Sunday, June 21, 2009

French advice about Dad

I wrote my French friend Dominique back on April 19 to tell him about Mom's brain cancer and about the upcoming operation (April 21). What he wrote on April 20 is relevant to Father's Day:

salut kevin,

les nouvelles ne sont pas très réjouissantes chez toi. il y a quelques années (peut-être 10 ans), une tante de Véronique avait une tumeur au cerveau. C'est toujours inquiétant lorsqu'on parle d'un problème au cerveau. Sa tante a été opérée et va très bien aujourd'hui.

Nous pensons bien à vous tous et embrasse ta maman de la part de toute la famille (et de ma part en particulier!). Prend soin de ton papa aussi, quand Maman avait son cancer parfois j'avais l'impression que c'était Papa le malade car tout le monde demandait des nouvelles de Maman, Papa se retrouvait parfois un peu seul, fatigué par le stress, le manque de sommeil, embrasse-le aussi et dis-lui qu'on pense à lui.

tiens-nous vite au courant de la suite

à très bientôt



Hi, Kevin,

The news isn't very happy where you are. Some years ago (about 10 years), one of Veronique's aunts [Veronique is Dominique's wife] had a brain tumor. It's always worrisome when it comes to brain-related problems. Her aunt was operated on and is doing very well today.

We're thinking about all of you; kiss your mom on behalf of our whole family (especially me!). Take care of your dad, too. When Mom had her cancer, I sometimes had the impression that Dad was the one who was sick, because everyone was asking after Mom, and Dad found himself somewhat alone, tired from the stress and from lack of sleep. Give him a kiss, too, and tell him we're thinking of him.

Keep us current as to what happens next.

Talk to you very soon,


I don't know how good of a son I've been toward my father, but I and my brothers appreciate his love and care more than words can say. Dad is the one keeping track of Mom's meds and medical records. He's the one making sure the living room is prepped with medical supplies when the home care nurses show up. He's the one handling most of the phone calls from family friends, and he's the one who steps up to arrange all the doctor appointments. He works alongside me to take care of chores like yard maintenance, dish-washing, floor cleaning, and so on-- all without complaint. Dad is quite literally the first responder should anything happen to Mom during the night: I sleep downstairs in my dungeon. I can only imagine how hard all of this is for him as a husband, watching this terrible thing happen to his wife. Dad has thanked me repeatedly for staying home to help out instead of continuing my walk; I don't think I've thanked Dad nearly as much, if at all, for everything he's done.

Today, I'm making Dad a nice dinner and dessert. One of Mom's Korean friends is also visiting today, around 3PM, to see Mom. Other things are in the works, but we're keeping it simple-- a simple "thank you" for a man whose heart is always, always in the right place.


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