Dad Dandelions

After my art show in October, I went home to to visit my family for a belated Thanksgiving gathering. My dad wasn't feeling well and was having trouble eating… he really didn't look good. When I got home after the trip, I had this bad feeling and was worried about the possibility that I might not get many more chances to see him – my visits being much less frequent now since moving to .

He went to his doctor shortly after, who suggested he go to the ER in to get tests done. We were under the assumption that the medication for his heart condition was the culprit… sadly this turned out to only be a part of a larger issue. I received the shocking call from my sister saying that they found a large tumor in his stomach… CANCER. After more tests, we received the news that it was the worst case scenario. It had spread, and there wasn't much they could do but try to manage symptoms for the remaining time he has left.

He wanted to be at home, not in a hospital, and so for the next month, I stayed with my mom and siblings there to help. I've never felt so intensely nervous and scared for such a long stretch of time… the feeling of powerlessness, fear of the unknown… fear of the inevitable. The stress took its toll and I eventually started having chest pains, among other symptoms. I went to the ER to get checked, and thankfully it turned out to just be anxiety. It's really scary how stress can manifest in your body! At this point, we had the help of palliative homecare nurses and Dad seemed stable (all things considered) so I went home for a bit to try and recoup.

First week of January I received another call from my sister… he had taken a turn and was requesting that we (the kids) all be there. My brother & I live a distance away so we both booked the earliest train tickets we could.

On Friday, January 5th, Dad left this earth at home with his family by his side.

It still doesn't feel real… the whole experience, despite its intensity, doesn't feel real.

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I've been in a bit of a shell since returning home and just slowly getting caught up with an endless amount of tasks while trying to distract my overactive brain that can't help but wonder about the meaning of IT ALL.

I know my dad regretted not trying to be happier while he was here, so he wishes happiness for us. As I continue along this path, despite it sometimes being dark, rocky, and full of brambles, I'm going to try to keep focused on the light poking through the trees ahead… I'm going to do my best to find that happiness while working towards my dreams and striving to live a life of authenticity.

Walter Prasek 1957-2024

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Brenda Parkinson
Brenda Parkinson
4 months ago

Beautiful tribute, great pictures big hugz to you and your family

Sara M
Sara M
3 months ago

Sorry for yours and your families loss sending deepest condolences . Such a wonderful tribute for your dad. Beautiful photos of many memories. All the very best to you and your family.