My Dad and I 

I’m dedicating this post to my Dad – Joe Kane.

  
My Dad was 80 a few weeks ago and is one of life’s gentlemans. He’s incredibly gentle in nature and unsettlingly traditional at times. He is incredible humble and also a sensitive soul who loves his family deeply. He also has a wicked sense of humour, an impeccable memory and is the best person EVER to have on a pub quiz team! He was also the only other person who was as obsessed with both Red Dwarf and X Files as me in our house when I was younger 🤓.

He is also a fellow BRCA2 carrier but only discovered this less than a year ago when my parents both received their genetics results.

Why am I telling you this? Because my Dad doesn’t have long left to live. He’s been battling with depression for 6 years, has struggled with an unknown eating disorder which prevents him from eating and has now found out that he has liver cancer. He’s been in hospital for a few weeks being fed with nutrients in the main but was unfortunately unable to walk my younger Sister Maria up the aisle on her wedding day as he was too weak. Maria and David (the newest member of our family) did however take a bit of the wedding to the hospital the next day: dressing up in their outfits, performing their first dance and toasting the happy couple 😍.

  

He was discharged from hospital last week as they can’t help him anymore. He’s on an ‘end of life’ pathway and the key now is to make sure he’s not in any pain and that my Mum (as his main carer) is well supported.

He is totally accepting of what’s happening to him and is at peace with the short amount of time he has left. He talks about it very candidly and it’s refreshing to hear as it’s so rarely discussed – let alone someone who’s at deaths door! My Dad does go to church – which I do not – but if he believes he’s going somewhere else after life I totally respect that and it’s clearly of huge comfort to both him and my Mum.

It’s not very British to talk about death. It’s too “depressing” and “morbid” and maybe it’s just too difficult to comprehend. Either way it’s going to happen to us all and maybe if people reflected more on this and are more accepting then they may live fuller lives – who knows? It’s the quality not the quantity of years which matter most to me and is where my focus lies at present.

I left my Dad yesterday asleep after giving him a great big hug lying down next to him in bed 😍. Despite the weakness he still had a strong hold and chatted to me about having had “a good run”. 

If not there in body than definitely in mind we’ll be with you to the end Dad, and as for the after-life  – ‘The truth is out there’ 😉.

Liz Spice, 14th August 2017

27 Replies to “My Dad and I ”

  1. Liz, I went through the same with my mum two years ago when she lost her battle with Myeloma (cancer of the marrow bone). We were able to give her the best end of life care at home and help support my dad who had been her carer full time for the last two years of her life. You are right that people do not want to talk about death, but spending those last few precious days with my mum helped me after she had gone. Knowing that we did all she asked me to in preparation and following (she was completely at peace with herself and accepting of what was to come) her passing has helped us as a family and especially my dad. I absolutely understand how you and your family will be feeling, if you ever feel that you need to talk please do not hesitate to contact me. My thoughts are with you all, and to your dad I wish peace and comfort. Mandi x

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    1. Thanks Mandi and I will do I know where you sit 😉. I know of people who have put up a desperate fight at the end which can make them incredibly anxious, frustrated and angry even. We just hope now that he’ll go in his sleep peacefully xx

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  2. Now that was an emotional roller coaster of a read Liz! You continue to amaze me with your braveness and your positive outlook on everything that life is throwing at you right now. Please pass my love to you dad, your mum and all of your beautiful family. xxx

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  3. I am lucky enough to have spent time in your dad’s company. He is, without doubt, one of the nicest men I have ever met – your mum is also a star! Their smiles light up any room they are in. However, saying that, your whole family are beautiful people. That is down to both your mum and dad. Sending you lots of love at this challenging time x

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  4. Liz, I am sorry to hear that your Dad hasn’t got long , you and your family are so brave at such a difficult time, please pass my love and prayers to your family, if there is anything I can do to help please let me know love to you xx

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  5. A hero. When my Mum was elderly and couldn’t go to church, he took her communion, Sunday newspapers. He is the kindest most loving person on earth. God bless him in his hour. Sure we are not the only family who owe him a debt of thanks we can never repay, given his faith and my Mums she will be able to do so herself. God bless him for ever and keep him and his lovely family in peace. God bless you Liz x

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  6. Hi Liz I know your little sis and have met your Mum who is an amazing lady. It is so refreshing for people to have people talk about death openly and ,to me very important because everything that needs or wants to be said can be , sending my love to you all. I will be thinking about you, hopefully your treatment will be successful, you have youth on your side.

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  7. Lovely Liz,

    Your family is one of the strongest tightest units I have ever met. The collective and individual strength of you all blows my mind. Every word you write is a celebration but I am still weeping. In the scarce moments I have met your dad, his calm strength and gentility have shone through. Clearly he is an amazing man – he chose your mum and raised you lot!

    Please give him my deepest love and I hope that he finds beyond the doors of this world everything that he could possibly wish for.

    Love you sister xxxx

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  8. Lovely words for a truly lovely man. I see your dad every Sunday at mass and we always have a chat. He always has something positive to say and never forgets anything. I am sure with your mum and the rest of your family that he will be at peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you all x

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  9. Liz, this is just a beautiful read. I remember your dad, Joe, as a funny, kind and loving gentleman who still adores & loves your mum as much (if not more) than the day they fell in love. Please give your mum an extra hug from me. She taught all our three children and was a constant support to me when I had the privilege of working with her at St Patrick’s. She also taught me many, many things which I still believe in now in my own teaching career. I have your whole family in my thoughts and prayers. Xxx

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  10. What a heart breaking and devastating time your family are having. Your mum and dad are the Rock of St Josephs Church and are not only devoted to each other but also to their life long friends, their faith and Father Scanlon.
    They still gaze at each other during Mass and occasionally chuckle too. I always help your mum in the kitchen at the Church Christmas Fair and she entertains me no end with her life’s escapades and your dads trials and tribulations. Becoming Grandparents was one of the most emotional days of their lives and she cried constant tears of joy and told me constant tales of their journeys to see you all.
    This is so upsetting as I can never imagine not seeing them at church together and your parents have certainly been through a lot of trauma and upset over the last few years yet they still remain so strong 😥
    Much love, thoughts and prayers to your wonderful and forever giving family through this devastating time ❤️🙏💔

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    1. Thank you so much Sharon for your lovely words. We’re all taking great comfort in everyone’s lovely stories of my Dad and my Mum. It is sad but at least we’re having the chance to say goodbye properly. Many do not have that luxury. And like I mention in my post everything dies and my Dad is at peace with this. He will of course live on in all those many people he has met over the years and who’s lives he had touched in some way. And he certainly will live on within his children – there’s too many of us with his character 😄❤️

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  11. Liz, thank you for this and every post you write. Your words are delivered with such power and heart. I take immense inspiration from your love, bravery, positivity and strength.

    Ede X

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