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The Legacy of My Father

This is not a supposed to be a soppy post but it may turn out to be. Since this is a lifestyle blog I wanted to give you an insight into what was going on in my life for the past six months and why I stepped back from posting as much as I did before.

Some of you may know that my father passed away January 1st, 2021. The irony of it all. I guess he wanted to make sure he stepped into the New Year with us. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma which is the most aggressive form of brain cancer about 6 months ago but I personally think that he must’ve had something going on for the past two years. I am not going to go into all of the details, but he was scheduled for a brain surgery within a few weeks of the diagnoses because the two tumors were causing major swelling in his brain which brought on severe headaches and everything that it comes with. We still didn’t have the diagnosis at that time so we stayed hopeful that they would be benign. The surgery took 9 hours but my Dad did so well after that they released him on the third day because he literally started walking the next day. Not only that but we got the good news that they were able to take out 99% of both of the tumors. Of course we were offered chemotherapy and radiation right after but with this kind of tumor unfortunately there was really no hope even going through treatment. We were devastated a week after surgery when we found out the full diagnosis.

It is very uncommon to have a tumor that starts growing in the brain. We were told that usually it is somewhere else in the body and it makes it’s way to the brain. In my Dad’s case, he had it only in his brain. I think that any form of cancer is brutal. From the stress and anxiety to the side affects of the disease and to the treatment. It‘s horrible to see your loved one decline and suffer in the way that my Dad did.

In September, we scheduled a family trip which we haven’t had since we were teens. (And that was a long time ago) We knew somewhat that this could be our last trip with our Dad. We celebrated his 59th birthday there and just really took the time to relax and be with family.

It’s hard to know what to pray because part of us wanted to be hopeful but there was this other part that was undeniably there. You can tell my Dad started to withdraw from the present. He really did try to do everything that he could. He went on a plant based diet. He fasted. He did a lot of research on what could help and how he can try to do everything holistically. I am really proud of him because I was concerned that he would get overwhelmed with people’s opinions on what to do and what other herb to add to his diet, but he really stuck to what he believed would help him and did it to the very end.

The last 6 weeks were incredibly hard. Every couple of days there was a new symptom. He went from limping to needing assistance walking, to not walking at all. We had a lot of moments of thinking this was it, but he was strong and kept holding on to life. One thing that my Mom prayed for was that he would pass away in his right mind. He would recognize us as we would take turns helping Mom care for him. Even when he didn’t have the strength to make out a sound, he whispered. Hearing from him, even if it was single words, was comforting in a way. As my younger brother said at the funeral, ‘It is feels good to be acknowledged by your Father!’

He took his last breath on January 1st, 2021 at 1:12PM, while Mom was reading the word of God and we were listening to a hymnal instrumental playlist. The song ‘Halleluyah’ just came on and he took his last breath. I remember looking out the window and seeing the rain slowly drizzling away. It was so peaceful outside, meanwhile, my Mom was so distracted reading that she didn’t notice that he passed away. We had our grieving moment. It was sadness mixed with relief because we just didn’t want him to suffer any more.

One of the last Bible verses that my Dad shared with us was Psalm 16:6. It was in response to my Uncle who said that if Dad could just wake up from all of this and have the ability to express to us what he has seen already, it would be so much amazing revelation.

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

Although, I am sad that he won’t see my children grow up, that he won’t be present at our family gatherings, or bring me more mulch for my yard (lol), I‘m so thankful that I know where my Dad is. I am blessed to have had a Father who loved God and displayed that daily. He wasn’t a perfect Dad. We didn’t have the best of the relationships but I understood him better when I became a parent and attained a different appreciation for him. He made it a point to say I love you before he passed several times and he always reached to hug us with his functioning arm and to kiss us when he had the chance.

I love you Dad. You are missed!

Viktoriya Prikhodko-Cole

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