It's been exactly one year since my dad first got sick. I got the call at work that he was in the hospital with a stroke. We found out afterwards that he had had a few in the months leading up to that. Any of them could have killed him, but they didn't. He went back to the doctor in the beginning of December for a check up and was having stomach pains. The doctors did some tests and it was found out that he had a blockage in his colon that wouldn't go away. They did exploratory surgery and realized that he had a massive tumor (even now I have trouble saying that). It was cancer. That was December 20, 2010. They removed the blockage but he didn't recover well from the surgery. He reacted poorly to the anesthetics and almost died right afterwards. It was discovered at some point that the cancer was really aggressive and grew back almost immediately, and spread quickly. His body was so worn out that he didn't heal properly from the initial surgery and they considered going back in. 6 weeks later they told us that if they went back in there was only a 20% chance he'd survive the operation. It was either that or they send him home to die in peace. On January 31, 2011, my mom brought him home for hospice care. He died on February 4. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't ache to talk to him, to see him, to hug him. My 26th birthday this summer sucked. All I wanted was for him to call me. "Happy birthday, darling" was how he would have greeted me. This Thanksgiving and Christmas will be my first without my daddy. I don't know how I'm going to handle them. I live far away from my family, and don't get to see them much, but he was always the one to call me a lot and pay extra attention to me around the holidays. I'm really afraid that I will go back down into the pit I just clawed my way out of. I just miss him so much. I hate that he's not here. I hate it so much.