On firday July 3, 2009 my father in law passed away after a short battle with cancer. He had glioblastoma. Which is a death sentance once you're diagnosed with it. It is stage 4 from the get go and very little can be done to even slow it down.
My wife is an only child and we live about 200 miles from her parents. After we recived the news yesterday we got on the phone and started calling family and friends and finally finished that this morning. His funeral will likely be next Thursday/Friday.
Since he was diagnosed I have been flying a blue ribbon from the seat bag of my bike. Blue is is favorite color. I also have a yellow Livestrong bracelet on my seat bag as well. My wife and I have been visiting her parents once every 3 weeks and were planning a trip again for next weekend. On these trips I take my bike and ride one of the many trails in the central Iowa area. On the trip next weekend I was planning on riding the Great Western Trail. I have not ridden it in a while and every time I did ride it my father in law was riding with me. This coming week when my wife and I are in Des Moines I am going to ride the Great Western Trail in his honor and memory. Riding with him was one of the great joys we shared together. The last we rode together was in Hawaii in 2006.
As I stated above my wife is an only child so I am very close to my in laws as the son they never had. This loss is hard on both my wife and I and we are trying to find good in his passing, other then the fact that he is no longer suffering we can not see any good in it at all because of the way he spent his last few months. Suffering at home being bed ridden until his last breath yesterday afternoon. No doubt he is in a better place then the rest of us and for that my wife and I are thankful. But what the doctors did to him and took from him during his treatment was when the man we knew as my father in law ended 3 months ago. Unfortuntley we can not afford a autopsy to know the extent of the damage caused by the cancer, whether he was misdiagnosed at first and what kind of damage the therapy did to him. For that the medical staff who were part of this at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa should be thankful. For if we were able to find out they could be looking at potential legal ramifications regarding this. Over time my wife, mother in law and myself will let this go and deal with it.
Most of what needed to be done after my father in laws death was already done ahead of time. My mother in law is able to handle things with the help of friends until my wife and I get there on Monday. In fact she told us to stay home and enjoy the holiday weekend she has everything under control. She wants us to live our lives and she will live hers. This does not mean she is forgetting or is not saddened by his death, nor the rest of us, not at all. We are saddened by it, but she wants us to and my father in law would want us to not mope around and be a dark dismal cloud of depression, but instead to live our lives and cherish the memories we have of him and our lives with him.
Another reason I am going to do the memorial ride for my father in law is I will need to get away from some parts of my wifes family. I like them well enough but some of them are really clingy. Not something I am comfortable with. They are going to start showing up on Tuesday. My wife and mother in law both think it is a great idea that I do this ride.
I am also going to seek out some of my brethren n Des Moines and attend a lodge function as well in the evenings.
Please don't think I am running away from this. This is my way of dealing with the stress. Riding bike and seeking out the council and support of my Masonic brethren. My wife understands and wants me to do deal with this in this constructive fashion.