Been away for awhile.
Been one of those months where – life happens while you are busy making other plans.
My dad – Anthony Glenn Sytsma – passed away peacefully on March 2nd, at the age of 81. He had been declining in health over the past year with many hospital stays. He went in on February 9th for the last time. Over his life, he carried a chronic kidney issue that ultimately undid him. Pretty amazing that he lived as long as he did taking into account the kidney issue and a quintuple heart bypass surgery done over 15 years ago.
11 – can’t believe it’s been that long already – years after my mom passed, dad is reunited with her. Dad was a larger than life character. Here is an excerpt from the eulogy I delivered at his funeral:
“Anthony Glen Sytsma was born on January 4, 1937 and passed away
on March 2, 2018.
Dad was a passionate man. And with that passion he often
made us laugh. Sometimes he made us cry. Occasionally he made us do
both at the same time. This was because his passion could run wild
when there was no one to help him rein it in. For most of his life –
nearly 50 years – mom provided the steady hand dad needed. They were
the perfect couple. Dad was the fire and Mom the crucible. They made
each other stronger and better.
So when mom passed that balance was gone and the bedrock she
provided was gone. The transition to being alone was difficult for
dad. The one constant for him was wanting to be together with mom
again and now that has come to pass. And while we are filled with
sadness at dad’s passing we also are comforted by the knowledge that
dad is back where he always wanted to be – with mom.”
See you later, mom and dad.
On a minor level, later in March, one of my wisdom teeth became infected and I had to have it pulled. So that was another week of pain and misery to close the month out with.
But the pain didn’t stop in March. It bled over into April. During the period between my dad’s passing and his funeral, I found out that my oldest cousin, Randy Klein had received horrible news. Going in for an operation to fuse several sections of his spine together to alleviate a crippling back issue, the surgeons found cancer. Cancer in his spine and cancer throughout his body. His prognosis was less than a year. Randy didn’t last a month. His funeral was yesterday – April 7th, 2018.
Gone at the age of 62.
I hadn’t seen Randy in over 10 years but he was always the coolest cousin and his memorial picture reinforced he still was.
So yeah, here I sit typing away, putting this all down contemplating my own mortality. It’s April, 2018 and my 60th birthday is hurtling towards me at the end of this month. Also the March delayed knee replacement surgery number one is less than two weeks away.
A tough month. A time of contemplation. I’ll cherish the good memories of my dad and my cousin.
And strive to create some more good memories for my loved ones to cherish before I go.