1946 - 2014
I lost my dad last night (Feb 1st 2014) at 8:35 PM…
Grief surrounds me right now…
I didn't grow up with my dad and shared only a few childhood memories I can recollect. But my Grandpa believed in never turning your back to a parent and brought us together when I decided to move to United States.
So my dad and I started building a new relationship when I became an adult. It was slow and awkward at first but we didn't give up. When my mother moved back to Turkey to take care of my sick grandmother my dad became the only parent that was close by. I started relying on him for so much more.
He welcomed my need for advice and support with open arms and went above and beyond to make up for the years we had lost.
He saw me through a divorce, heart ache, deciding on very tough life decisions. That was a turning point for us because I told him things I thought a daughter could never tell to a father. And he handled it so well. He made me see beyond emotion and make sound decisions.
When my sister moved to United States to live with me he opened his arms to her too and welcomed her to our lives. We spent so many holidays together.
And of course once I gave birth to my son He was overjoyed with his first grandchild. We haven't spent a holiday apart since then. We turned every thing into an excuse to get together as a huge family. Christmas's and New Year's, Thanksgivings, Easters, Halloweens, St. Patrick's days, Fathers and Mothers days. Every holiday portrayed a big happy family photo.
When he got diagnosed with prostate cancer which had metastased into his bones he was given an average of 3 years. It was devastating. But my dad decided to fight this with all his might. He read every book and article on his type of cancer. Joined support groups and seeked speciality Drs that were not covered by his insurance. He tried all sorts of holistic diets and treatments as well as any and every experimental drug that was approved or not approved. Every time a therapy/drug stopped working he would switch to the next one. He went through every type of chemo therapy. He stopped eating sugar, red meet and alcohol. He was already a fitness fanatic but he started working out even more. Playing his sport of passion tennis 3-4 times a week. He started traveling more. He wouldn't tell his friends and co-workers for a very long time cause he never wanted pity or people feeling sorry for him. He didn't want others talking about his disease only about cures.
He endured so much of his pain cause he didn't want to be addicted to pain killers.
After he retired he never said 'no' to an invitation. I started inviting him to every single field trip, class activity my kids had. He would note it on his calendar from months ahead and come to every single event. Even these last months where he spent most of his time in bed in agonizing pain he would double up on pain meds and take a 5 hour energy shot and come with us if we had an event.
When he lost so much weight and weighed less than I do, he tried to eat. I would set up 5 course meals in front of him and he would eat it slowly but surely.
And when he became bedridden than later in a coma state he still fought until his last breath.
And now we will remember him through our memories….
To my Dad
Who was sooo smart, up beat and positive and fun...
who lived for Tennis,
Was a health nut and so fit and in shape
was the proudest Dad ever especially of my genius brother,
a loving devoted grandfather who never missed the opportunity to play with the kids,
always asked for kisses in return for anything.
Loved to kiss us in the neck
Loved taking photos and his photo taken with family.
Loved those extreme close up photos where every pore in your face showed
Always had a big smile
Loved to shop from Costco and would criticize if you did not shop there and over paid…
Dressed solely in 'West Point' and 'Harvard' clothing.
Never threw anything out. The most organized rat pack I know.
Never rang our door bell but always knocked and would call out 'oglum' which means 'son' to get my son's attention…
Would frequently ask me if I took my blog photos today and if I wanted him to take them?
Constantly told me how I never looked my age and that he wasn't telling me because I was his daughter.
Told my husband 'he was the one'.
Would look at my daughter and say 'you guys are in trouble' because she is too wild and beautiful.
Whenever we asked for something he would say 'Kac opucuk vericeksin?' which means 'how many kisses will you give?'
I love you with all my heart dad and I will always kiss you in my dreams….
These are all from the last year of 2013….
Rest in peace Baba'cim!