Happy Birthday, Pop

December 2009 at our engagement party.

Me & Pop – December 2009

Today would have been my father-in-law’s 65th birthday. I wish I had more time with him. Brian and I were engaged a year and a half after we started dating, and a week after that, we found out that Pop had lung cancer and COPD. It was the worst happy time in my life, ever. We were supposed to be excited about getting married, but it was hard. Our main focus was Pop’s treatment and well-being, and praying so hard that he would somehow overcome this.

Chemotherapy was not an option (as the first treatment was too much for him), nor was surgery (as his COPD-affected lung was too diseased to allow him to have the cancer removed from the other lung), so we found a blessing in the drug Tarceva, a cancer-suppressing drug that kept the cancer from growing/spreading, and gave us 16 more months with him. At one point we planned a backup wedding should he have been called home to the Lord before December 4, 2010.

The wedding itself was unimportant; being married was. Being married with Pop there was the ultimate goal. And God is good, and he was there, at our wedding on December 4, 2010. My one wish was to be able to dance with him, but he couldn’t stand for very long. But he was there, and he had a good night, and he was able to see a bunch of our photos, as they arrived the week before he passed away.

I will never, ever forget his stories, his love for delicious food and good wine, his humor, his love of ice cream cake, the way he loved his sisters and his family, and most importantly, the way he loved Brian. I wish he was here so we could share our travel adventures with him, but we know he’s always here with us.

And if I couldn’t have Pop in my life for more than 3 years and 4 months, I have the next very best thing: his son. Brian reminds me of his dad in so many ways, and I know he would be so proud of him and who he is becoming.

I love you, Pop. Happy birthday.

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