It is never fun to face your parents mortality. When doing so you must face your own. Although the death rate is one in one, we on this earth feel that if no bad illness or accident comes we should be able to live forever. Americans have recently become focused on the quality of life as determined sometimes by the courts or at least other people who may or may not know who we are as a person.
My dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lots of men are, especially in the later years. So then why am I worried. My dad is a very private person and doesn't show weakness, especially if he can't fix the problem. His doctor said the severity of his cancer on a scale* of 1 to 10 is a 6, somewhere in the middle. His doctor wants to do surgery but has given other options. He obviously has no guarantees, none of us really do.
Last night at supper, I was trying to cage the seriousness of this and I asked him, "So then you will be here for Glenys' 21st birthday to take her to the zoo and ride the merry-go-round." (family joke) Like he said, "That was never a guarantee." But there never was a threat before, just the threat of old age.
In reality I know prostate cancer isn't really anything that can't be cured, right? My mom doesn't want him to have surgery because of the months of recovery and the necessity of having a catheter and wearing diapers. I think that is the only reason she doesn't. Seeing my father required to wear diapers makes him more vulnerable than I have ever seen him. Maybe that is what my morning tears are about. My dad isn't invincible and in my 30+ years I have failed to realize that. I think I could handle a diagnosis of cancer if it was me or even my mom but not my dad.
We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future. He is a believer in Jesus as in his eternal life is secure. This world holds us in despair and hopelessness without Christ. Death was never meant to be actually but sin brought death. Not any one person's specific sin just the "I'll do things my own way" sin of human nature the falling short of God's perfection.
Lots of things can happen with any of the options. I am just not ready to have to deal with this because I can't look into the future without my parents. I want them to get old old. I want them to see Glenys grow up. Hell, I want them to see me grow up. I don't want to explain death of her only grandparents to Glenys. Call me selfish or unrealistic that is fine. I just wish we didn't have to deal with this!!
*Updated to add his Gleeson (sp?) score is 6 and apparently jumped quickly from 3.5 to 6, thus the urgency in having surgery.