Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

My terminally ill dad's last Valentine's gift to my mum idea please

Belle3
Posted by

Hi all, just looking for ideas

My dad has had the horrific news that he potentially won't live past March as his Cancer continues to spread through his body and brain. (Dad and mum 52, I'm 28)

This will be my Mum and Dad's last Valentine's day so I am wanting to get Mum something special that she can treasure forever. 

I had thought I could record my dad's voice talking about my mum but He's too weak and getting more and more tired/ confused so that's not going to happen now. 

Any ideas will be a great help, TIA

FrightenedWife
Posted by

I am so sorry to read your post.

What a lovely idea to create something special for Valentines. 


I wonder how easy it would be to create something with your dad's finger print. Maybe Not on the High Street might have some ideas or a creative friend could help. 


X



Love and Laughter will see us through..

lesleyhelen
Posted by

Hi  

I received a phone call yesterday from a gentleman who said he didn't have much longer. I am a self employed jeweller but I don't carry out commissions, which is what he was requesting.  Although I couldn't help, I was able to give him the details of where he could go. 

Based on what he was asking, I thought it was such a lovely idea of his.  He wanted to make his wedding ring into an eternity ring for his wife to wear when he'd gone.

 I doubt It could be done in time for Valentine's day now - but I just thought what a lovely thing for him to be doing.

Belle3
Posted by

That is a lovely idea, not sure if my dad will let me do that  though as he's aware of things around him and it will probably weird him out knowing him :) xXx

Belle3
Posted by

Hi, thank you for the quick reply! 

As beautiful as that is my mum and dad aren't married and never would have got married so not sure how mum would feel receiving a ring :/ it' so difficult xXx

Surrey girl
Posted by

That is so sad to hear.  My dad died suddenly at 52 when I was 17, so final gifts were out of the question; however, I had my mum.  Sadly I lost her to cancer in November, and we were so close.

Thinking about final gifts, my mum desperately wanted to buy something for my birthday, but she was unable to on her own, so I ordered something online with her involvement.  What was really special though, was the card that she made me.  We always made each other homemade cards for birthdays and special occasions.  On this occasion, she waited until I was out and struggled to find paper and a few bits and bobs to make a card.  It meant so much to me, and it's something I'll treasure for ever, especially as I knew how much effort she had gone to, was really breathless and she had a tumour in her eye so could hardly see.  I'm not sure if you'll be able to help your dad put together a special card.  Did they always buy cards for each other?  If so, that would be difficult, as you would be choosing it and it would be your choice of words and sentiments rather than your dad's.  I appreciate that he's tired, weak and confused, but maybe he could perhaps draw a heart on a piece of paper and write "I love you", or words to that effect.  Perhaps you'll find a moment when he's less tired and weak and catch him then.  It's like a child making a card and the effort you know they've gone to and the love they've put into it.

My mum wrote her card with wiggly writing and it just means so much to me.

No doubt you'll get more inspirational ideas from people (I like the fingerprint idea) and you can develop an idea from the suggestions you get.  

It's an incredibly sad time that you're all going through at the moment, especially as you watch your beloved dad get weaker, and I wish you, your mum and your family strength to get through this time.

Take care

Claire xx

Belle3
Posted by

What a beautifully worded reply Made me tear up, so glad you got such a heart felt loving gift from your mum, so so sorry for your losses! 

Unfortunately my dad can't hold a pen. His right hand/arm particularly as it is a side effect from his brain tumours (how we originally found it all as his arm was totally numb). This is such a beautiful idea though, thank you for sharing your story too!

Surrey girl
Posted by

When my dad passed away, my mum wanted his wedding ring exactly as it was.  She wouldn't have wanted it different or altered in any way, as that was the ring she associated with him.  She treasured the ring that it was, without alternations.  

On the other hand, my friend's husband died suddenly in an accident and my friend arranged to have his wedding ring melted down and created into special rings for the children.  That was her choice however.

I think it's something that has to be discussed by both parties, as it might come as a shock to receive a ring that has been altered.

My sister was given my grandmother's wedding ring, which she just had polished and made slightly smaller.

I have my mother's engagement ring, which I have no wish to have changed in any way, as it was the ring I always associated with her.

Good luck with your ideas.  Let us know what you decide.

Claire xx

Surrey girl
Posted by

Thank you Bellewhite, that was so kind of you to say.  It helps to write things down, and it's lovely when there are people like you who know the emotions that you go through in the final few weeks. 

I can see that you have quite a dilemma with your dad's condition, and I can see that you're keen to arrange your gift from him as soon as possible.  It must have been devastating to hear the news that he didn't have long.  Rather like my mum being told she wouldn't get to Christmas when she had already bought all her Christmas cards and advent calendar.

I'm sitting here trying to find alternative ideas...  Writing will be impossible, but you mentioned speech, but I can appreciate that your dad is too weak to make a recording of his voice for your mum.  She might want to remember his voice as it was.  Would you be able to make a little video though?  Your dad smiling at the camera?  Even a little video of you interacting with your dad, helping him eat, having a little joke (if he is able).

Good luck and take care.  Make sure you all get enough rest, food and drink!

Claire xx  

Surrey girl
Posted by

I can see that would be difficult....  Your mum would think, "oops, I wasn't expecting a ring at this stage of our lives together..."

Claire xx

Belle3
Posted by

Aw that's lovely thank you! I tested out recording my dad's voice before while he was feeling a little more chatty and he was waffling about my bf which was so lovely so I might be able to actually record his voice and coax the convo to be about him and my mum possibly if he has another good few minutes. It was so lovely to see him being himself more for a few minutes :) these ideas are all so great great though keep them coming xXx

lesleyhelen
Posted by

Hi  

How about a heart locket necklace with a lock of his hair in it on one side and a tiny photograph of them together on the other?

Surrey girl
Posted by

I know what you mean.  Those lucid moments are so precious.  I'm sure you'll catch something special for the recording.  Even if you feel it could be better, if won't matter as you'll all just love seeing your dad.

We recorded my mum coming downstairs on her stairlift and then walking through the house to the lounge where she sat on her "farty" cushion, which as you could probably guess, was more like a whoopie cushion than a pressure relieving cushion provided by the hospice.  We have footage of her laughing away.  She's thin, frail, desperately holding onto me and not like her usual robust self, but it's precious.  It was such a short recording and we only have the one.  I'm not sure why we didn't think to do more.

Enjoy having fun with the recordings.  Hopefully there'll be moments when your dad talks about your mum.  Great that he talked about your bf though.

xx

Belle3
Posted by

Ha farty cushion! I bet that is a lovely video for when your sad to remember her good days. It really is so hard trying to capture who that person is. It still isn't hitting home 100% that one day this is all I'll have left of him, things and voice recordings. 

Loridru
Posted by

Hullo, so sorry to read your post BUT do try and get something really special from your dad. My darling darling partner died in April with an aggressive brain tumour. One of the last things he wrote with obvious difficulty was a thank you card to one of my friends who visited him. After he died I asked my friend if I could have the card, or a copy, however due to her insensitivity to my situation we hard words and, despite me writing to her asking for the card or at least to tell me she had destroyed it, she never gave me the card and she knew it was the last couple of sentences he wrote. So please make sure you get something. Cancer is such a devastating illness, believe me I know, I have secondary cancer and my only sister died two years ago.