Saturday, April 26, 2008

Through Tears--Laughter!!

The pictures on this entry are from our family reunions in Douglas in 1992 and 1997. My mom had four brothers and two sisters. Growing up we spent a lot of time with my cousins who lived in Phoenix. Their dad, Matt, was my mother's brother. We would come up to Phoenix from Douglas for the weekend quite often. During the summers, my cousins would spend time in Douglas. Through the years I feel as though we have always been close. Our kids grew up together as cousins and friends. For many years it was only Cecilia and Jay and their family and Yaya and Tony who lived in Phoenix. We would see everyone on holidays and other times. Several years ago, my cousin, Pat, and her family moved back to Arizona after her husband, Phil, retired from working for the federal government. I feel as though they are more my sisters than my cousins and I know that I could call any of them at anytime and they would do anything to help me, as I would do for them.

We usually do all holidays together and any other kind of celebration. We don't even need a reason to get together. It seems that I always have a funny story to tell from something that has happened at school. Phil, in particular, always loves my stories. I think that he finds it hard to believe that some of the things happen, and they do!! Every now and then, we have dinner at Yaya's house with just our generation, so we can share stories.

A few weeks ago, something really funny happened and I wanted to call Phil right away to tell him about it. I didn't call him because I wasn't sure how he was feeling. You see, Phil has been diagnosed with cancer and the outlook isn't very good. I had mentioned this in an earlier blog when we went to Knock. I had gotten some Knock water for him and said a special prayer for him when we were in Knock.

This past week, we received some very bad news about Phil. The chemo didn't do what it was intended to do and the cancer had progressed to a point where it was decided to bring in Hospice.

I called early in the afternoon today to see if it was okay for us to come and visit so I could tell him my story and we could see how he is doing. Phil answered the phone and sounded quite good. When I asked him how he was, he answered with "I'm not dead yet." We laughed and I asked if we could come over to see him so that I could tell him the latest story.
So Judy, Kerri, Cameron and I went to see Phil.

When we got there, it was just Pat and Phil. He was in wonderful spirits and we were able to laugh about many things. He loved my story! He had an email printed out that was from another cousin in San Francisco to Pat. She is getting married some time in the near future. He wanted her to know that he was going to be cremated and he wanted to make sure Pat took some ashes with her to the wedding because he didn't "want to miss her wedding." Another time for laughs and smiles........

He has an incredible outlook on everything. Two of his children and their families live here. A son and his family live in Denver and are here now. His daughter and two grandchildren are on their way from Ohio. His youngest son will be here later this week.

Kerri has had a special bond with Phil. She is able to talk to him about many things. She has been especially sad about this news.

It is so difficult to see so many people that I love and respect leaving us, even if it is for a better place. Phil feels as though he is headed to a better place. He talked about that today.

I can tell you that the world and our family has been a "better place" because of Phil. He was an only child and I can't imagine what it must have been like to join our large, boisterous family. He is a gentle, unassuming family man who is loved by his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and all of the myriad of relatives in the Scott family.

God Speed, Phil. We all love you!!

2 remarks:

Anonymous said...

As my mom wrote, it really is difficult for me. I feel like Phil has been a definite father figure to me and I don't really know how to approach my feelings on this. I am so sad about losing him, but I also know that by knowing him I have gained so much. I want to thank Phil for pushing me to be who I am, although I feel that it was an unconscious push, he did it none the less and really showed me that life is really about what you do for others to make them who THEY are rather than living life and being who YOU are.

To lose Phil, to me, is like losing a dad (as I said). As I have grown older, Phil has shown me what it means to be a true contributor to the human race - rather than to just be someone who stands by and accepts things for what they are.

This is such a hard thing for me to write. I don't think that my true feelings have been shown. Today was so difficult for me, because I didn't want to cry. But damnit, I did. I did not want to, because Phil is nothing but "tough," but in such a beautiful way. I can only hope that when it is my time to go that I approach it in the same way that Phil is approaching it. That I have done good for this world and by just being here I have made it a better place, just like he has.

I will be taking some time off soon just to spend alone with him, because no matter what, I need that. I love him a lot, and I know that everyone else does too, but I can't explain how it is affecting me. I hurt and am sad about it, but at the same time I am at peace with everything because he is as well.

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts, I think that we all have them and it sometimes takes someone to start it before we can all admit what we feel.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute, Sheila and Kerri, to your Phil. Both he and Pat always had a soft smile for everyone and anxious to know what was going on in people's lives. We all keep so busy as they did, but they always seemed to take time to ask about our lives and truly be interested. Tom and I are so sadden by this news, but know Phil is being embraced as much today with your love and caring as he was that first time he met the Scott family! Our prayers are with Pat, also at this difficult time.
Tom and Sandra