3 Years Ago - 52 Weeks, A Blog Dedicated To Lionel Larry

52 weeks  – December 14 , 2015

3 years ago on Dec 16, 2012  – my life would change before my eyes, and I definitely was not prepared for it.

For 32 years, I lived a very blessed life – my life is still blessed, but so so so much has changed.  Before December 16, 2012 – my green eyes had never seen so much tragedy, never felt so much suffering and pain.  Just spending time in PMH (those who have spent time there, will resonate and understand).  That place changes you forever, especially when you are fighting for a loved ones life.  SO much changed on that very day. Taking my Fathers presence in my life for granted, and thinking he would be there forever, became very harsh realities, very quickly.  My parents went on a trip to South Africa, just a couple months before my Dad was diagnosed.  He was well enough to go….he came back and started getting severe back pain and headaches.  He became increasingly tired.  The doctors kept saying it was nothing serious, and likely a virus he caught in Africa.  On the morning of December 16th, my mom called me and said that she thought Daddy was having a stroke.  Enough was enough, and me and my brothers went over and took him to NYGH. They did a round of tests, and told us they found tumors in his brain.  Holy f**k.  They ran more tests and after many hours of waiting, agonizing.  They told us what everyone fears the most in life – You have stage 4 cancer.  The cancer has spread everywhere – brain, bones, lungs and liver.  This was one of the worst days of my life.  Writing this, I am sobbing in disbelief, that I even actually went through this.  It all seemed like a dream, but it was not.  It was very real, and very much in front of us.  And it was serious – and I was supposed to get married in 3 months…..

I went from thinking my Father would be there every step of the way of my childrens lives, and my adult life – to praying and wishing that he would stay alive to meet my first child!?  In one day….In a split second….

Thinking back on this, there is so much that I remember so vividly.  Mostly the connections I had with friends that really helped me, the way my family rallied, the way our community was so supportive.  I remember how strong my Dad was through it all…..I am grateful that my dad lived, and lived pretty well, for almost 2.5 years after this diagnosis.  He carried my son at his briss, he watched me as a Mom.  He was so strong, and we really did have fun until the end. Singing and trying to have fun the whole way, as best we could.

The last 3 years have been filled with so much light and darkness in my life.  I got married, became a Mom, stayed dedicated to my career.   All amazing things that add so much light and joy to ones life.  But, it was all happening in a background of cancer, grief and loss.  The Yin and Yang symbol is very clear that life is equally both things – light and darkness. And even further states, that even in the light, there is a small amount of dark and vice versa.  3 years ago, I realized what that means in more ways than one.  I will never forget what a close friend once told me on the very first day of my cancer journey.  Her father had passed from cancer about 3 years before.  She said, even in the challenge, there is beauty, even through the death, was the spiritual,beautiful parts. When I breathe deep, I can remember them, and they bring comfort.

Life is hard, it is not straight or clear,

Many people take way too much for granted ( I definitely DID before Dec 16, 2012) – be grateful, always, with your whole heart and soul – your life as you know can change in 1 day, in 1 moment

Be there for your friends and family

Slow Down

Atha

I want to take all the light in my heart and send it out to all those fighting this horrible disease.  For all the people in PMH right now, and in Cancer hospitals all over the world, for all those grieving loved ones who lost their battle. My light goes out to everyone suffering, in the hopes that they have enough light in their eyes and hearts to wipe away their tears and find their way through…

3 years ago my life changed forever –

I miss you Dad, more than you will ever know.

Song for today seems appropriate – I wont back down (covered in this version by Eddie Vedder)

https://youtu.be/NOZ7cr_UcB8

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground and I won’t back down

Well, I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
No, I won’t back down

52 WeeksHannah Siklos