You may need tissues for this. I'm sorry.
  1. Next weekend I'll be landing in Norway. Six years ago on that same day cancer took my father away from my family.
  2. It started in his throat and then metastasized to his abdomen and eventually everywhere else it could get its grubby little molecules that were healthy.
  3. Just a few months before I was informed that my own cancer (ovarian, stage 4) had gone into remission after almost 6 months of grueling chemotherapy.
  4. So, you can imagine the gutted feeling I felt when I got the call from my aunt telling me to meet her halfway so that we could take the two hour trip to my dad's house in rural Kansas so that we could see him and my brother.
  5. Fast forward to the night before he passed away...
  6. The hospice nurses and grief counselors at our house took my aunt, uncle and my dad's best friend aside since they were more or less his caregivers. My intuition was screaming at me as soon as I saw them gather.
  7. It was coming. They knew it. I think I knew it too but I kind of ignored the pull at first.
  8. So, I walked up to my dad who was heavily dosed with morphine and started to talk to him. He couldn't say much since the morphine made him slur his words as if he was drunk.
  9. I asked him where he'd rather be right now if he could be anywhere. His answer: California.
  10. So at about midnight after our talk I hugged and kissed him one last time and told him that he could go anytime he wanted.
  11. The next morning we all woke up and he was gone. He passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loved ones and in a house he built with his own two hands on a piece of land full of buffalo that he loved to take care of.
  12. My father worked hard and fervently for his dreams and he achieved them. He then passed this fire onto his children.
  13. That's why my upcoming trip to Norway will not be in vain because one of my dad's most favorite things to say to me was "broaden your horizons" and boy have I.
  14. With my college graduation imminent I will definitely be in my seat at commencement with tears in my eyes because my dad is some where smiling down on me and watching me as I turn my tassel.
  15. Rest in peace, dad 💘