Tuesday, 5 April 2016

My Defining Moment

My defining moment was when I was first hunting and first killed a bird...
Just kidding!
My defining moment is actually when my father passed away when I was 10 years old. He passed away in February of 2010. Early in December of 2009, he felt sick and was not able to go to work for awhile. Almost right after Christmas, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor near his brain stem. He had a history with brain tumors before, as he did have one in late 2002 going into 2003. With some operation, the surgeons were able to remove the tumor. Besides the fact that the use of his right side was limited because of the operation, he seemed to be fine and normal.
Back to the topic at hand, my dad went to the hospital and got radiation and other treatments. In mid-January of 2010, the doctors announced that the tumor was near his brain stem and that they couldn’t operate on it and it was too far gone for other cancer treatments. Basically, we learned that he was going to die. From then on, my grandparents took care of me for awhile and my mom moved into the hospital to be with my dad all the time.
As time went on and my dad’s health deteriorated as the tumor grew to affect more parts of his brain, it was harder and harder to see him in the hospital. Eventually, he could barely move and talk. By mid February, his time had come and God took him away. After this, my mom went back to live with my brother and I and life did become hard.
After all the chaos of the event blew over, the funeral was held, and life was as normal as it could be, it was hard for me to live without my dad. To distract ourselves from what was going on, my mom took us to our first trip to Florida, which was a great time. When we got back, our family was always busy doing things. Because of this, our dog was always locked up in his crate, so we decided that the best thing for him was to give him away to a family who could spend more time with him and be around more. This was also hard for me and difficult to deal with.
Eventually, with some counselling sessions, prayer (I am a Christian, so reading the Bible and praying did give me some comfort) and time, I sort of accepted what had happened and let it just be a part of me. Later, my mom met a new husband. It was hard to move on and have another guy be in the role of my dad, but eventually I got used to it. I never let him replace my old dad, but in a way, saw it as a new part of my life.
This defines me because it gave me a new look on life and how precious and volatile it is and made me appreciate it much more, seeing as how it could be taken away so quickly. This also changed my personality and it felt like I had been through a lot of stuff that matured me and changed me from a naïve little kid to a more mature person with a deeper understanding of life. I still kept a sense of humor, as you can probably all see in class sometimes, but I felt as if I could be much more serious about things when needed.


  1. Wow, this is something I never knew about you! It takes so much courage to share something so personal, and that is admirable. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I am glad to hear that you've chosen to take the strength something like this can give you instead of the sadness. It really shows your tenacity :)

  2. Caleb, thanks for sharing. I can only imagine how difficult it is to lose your father. Fortunately, you had a strong support system, in your mother, counselling and God. I'm also confident that your father's influence on you as a young boy also helped you deal with the grief.

  3. Caleb, I can't begin to understand how difficult that must have been on you to cope with at such a young age. I truly am impressed that you were able to persevere, and grow into the friendly and cheerful person you are today. It's good to hear that you found ways to deal with the grief, and to let it shape you for the better.

  4. Caleb, I am very sorry for your loss and it takes some serious strength to be able to share the kind of pain you experienced, and be able to overcome it. I think the power of distraction might have helped you cope after such a big change to your family. Taking that trip to Florida might have helped you put your situation in perspective. When my grandma died last year, from a stroke, my family didn't try distracting me from the pain at all, everyday for weeks everyone in my family would sob at the loss of my grandma, and that didn't help anyone. Everywhere we turned, in my house, we saw another material possession that reminded us of her. It actually made our coping a lot more difficult. If I would have had a change in scenery I might have been able to distract myself and try to understand my grandma's death a little better.

  5. I am in awe of your ability to discuss such an emotionally intense topic with such strength and grace. I think it's really important to talk about these life events, as it is a universal experience that everyone will eventually have to endure, and the more conversation and dialogue on the topic will help people cope with the loss of loved ones in a less solitary way.