Thursday, July 14, 2005

The fight is over

I wanted to send this note to let everyone know what has happened.

My father passed away peacfully on Wednesday night, July 13th at 8pm.

As my flight from Korea did not arrive until after midnight I did not make it to see him during his last hours, however, in the wee hours of the morning I had my chance to say good bye.

He died peacfully in home, as he had wished. His death was quiet, natural and with dignity.
When I got to his bedside he was smiling and looked younger then he had in years.
Somehow death transformed the lines in his face to a smooth, warm complexion.
My stepmom told me that he knew my sisters and I were on our way, but it was his time, and I believe he chose to pass away before we arrived to spare us the pain of the moment.

My sisters and I spent a few hours in the morning lying next to dad and talking with him...I know his spirit was still listening. We cried, we laughed and then we cried some more.

We made the funeral arrangements for Saturday and decided to have a small, private funeral for close family and friends. Dad never wanted us to make a fuss. He will be buried with my Grandpa in a pretty little cemetary just outside of my old hometown.

He is at peace and I can truly say that I am in a much better place then I imagined this moment to be. For now, I will be staying in Canada. Perhaps for a few weeks or a few months. I am not sure. I need some time to deal with this and be with my family.

Thank you to all my family and friends who have called and expressed their condolances.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

After 11 days back in Korea I am returning to Canada.
My father's health has declined rapidly over the last week and my family has asked me to return home to be with my father in his final journey.
Yesterday I quit my job in Korea and am now in Osaka airport waiting for my connecting flight home.
It has literally been the longest few days of my life!
My sisters have told me not to expect things as they were when I left Canada just over a week ago - aparently Dad looks alot different and because of the medicine he is often not aware of too much going on around him.
The intial hope of finding treatment and fighting this cancer has dissapeared. Somehow we missed the opportunity to fight. The estimate of 12 months has now turned into a few weeks, maybe a month; although the fear is that even these estimates may be too liberal. Right now everyone is trying to keep Dad comfortable and at home - which is his wish.
I am still praying for a miracle, but the reality of the situation is staring me in the face.
So I am going home.....
Right now I am trying to focus on the present and let the future take care of itself.
Thanks to my friends in Ulsan who helped me somehow not meltdown completely.
Gareth and Jeanie - thanks for letting me store my stuff at your place and for taking over some of my lessons.
Thanks to Joanne - who is likely the only reason I actually got packed and out of my apartment in time . And to Helen, Nathan and Julie (and Jo again) who saw me off my last night in Korea and were amazing at comforting me and who offered their strength when I felt I had none.
I will miss my students, my coworkers and my friends - but Korea will always be there.
I have little knowledge of what the future holds for me - but I pray that I can make it through this and come out the other side stronger then I am entering it.
Although neither of us are that religious, Joanne gave me a little prayer to keep with me. I have been reading it on the plane and will continue to hold the words close to my mind.

O Lord, In my present need, help me to believe that you areaware of my trouble and will do what is best for me. Give me the strength to trust you and to put the present and future in your hands.

I will keep everyone updated and thank you for your thoughts and prayers.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Adventure Continues

After two short weeks in Canada I have returned to Korea.

My Dad is still going through a barrage of tests...each giving us a slightly better idea of what is exactly wrong with him and what treatments may be available. Unfortunately, the news the doctors are giving us isn't that good - but we are hoping that with lots of rest and some alternative treatments we can fight this seemingly impossible battle.
It was great to spend time with my Dad, although I feel disappointed that he is too sick and in pain to truly enjoy the time we spent together - perhaps it's selfish, but I wish I had of spent more time with him before he became ill.
However difficult it was for me to be there and to witness first-hand how cancer has already impacted him both visibly and mentally, I can only imagine how difficult it is for him.
I spent the majority of my time with my Dad and step mom at their home in the country, with a few days spent at my Mom's.
I realized how much I missed Canada - everything is so clean (amazing what Korea can do to one's idea of environmental awareness)
My last night I stayed with my sister in Ottawa and got caught up (briefly) with some friends. It was good to relax and get re-grounded before I returned to Korea.

My goal is to stay positive and supportive (even from a far).

Now that I am back in Korea I am focused on enjoying every moment and living life to the fullest.
I promise to keep you updated on my adventures -


oh...and Thank you to all of those who have sent their wishes for my family - some of whom I have never truly means a lot.

Myself, Dad, Cindy and Christa Posted by Picasa

My Dad  Posted by Picasa

Dad and Sharon  Posted by Picasa

Last night in Canada at Heart and Crown Posted by Picasa

My last night in Canada some friends and I went out for 'a few' at the Heart and Crown (L-R: Cindy, Ryan, Kim, Shannon, Kelly, Valerie, Jimena and Wendy) Posted by Picasa

Cindy and me Posted by Picasa

Jimena and me Posted by Picasa

Val and Kel Posted by Picasa

Mark and Cindy  Posted by Picasa

Kim and me Posted by Picasa

Jim and Wendy Posted by Picasa

Kelly and Ryan Posted by Picasa

The sexiest set of sisters : Cindy and me; Kel and Shannon Posted by Picasa