Reflecting on the Last Times with My Dad

A brief post on reflecting on the last times with Dad in Missouri. From October in 2018 until November my Dad’s health changed drastically due to the brain tumor he was dealing with. 

“If there is any immortality to be had among us human beings, it is certainly only in the love that we leave behind. Fathers like mine don’t ever die.” 

Leo Buscaglia 

“Flying back to D.C. My sister and I took my Dad to Missouri and spent time in Columbia and Kansas City. Also went to Abilene, Kansas. This past year has been hell for my family. Mom died and my Dad is dealing with a brain tumor. But I am committed to taking care of Dad and giving him a high quality life. He wants to travel so we did that for him. This trip was for Dad and as I sit here in the Kansas City airport I am grateful that Dad had a good time and glowing. That’s all I want for him.”

Social media post as I was leaving Kansas City, Missouri. 


Harry Truman Library in Independence, Missouri 

As I grieve the loss of my Dad I have been trying to remember some of the last times with my Dad.  And like that I was flooded with memories of what would be the last, most precious moments with my Dad in Missouri. Included in that period of time is the following. 

  • The last time I went to a museum with my Dad when we went to the Truman Library. 
  • The last time I drove in a car with my Dad. 
  • The last time I went to mass with my Dad. 
  • The last time I went to a restaurant with my Dad. 
  • The last time I watched Dad order in a restaurant. 
  • The last time I watched Dad order wine and enjoy it. 
  • The last time I saw my Dad walk 
  • The last time I saw my Dad enjoy breakfast in a motel room. 
  • The last time I watched my Dad watch television. 
  • The last time I watched my Dad enjoy a snack of ice cream. 
  • The last time Dad could speak in a sentence form and talk. 
  • The last time I saw my Dad brush his teeth. 


It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This

At the time I was in Missouri I never knew that it would be the final time I would see my Dad enjoy life. Dad was dealing with a brain tumor and he wanted to travel. The plan and hope was to take Dad around to schools that he attended or was close to. Dad was very academic and took pride in the universities he attended. He previously visited the University of Chicago, this time we went to the University of Missouri at Columbia. Upcoming it was the plan to take Dad back to Chicago and the University of Washington and Duke. 

When I was with Dad in Missouri I never knew it would the last time I would see my Dad in a context of a more independent person. True the trip had its challenges especially as I helped dress Dad a few times. But Dad could do a number of things by himself. From the time in mid October until mid November the health of my Dad changed drastically. My Dad went from a somewhat independent person to someone who was bed bound who needed care around the clock. When I came home in mid November and saw how Dad had changed I could not believe how fast his brain tumor had progressed and how much he changed.  It still shocks me as to how aggressive the brain tumor was.  

My time with Dad in Missouri was filled with a lot of last times. I wish I knew that at the time. This is a post that has hung in my mind as I deal with my Dad’s death. 

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