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All the Feels

My parents came out to the east coast for a visit, and arrived to visit me on Saturday, so the weekend was even more hectic than usual with the combination of both grading and socializing. (not to mention the extra scramble with getting geared up to give the students their second exam next week)

My mom had e-mailed about plans ahead of time, and has been noting that this is almost certainly the last big trip that my father will get to do before he dies. The last time I was able to visit them in Seattle was in May, over Memorial Day, which they've noted in hindsight was a high point for my dad's health in the time since his initial cancer diagnosis: he'd been building up his training for the Seattle-to-Portland and was finally at a point where a lot of the acute side-effects of chemotherapy were beginning to wane.

For a while I'd been thinking that his liver was going to be what would give out first, but now it's seeming more like his lungs. When he concluded the ineffectual chemotherapy about a year ago, they'd started to find evidence of small tumors in his lungs, and by now he has a chronic cough and shortness of breath as the lung tumors have grown. He was indeed able to complete the full STP in July, but says he's never been so exhausted in all his life.

It's kind of hard to keep it together during a family visit where I'm left thinking there's a good chance this could be the last time we get to spend together. That time together is precious, but also clouded by the fragility of the human body and all its various failings.

The weather was cool but sunny on Sunday, so we were able to do a bit of walking around, through the big park close to our house, where the leaves are turning on the trees. We went to check out a small used bookstore that didn't have a book my father's been looking for, but that was okay. Just getting to walk around and have a small adventure is a lot for me, these days. My dad was ready to head home after that, but my mom still had some energy, so [personal profile] scrottie walked home with my dad while my mom and I walked to the state capitol plaza and looked around some more. She always likes to have a chance to get oriented to the places where her kids live, which is understandable.

Over lunch I learned that Oscar Romero has just been canonized. Good things can still happen in this world.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1256666.html

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