provided us with a wheelchair and hospital bed once my dad became bedridden. Thank you again!

I lost my dad to cancer in February1987.  He was 53. He didn’t see his 54th birthday.

Please watch the video below of how the American Cancer Society is helping folks have more birthdays.

Who have you lost to cancer?

This post is sponsored by American Cancer Society.