Last Wednesday my father in law was supposed to have his house cleaned by a friend of Ambers. Of course he didn’t answer the phone or door. The last time we wanted to get him help that’s what he did. We had a loaner car while the caddy was getting some recalls taken care of and of course I ran over to get Amber and take her over. She was visibly shaken and I assured her that he was fine and pulling the stunt he did last time which only turned out half true. She found him naked, and out of it. Seems to be his MO over the last few years when he isn’t well. Didn’t want an ambulance, said he just needed to eat. I go get food. On my way back with food and got the text that the ambulance was coming. And off he went. Amber didn’t go with him.
The last time we did this he got angry and signed himself out so it was better for her to not go, she took the car back to work with her got hers when it was done and after work we went back to the house to grab him a few things. I had to go to rehearsal that night and when we got to the house someone had broken in. That fucking fast someone (of course we know who it is but won’t put them on blast here) went in to steal pills and scavenge.
The next day Amber got calls from the hospital and doctors and truth be told he has had stage 4 lung cancer for at least 2 years if not more. It was spreading with tumors to the arm, clavicle and his brain which in turn was taking more and more of his eye sight too.
I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t know what to do. Later in the day the call came to meet the hospice sales person and Brett came with us and then that fast Kelly and Brandon and an hour later the transport came to pick him up to take him to hospice or what they now call comfort care. yeah. He was awake when he went. We talked. But I guess I have to tell you a few things and get some things down to paper first…..
I always wanted to marry into a big, loud fun family… (something Brandon definitely did). Amber was an only child. Her mom had passed when she was young and her dad chose to be alone. He hated me. I wanted him to love me. I mean seriously. I can count the people who I know don’t on one hand. No matter what I tried nothing worked. I am never really going to know why honestly. (Amber will tell you he didn’t like her but I don’t really believe that. he was just the way he was for whatever reason.) But there it was, he was not a Franco fan. Or was he……Bigg Romeo was book marked on his laptop before the assholes stole it… My family website was book marked and he printed various photos of the kids I took and then a few days ago I found a photo I took that was posted on my photo site of autumn at Pennsbury manor. If he didn’t like me, he definitely kept tabs on me. He was keeping tabs on all of us. Especially the boys. He loved his cats and he loved his Grandsons.
So two years ago when we had a screaming match on his front steps on black Friday – I think it was the cancer that was chasing him down that made him lash out – and the fact that he’s just mean. He yelled at amber. I snapped. I think he got it recently. I was defending his baby girl. Something that he should be proud of me for doing in the end. No matter what is going on with us, that we’ll walk through fire for each other. That we will sacrifice for those boys. All these years of him being a mean mother fucker… and in the end in his house, naked, alone. Really makes you think. It’s made me think a lot over the last few days about where I am heading too.
While we were waiting for the ambulance to take him to hospice – he was coming in and out of it. For awhile he thought he was in Florida. He was always talking about once he’d finished shit here he was disappearing off the grid in Florida. Dude has two burner phones, he’s already off the grid. He asked the kids questions. I almost lost it when he asked Brandon how long he could stay and Brandon told him as long as you want me to. The kids don’t show a lot of emotion with this stuff but I heard it in Brandons voice. He looked at the boys who were standing in front of them and said ” i think I am almost done here so I just want you to know that I love you all, You too Franco”. we all kidna chuckled. Talk about making his peace in the final moments. His next Zinger was he asked “who is going to miss me the most” – I said Me first. and he laughed. Then I told him to look in front of him. That what he was leaving behind was those two boys and that he should realize that Amber and I are doing good. He said “what about me??” and I told him that it was him to who never said no when the kids failed a class and needed tuition money for a summer class. Helping Brett get through the Police academy We did good Pro. He got it. I could see it and then the transport company came. That was that. He was on his way to find comfort.
He didn’t wake up at all for the few hours I visited on Friday and Saturday he went from jeckyl to hyde on Amber. He didn’t remember that when we came early morning Fathers Day. Which was fine. He was struggling and I could tell the pain was high. Finally they increased everything and the last time he was awake and talking he thought I was Brett (said I was really skinny) and then as the really skinny nurse pushed the dilaudid into his vein his final words were “I thought you were my daughter your both so skinny” as he winked at the nurse. His last words on earth are going to be him flirting with the nurse and calling his daughter skinny, while he winked at the nurse. That was two days ago….Now the guy I wanted to love me, call me his son, be nicer to his daughter is gasping for air. Crying in his sleep and preparing for what comes next.
We walked in early afternoon Tuesday to pan flute – harp – bagpipe music playing in his room and I looked at Amber and was like oh hell no. If he makes it to tomorrow we are going to have to bring some Springsteen. Today, we brought Springsteens Greatest Hits and played it 2x through – during the last song… he let go and went to be with Amber’s mom.
Yesterday I told him that he could go. That his wife was waiting for him and that I would take care of the family. It was my turn and that I got it from here. He did a good job. I got this Pro. I will do my best.
And I love you too.