Near Journey’s End

Pops and Katie, 2009
Pops and Katie, Cleveland, Ohio, 2009

We knew more than five years ago, in the spring of 2007 when Elizabeth’s dad Rick was diagnosed with merkel cell cancer, that the disease would eventually kill him.

We took every opportunity we had to visit, spend time with him and to make sure that our daughter Katherine Richard Acton (born in June 2008 and now 4 1/2) got to know her Pops.

We knew he would die before he got old and wrinkly as most grandparents should.

We just didn’t know when. And, of course, we never imagined that it would happen so close to Christmas.

Yet it is here none the less. An incredible life of 62 years is coming to an end at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Before I reflect on these  pain-and-grace-filled days at his bedside in hospice care, and the impact he has had on me and our family, I feel it’s only right to share Rick’s thoughts (from a blog he started not long after his diagnosis) on life and his up-and-down battle with cancer.  Hopefully, they’ll give you (particularly those who never met him) a glimpse of who he was,  a sense of his courageous fight against a horrible disease, and an idea of why I love him dearly as father figure, mentor and friend:

9/10/07: I Measured It

4/17/08: Pet Scan Results

08/06/08: Random Thoughts

10/1/08: Cancer Patients Don’t Go Gently

11/24/08: Pet Scan Results

11/29/08: Merkel Cell Blues

01/05/09: Chemo and Diet

08/19/09: Random Thoughts

08/23/09: Sunday at First Unitarian of Cleveland

09/11/09: Does Cancer Make You Strong?

11/18/09: Good Life

09/04/10: It’s Back-Two Tumors In The Brain

10/07/10: Random Thoughts

12/03/10: Engaged Again

12/07/10: Random Thoughts

12/18/10: Stick In Eye

Pops and Katie, Christmas Day 2011
Pops and Katie, Christmas Day 2011

01/11/11: Happy 1-1-11

01/20/11: The Next Step

01/19/11: You Say Pulmanary Embolism, I Say Blood Clot

04/18/11: Monday and Gratitude List

05/25/11: Tuesday In Cleveland Heights

08/15/11: Monday In The Heights

09/06/11: No Signs of Cancer

10/07/11: Stuff

04/16/12: Not Much Different

05/15/12: Exciting Week

12/5/12: Gilchrist Hospice Care, Towson (written by Rick’s wife Deidre, affectionately known in our house as Dee-Maw)

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