In the late Spring of 1999, my father was diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer. His doctor predicted he'd live another six months at best. The news was both devastating and shocking. After all, he was only 57 years old. As children, our parents are our bedrock, our essence of being; both biologically and metaphorically. As teenagers, we tend to view our parents as hurdles, obstacles in the paths of our ambitions. Often, it is not until we mature and become parents ourselves that we see things from their perspective, that we begin to understand the depths of their commitments in our lives and value them accordingly.
Perhaps it was regret for the time lost with him during the years previous, coupled with the unwelcome reminder of my own impermanence, that intensified my sadness during his illness. Each day that passed brought us nearer to the end and time seemed to elapse more quickly each hour, even as I struggled against it.
As the cancer raged through his body and my father began to lose his struggle against the disease, I became more distraught and mournful than ever. In my grief, I wrote for him a song, "Forever," in an attempt to capture his value to me and my defiance towards his imminent departure from this earth. I sat endlessly by his side for the last few days, only sleeping when my body shut down against my will. Regrettably, he lost consciousness before I could share the words I had written with him. Two days later, my father passed away quietly at his home on November 30, 1999.
- Rexx Arkana
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