Have you seen changes taking place on my Social Media Accounts! READ n WATCH below to see why!So yes. I changed my social media handles to reflect my.... Mantra! And I made a somewhat emotional video to explain why but I also wanted to extend the video by writing this blog post to share my story. The story of how I became who I am to day. It's not long, it's heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. I love it!
Like I said in the video my dad was an amazing man and was such a hard worker and growing up that's all he did, work. My mom had a few jobs here in there, I suppose to just tie us over in hard times. I don't really think we were ever rich in the whole sense of the word, but, we ate, had a place to sleep and a mother and father who loved us. That was hard to come by, even in the early 90's when I was a kid. My mom and dad, and a majority of the time grandmas and grandpas were known by my teachers, other teachers and my classmates and always pointed them out, "Look, Cinellas' mom and dad are here!" during school events. I was usually mortified, but glad they were there to see me. My dad always saved his vacation days and get 2 weeks off during the summer and took us to amazing places like the beach and to theme parks, but my favorite and most memorable was our last vacation together, tear, to the Grand Canyon! We drove, nuf said, lol. But I had just got my drivers license and it was the first time I drove such long of a distance. Although I may have been thinking about how I looked the entire time, I was in awe of the beautiful canyon we were able to see and enjoy together as a family.
Every time we left on our two week vacation with dad, or even on the weekends sometimes, he always told us, "I don't want to hear the word "Hurry" during "MY" vacation!" "Okay, daddy" We would murmur back. I also heard him tell my mom that he was going to die young. I loathed him for saying that because just a few years later, after I graduated high school he would get sick a lot. He had lost some weight because he had to have surgery to remove kidney stones a few years prior and that's what they thought it was again. He was around 300 lbs but he kept losing weight. We later learned that he was not eating like he normally does, nor was he having regular bowel movements. That summer, he took my mom on a two week excursion cross country up the east coast. Little did we know it was his last vacation. And boy did they have a blast. During that time they were away my mom saw how much his health had declined and when they got back she made sure he got checked out. In and out of doctors offices for the next few months. My sister graduated high school and they helped her move out and she started college. I had just finished my 2nd year and met my husband, got married and had our first baby girl, Yvette. Life was amazing!
Then, the holidays came around and dad decided to stay home, I hosted my first "Friends-giving" and then at Christmas everyone wanted to go to our house to see "Uncle Frank." A few days before we got a call. I thought it was to get mad at us for something or not inviting family over for thanksgiving. My dad had helped us a few months before buy a new car, maybe he wanted it back? I was actually a bit nervous cus we hadn't had any "serious" talks since I moved out. It got even scarier because he wanted to talk to both my husband and I. "Okay, dad, we'll be over later tonight."
The Christmas tree hadn't been put up, there were not decorations outside and the lights were dimmed and the atmosphere was just not right. I felt sick to my stomach. Daddy was sitting on his favorite chair. Mom was in the kitchen and we sat on the sofa. He called mom over and she was standing right next to me. Then he said the words. "I have CANCER."
What happened next was expected but what happened over the next 8 days was not! We cried, hugged, talked about the future, how much time the doctor said he has. Mom was optimistic, dad was not. It's like he knew. He knew all this time. Yes, he worked so hard everyday of his life, but when he was home, he was home. He was home with us, he loved us, he showed us, he was the kind of man I hoped I had (did) marry and the kind of man I hope his granddaughters marry! He had bile duct cancer, biliary cancer, stage 4. No one lived more than 5 years.
Our life was put on hold. I came to visit everyday. I slept over on bad nights. The help that was needed was moving him. He had to go potty all the time, but couldn't go potty. He also lost so much weight in just the first few days. The cancer was aggressive. We had so many people come visit, call and give us suggestions on what we can do and how to beat it. But we did none of them. That's what daddy would have wanted. We even had family come over and scold us for not doing more. It hurt, but daddy hurt more. There WAS NOTHING we could do. This was the end. On the one week mark he was in diapers and Hospice was recommended and that is the only recommendation we followed through with. The priest came over and did his last rites and his last sacrament, Anointing of the Sick. He laid in bed and didn't get up after that. My sister came and I went home to sleep. On day eight I kept getting texts updates from my sister and said she would call when it was time. Around 8am on December 27th my sister called to come over ASAP. We all got in the car and speed down the expressway, we lived 15 minutes away. I was crying already. When we got there most of his family was there. I went to my old room with my daughter, who was 16 months old. My husband said to go be with my dad. He was no longer responding to anyone but everyone was talking to him, making jokes and telling him everything was going to be fine.
I was scared. I went to go say hi. I wanted everyone to go away! I just wanted to be with my daddy. Mom leaned over and gave him a kiss. My sister jumped on the bed and laid on one side of him and I laid on the other. He took his last breaths and made moaning noises. I like to think he was saying "Don't Say Hurry! I'm taking my time!" Everyone walked out of the room and we were just there with him. I said "I love you daddy!" and cried on his shoulder. He was gone. I got up so my mom could be with him and I'm not to sure what I did next or what happened over the next few days. It was all a blur. Everyone was so concerned about the details of the funeral, the obituary and I was like, I just want to pray and spend time with my family and "Don't Say Hurry!"