The Flickering Light

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Tanya

White candles burning with a textured vintage background

For 19 years my father-in-law fought a valiant battle with cancer. Often the treatments were worse than the illness and they gradually took away his ability to walk independently. As a retired postal worker, he had a route walking many miles every day. It was just wrong. But, he dealt with it in his way and on his terms.

Throughout all these years, my mother-in-law cared for him every day and never with anger, frustration, resentment or sadness. She was grace under incredible pressure. Together, we watched the light flicker from him. Over time, it became less bright, less intense, and less energetic. It was simply to be.

“The Flickering Light” is my tribute to him and my mother-in-law. The strength they both exhibited for two decades in the face of a very slow illness and as he continued to defy all prognoses, is a testament to their love and their commitment. May we all learn from them and may your reading about our story encourage you to be prepared. We were allowed to enjoy him and grieve our loss as it happened because we knew he was living and dying as he wanted, on his terms. That gave us all great peace and set an example for my sons as they never knew their grandad any way other than sick. And they have never known my mother-in-law in any way other than resolute and dedicated.


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