To a Son, Husband, Father and Friend
My dad was diagnosed with cancer last Father’s Day, June 15, 2013. He died 11 months to the day—May 15, 2014. The cancer began in his esophagus, a result of Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition caused by many years of untreated acid reflux and likely an old habit of drinking whole jugs of Carlo Rossi before he quit cold turkey.
It spread to his bones–legs, ribs, arms, spine, in particular–and likely his brain as the last couple weeks were spent with him making very sweet but odd overtures, and singing random song lyrics from his days as a disc jockey 10+ years ago.
Or maybe he was just fucking with us.
It’s not easy to update your blog when your dad is dying of cancer. I was too involved in the situation to have any perspective to write about it, yet felt it was phony to try and write about something else as if nothing was going on. Ideas for blog posts would percolate in my head, but it would always spit out on the page as “my dad has cancer, my dad has cancer, my dad has cancer” Jack Torrence style. While six weeks (six weeks, 11 hours and 13 minutes) hasn’t provided me much perspective, just this weird hole in my life where my Dad should be, it does feel good to write again. And Dad would like it.
So to honor him, and my family’s weird habit of over-sharing, here’s a video of our recent “Life Celebration Party” in honor of Rod Bunt, aka Dad, aka the Copper Snake (in college), aka Medical Maaan (when he would diagnose our common colds as Spinal Meningitis and our headaches as brain tumors—oh, the irony), and Ross (his real name, what the nurses and doctors called him, and what’s listed on his death certificate).
People keep telling me that he’s all around me, that he’s everywhere. I don’t know how much I believe in ghosts, but if that is true then he was likely at this party eating bowls of homemade chili and pasta salad from the buffet table. Hope you liked them, we learned from the best.
More to come on Buntology, both cancer-related and otherwise. Stay tuned…