At the moment, the prognosis is not good: one or two years.  No change, good or bad, in the last scan.

Because we are two states away and have to go through heavy traffic and tolls in between, along with paying for a hotel room, it has become much harder to make the trip than it used to be.  So the last time we saw my family was two years ago.  Back then, there was no known cancer.  My dad has changed significantly in that time, his vigor gone, his body wasting.  He still has hair, at least.

My mom is tired.  My brother who lives with them, was always a pesky bully, but Mom says he’s mellowed quite a bit because of dad’s illness.  He even stuck around to socialize with us instead of vanishing into his upper suite.

It is difficult to hear them speak of funeral plans and realize that I could see my dad in one in a short time.

I recently dreamed that I was at college still, and he came to visit for a father-and-daughter day.

Over the weekend, hubby, son and I drove through the streets of my hometown, and I showed my son the sights: the big buildings downtown, the artwork and East Race of the river outside the Century Center, the sidewalk where I believe I got lost at age 2, my childhood church and the stained glass window-wall.  Only the red-brick road by the church, with its familiar hum, has been paved over long since.

And I remembered my youthful dad taking me to church sometimes when it was just the two of us, all sorts of memories of the old days.  Youthful meaning, the same age I am now.  He and Mom were the same ages at my birth, as my husband and I were at our son’s.

Then last night, my MP3 player, hooked up to the car stereo, played this song about losing a loved one:

And while this strain takes hold, I see my stalkers return to my site and then check out the church website on Christmas Eve.  (I run it, and saw their IP visit both my and the church’s sites.  No one at my church knows about my personal website.)  I wonder if they’re planning to annoy me again or, by some slight chance, make peace.

If you have any mercy at all, my stalkers, make peace or leave me in peace.  This is difficult enough.