I spent last July 4th with my dad.
I knew since he decided to stop his chemo treatments (he didn't feel like they were working anymore) for pancreatic cancer that we would inevitably have to say goodbye to him sooner rather than later.
But last July 4th I wasn't expecting it to be so soon after that day.
July 4th was his last good day. The last day he was really alert, more mobile (although he still couldn't walk because of the blood clots in his leg), in great spirits, and 'with it' in his conversations with us. I guess it was something like a last 'surge' before his body shut down.
We left the next day, Thursday - July 5th, and exactly one week later he passed away. I still can't believe he's gone. I can't believe it's almost been a year since I said goodbye to my dad.
The days to that one-year anniversary are hurtling faster and faster towards me and I just want to stop time. I don't want July 12th to get here. I just want to skip over that day. I don't want to have to remember and associate July 12th with his death. I don't want to have to associate the July 4th holiday as the last time he had a good day, and that there are no more July 4th celebrations for him.
I don't like remembering that he's not here anymore.
As painful as these pictures are to look at I also cherish them ... the last pictures I have of my father.
Since I can't avoid July 12th I'm wondering what I can do to honor my dad on that date. We aren't going to be in Florida to visit his grave site ... so what can I do at home for him? For myself? For Kayla and Lucas to acknowledge the significance of this date? Any suggestions for something else besides maybe releasing balloons?