I am new to this Blog thing, but I feel like the best way for me to stay sane through this time with my dad is to write about it. Papa Jim is the name that my kids, Jonny and Robby and my nieces, call their grandpa. My dad's real name is Jim Zahn.
First I need to tell you about my dad. The facts: he is 70 years old, has been married to my mom for a long time (don't count the few years they were divorced from each other). He has 4 brothers and they were raised by people that were not their real parents, but loved them just the same. Dad had a tough life growing up, but managed to make something of himself. I am very proud of that about him. I have an older brother, Marty. He is married to Dee and they have three girls - Celine, Amber and Rachel. My dad's passion is his cabin on the Mississippi. Since I was a little girl this is where we spent every weekend. Actually, the cabin is why I am even starting this blog.
This past memorial day weekend was the first nice one in a LONG time. And so while all their friends were enjoying boating and time with family, my dad could not. It hit me pretty hard. There was no boat in the water, no pulling his grandkids on the tube, no late night fires or fun in the sun. Instead he watched from the shore as his friends pulled his grandkids tubing and went to bed early as others stayed out and talked.
This is not the man that raised me - I am a daddy's girl. And even though I am 38 years old, I will always be. I understand the reality that we will all lose our parents some day, but watching your parent fight a disease that has no for sure answers and that people can't exactly tell you why they have it is very painful.
I realize that no one may ever read this, but the ability to put it ou there is helpful to me. I will add more later about how we got to this point.