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My dad is terminally ill with melanoma. It has metastasized to various parts of his body, most critically, his brain. He lives in Calgary and I live in Toronto. I flew in a year and a half ago when they found his first brain tumor and performed surgery to remove it. I flew in again a few months ago when he got a prognosis of under 3 months. He applied for MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) and was taken to the hospital in preparation for this procedure of euthanasia. When I arrived, his spirits elevated and he felt more alive, animated, and happy. At this time, he declined the procedure and I helped him relocate from the hospital to a hospice. His financial situation is terrible as he had only a couple hundred dollars in his account. He had been getting financial aid from AISH as he was barely able to make ends meet. Him and his wife have worked in pizza delivery for years. They are living in poverty and find it extremely difficult to hold things together financially. I’ve had to assist them occasionally and so have other family members.
His wife needs to work to make money as he is has been unable to work. He could not be left alone in the apartment in his condition. Due to this, I moved him to a hospice where he would be overlooked 24/7.
I had a loving relationship with my dad until my parents divorced when I was 10 years old. It was a very dramatic and difficult time. I had since had a very difficult relationship with him and distanced myself. He always loved me and expressed love in all of our interactions. I, however, as a child, took the divorce and the situation very hard. Later, in my adult life, I tried to rebuild a connection with him, although I found it difficult. These scars run deep. He did help me find a job in Calgary and I lived with him for a few months. He always tried to reach out to me, and he was very loving.
Right now, I cried extremely hard. My relationship is extremely difficult with him, and yet, I found it in me to put the darker things aside. He is my dad. I loved him. He is my dad. No matter that things got crazy in life after, I need to be here now. I held his hand, and I poured my heart to him. I cried. I don’t know if he understood me, but he clenched my hand and lifted his eye lids. I’m sorry for everything Papa. You’re a good man. Everyone knows you in this city and people love you. I panic at the thought of you leaving me. I’m sorry for everything. I didn’t mean to be mean. I’m sorry. I’m here for you. I’m here with you now.