I’m up past 1 am for the second night in a row and even though I’m exhausted, I can’t go to sleep. Last night Dad Cone was up late after sleeping most of the afternoon, so several of us stayed up late talking with him.
Tonight we all gathered at Aunt Susan’s for a family dinner complete with my favorite Cone cole slaw (originated by Nana, but expertly made by Aunt Susan tonight) and homemade Angel Food cake by Aunt Diane. When I saw “we all”, I mean all the aunts, cousins, uncles, and grandparents that live within steps of each other here in Hobe Sound, along with out of town family friends, Great Aunts & Uncles and of course, Nana J
For those of you who don’t know Ricky or his family well, the majority of their family grew up in the same community since the late 50’s; to this day, Ricky’s mom lives just houses down from 2 different sets of aunts and uncles. While I admit this amount of close family was overwhelming to me when I first married into it, it was an honor to sit amongst each of them as they came together to celebrate their son, brother, and Uncle Rick tonight.
While the mood was far from light, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace knowing that we were gathering together for a feast that would typically be reminiscent of a funeral meal, yet we instead got to celebrate with Dad Cone and the fact that he is still living among us.
All in all, today was interesting.
While I felt that Dad Cone was more clear-headed and responsive today, he also needed a great deal more help simply moving from place to place. A hospice nurse and case worker visited with him and the family this afternoon…and while that was not an easy process to sit through, I was impressed by their professionalism and care for not only Rick Sr., but for every family member present.
We brought the kids with us to see their ‘Pappy’ today, but I still don’t know what to tell them. After being there a couple hours, our sweet friend Kelly came to pick them up so they wouldn’t have to A) be quiet while we were all talking to Hospice and B) be exposed to a subject far beyond their comprehension. But I was surprised as I was taking them out to leave that the Hospice nurse said not to shield them from this and to be as open as possible, that death is a natural process and they should be a part of it.
While I agree on some level with that statement, I also believe our children were exposed to death at a very early age. With so many unknowns in this situation with Dad, I just don’t know what else to tell them right now other than “Pappy is very sick.” Perhaps you can also begin to pray that Ricky and I will know how to handle that better…
The only other ‘update’ I could possibly share with you is that Dad Cone really wants to have a biopsy done on the mass. While the neurosurgeon advised against it because of the trauma that can occur both during and after the procedure, Dad still feels strongly about discovering something deeper with regards to what’s going on inside his head.
He has been told he has weeks to live. He has been made aware that this is a “life-limiting disease”. He has been advised that there is no other treatment at this point besides pain management. Still, it seems he wants to pursue other options.
I’ll admit it to you as I did to my husband and his cousin tonight: selfishly, I don’t want him to endure such a procedure; I would rather have him home as himself as long as possible and not take the tremendous risk involved with brain surgery. Still, as a human being, I appreciate his desire to know more, do more and grasp at whatever chance there may be to prolong life.
I feel like I haven’t shared as much factual information in this early hour as I have my feelings, but that’s about all I have right now. Thank you for listening and more importantly, thank you for continuing to pray.
Read the whole story about Dad Cone’s journey from the beginning…