My father was a very captivating, uproarious and altruistic man. For the people who were around to meet him, know how much of an impact he could make on you within a single conversation. I mean this man could make you laugh so hard to a point where you're surprised you haven't lost consciousness yet, he made sure that you were satisfied before taking care of himself, and knew how to give you that warm fuzzy feeling of being loved too much. I was a huge daddy’s girl, I would stay up until 3 in the morning watching Syfy wrapped in his arms on the couch and when my mom came to join, he’d pretend to be covering my eyes for the “scary parts” of the movie. I always went to him for anything before my mom or if I did go to my mom and she disagreed with me, I proceeded to ask my dad to come back me up.
My dad had his own home painting company, AMSI Painting, that eventually became so successful that he partnered up with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for an episode or two. But having a job like that required to wear a mask to insulate the toxic fumes that you are surrounded by for numerous hours each day, which is something my dad failed to do. By the time he would come home, he was extremely exhausted and relied on a pack of cigarettes to calm his nerves before bed. You clearly understand where the combination of the two would lead someone. It was around July of 2011 when my dad had discovered that he was diagnosed with Pneumonia. He began treatment for it right away and a couple of months later he began to recover but never discontinued his habits of not wear a mask during work and to stop smoking cigarettes. The Pneumonia was now lung cancer.
Radiation and Chemotherapy treatment began, one of the most aggressive treatments for cancer. My dad always kept a smile on his face even sitting through excruciating hours of being poked and probed with needles just to help him get better. He kept that smile on his face because he knew he had a loving family to run to after and yet instead of talking about the agonizing pain he went through, he kept focus on making his family happy.. He showed us love was all you needed. The first few weeks were going by smoothly. After more time had passed he began to lose his hair and his prominent mustache. Not long afterword, he began to throw up almost every hour to every two hours, and that throw up turned into blood, drowsiness, and aching pain throughout his whole body. YET he still only focused on us being happy. The thing that kept him going, that helped him stay strong through the process, was knowing that his family was okay.
Coming home from school everyday and seeing my dad, that innocent, warm-hearted man being eaten alive from the inside out, made getting up in the morning grueling, not only for me but my mother and sister too. Of course, we would all go about our day and try our hardest to make him feel comfortable and act like nothing was wrong. We loved him. If he knew how much it was negatively effecting us, he wouldn't be able to fight as hard as he did.
My dad fought for about a less than a year before we had received the best news we’ve ever heard. My dad said to me “No more cancer for me!”. Of course he had to still go to the hospital for radiation treatment and get the check ups he needed to make sure the cancer wouldn’t relapse. During these cancer free months my dad was given a medication to help with any post radiation treatment pain and the medication he was given made him drowsy. One day him and I were doing what we always did, cuddled up, laughing and watching Syfy when I told him that I was hungry and that there wasn't much to do about it. There wasn’t enough food in the house to make something, I was too young to drive and because his medication, he wasn’t allowed to drive. He turned to me and said “What was it that you had in mind to eat, Bella?” I answered “Chick-fil-A.” My dad said with a grin on his face “I was thinking that too. Let’s go but don't tell your mother!” We grabbed our things and headed to the car. On the way to Chick-fil-A. my dad decided to inform me about the medication he was on, he said “Bella, I’m not suppose to be driving because my medication makes me really tir-“ He stopped mid sentence and plopped over the steering wheel and began to snore! The car started to swerve into the median and I yelled at him to wake up. He lifted up his head quickly and let out a big laugh, if you couldn't tell my dad was a very sarcastic man and didn’t know when there was an appropriate time to make jokes. For example, when my sister, mom, dad and I went to the grocery store, my mom use to always say that it was like bringing three children with her. I can’t even get into the outrageous stories of the things we did in public!
Early to mid 2012. My dad had returned to the hospital for his radiation treatment and a check up like he had been doing for months now but this time, we all knew something was different. When we got to the hospital my dad was put into a separate room. Soon enough the Oncologist had walked in with a not too uplifting look on his face. He began to tell us that my dads cancer was more aggressive and that the tumors weren’t shrinking. He took a pause then continued to tell us that my dad had only 6 months left to live. When he informed us about that, a white noise overrode his voice and a numbing sensation took over my body. What I recently found out from my mom was that my dad’s cancer never got better in the first place, but that the tumors had only shrunk by millimeters. He said that he was better to us because he only wanted to see his children happy.
Learning about my dads condition worsening, we decided to make the most out of those 6 months. We planned a family trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our trip consisted of multiple seafood buffets, family photo shoots, walking on down Broadway, The Strip, The Boardwalk, and of course taking late night trips to the beach to intake the beauty of the moon reflecting off the ocean water. Our last night there, we went down to the beach and all walked together. Toes in the sand, the chilling water hitting our feet and the overpowering sound of the ocean waves crashing. For a moment, we all forgot about what was soon to come. We decided to take pictures near the beach for the beautiful memories and when I held my dad close and kissed him on the cheek, a wave of realization over came all of us. My dad had begun to cry.
Months went by and as his time with us grew shorter and shorter, his health had begun to spiral. November was his time. It was less than a week before my sisters birthday when he grew too weak to speak, to sit up, or to do anything but sleep. We had all came to the conclusion that he most likely wouldn't make it to Thanksgiving and that we should celebrate early. About a week before Thanksgiving, we had invited over as much family as we could at the time to celebrate together. The whole time my dad just laid in bed, weak.. My heart felt as if it was deteriorating knowing he wasn’t able to be his crazy self like he was at all the family gatherings. Through out the day we all had our moments, no one was prepared for what was coming.
November 19th, 6:50 P.M. I was going to finally get my braces off the next day! My sister and I were in her room cracking jokes and talking about plans for her to come with me to my appointment. Everything seemed normal for those few moments until my mom opened the door. Her eyes red and puffy, her cheeks wet with tears.. we didn't want to hear what she had to say and she couldn't even get herself to say it. She shook her head and said to us “He’s gone.” My sister and I darted down the stairs into the spare room. There he was, lifeless and empty. The man who was my world, made life worth living, was gone just like that. I dropped to my knees, held his hand and cried for hours on end. All I could think is “why?”.
It has been almost 4 years since he passed now and it hasn't gotten easier. There are days where I drag myself around to get through the day. Some days I will be in my room and I can hear my mom weeping to herself. I immediately go in her room to hold her and we cry together.. I will never find a man as humble, humorous and magnificent as my father.
There is so much more to this story, to the pain, to his life, and to our lives now but I can’t get myself to continue to write. I love you more than you know daddy. I miss you everyday.
Rest In Peace Adel Khalil Omary. June 30, 1963 - November 19, 2012.
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