Lost: two ruby slippers, size 6

I wonder if I just come out and say it, will it make it any easier? My sister called me this evening, not ten minutes before we were supposed to leave for Sean's birthday party.

(Recent lesson, well learned: no call whose caller ID number starts with "501" is a call that brings good news. If a family member has something to say that can't wait until one of my regular calls, it can't be good news.)Today's was the news that Dad did not recognize my sister or my nephew—his grandchild.

My father adores that red-headed grandson of his, and has since the moment he was born. Today he asked my mother who the boy was.

When my sister told me, I cried. Then dried my eyes and went to Sean's birthday party. Because some things have to be done, and friends cannot be walked away from, birthdays left uncelebrated. I cried on the way home. I went to the bathroom and shook out two aspirins for my rapidly-worsening tension headache and just…squalled.

Dad had a bad fall on Monday. I talked with him a day or so afterward, and he admitted that he was in a lot of pain. He said that he'd had to get more morphine boosts than what was normal for him, but that the doctor said the pain should go away in a few days.

"I don't want them increasing my damn morphine again," he said. "I don't wanna be no damn zombie."

He seemed a little vague on the phone, but no more than the usual. But tonight, after talking to my sister, that conversation kept echoing in my head, and with it, a fresh batch of tears.

It hurt today when someone who didn't know me well told me that she'd pray—for me and for the hope that my father would get well. I nearly started crying right then. It hurts every single day when I realize that Dad is not going to get well. That it's going to get worse, and worse, in small, unimaginable, and equally painful steps like this.

I don't know if this new development is temporary or permanent. It hurts no less either way, this realization of saying that someone having "terminal cancer" is just a really nice way of saying that day by day, you're slowly burying both the personality and the body of someone you love.

I'd say that I don't know how to cope with this, but to be honest, I'm not certain that there is a way to cope with this.

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I'm sorry :(

<sigh> there's not much to say here except that i understand. this part of life is something that we just get through, we survive, and then we use what we've learned to support someone else who has to go through it all. grief is normal and i still feel the loss too, years later. it has softened some, but the sense of missing persons is still strong. the point is i surveve and am here and wish you well. words fail but i hope the feeling comes through loud and clear.

....i dont even know you, except through your words here. i cry with you. i am so sad for your dad, for you and your family. i know its not easy and i know that there is nothing i can say to make it even a little bit easier. my thoughts are with you and yours...

Just keep on loving him. And you already know that that's the most important thing.

My heart and thoughts and prayers are with you, Amy. Cancer can be such an ugly demon.