Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alex's Passing (with addendum)

Today, my heart aches. For today, Alex (aka Max) has passed.

I "met" Alex years ago, when I started looking around on the Internet for information about trying to conceive when you have no sperm to work with! There were very few blogs then, and even fewer written from the male point of view, but somehow, I found Max's blog, Dynamo Dad (currently inactive). He talked about having Azoospermia and wanting to have a child with his wife, Vee. And in his words, I found comfort. I read about his journey for awhile before I started reading Vee's blog, The Sweet Life (currently password protected). And then, after more time had passed, I began writing this blog. And I got to know Alex and Vee, and came to share in their story.

Vee and Alex had begun TTC in November 2005 with their first IUI. And as we all know, the journey goes on and on. But for Vee and Alex, there was a helluva bump in the road; Alex was diagnosed with cancer in February 2008. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, Leiomyosarcoma. It did not respond to treatment... at least, not well enough. And so they wondered if they ought to continue their journey to build a family.

The decision was made to do so, and as luck would have it, Vee and I cycled at the same time in November/December 2008. We both got VERY lucky and got BFPs. Our due date was the same, August 25, 2009. Vee and I took comfort that there was someone going through exactly what the other was going through at the exact same time. We have gone through our pregnancies together. We sent each other gifts and cards. We e-mailed each other for support and with questions. I sent them a "hope" care package at one point, simply because I was thinking of them and praying for them. We kept up to date with each other's birth story for the babies when that happened last August, and since then, we have watched our children hit milestones together. Their little boy Doudou is so beautiful; there's too much cuteness to behold! I get to see the wonderful photos that Vee uploads to Facebook and I get to smile at the family that they have built together.

And yet, all along, the cancer continued to ravage Alex's body.

There was doubt that Alex would be alive to greet their baby. And when he was able to be there, I rejoiced for them.

They wondered if Alex would be able to share the baby's first Christmas. And when he was able to be there, we rejoiced.

They hoped Alex would be there to celebrate the new year and the changing of the seasons. And he has been there. And we rejoiced.

They wished for Alex to be there to celebrate their first Easter, and when he was, we rejoiced.

And all along the cancer continued to wreak havoc on Alex's fragile body.

Over the last few months, Vee and Alex discussed Alex's final wishes. A little while ago, they had to modify their home to accommodate Alex's needs. Vee reached out to her friends to help her at home, for Alex could no longer be left alone. And Vee wept with grief, knowing that there was no coming out of this. And we all wept alongside her for the downturn was evident.

And yesterday, Alex took a turn for the worse and Vee watched him gasp for every breath. And we cried alongside them. Vee asked that he not be afraid. And my heart broke for her and their family and for their little boy.

Today, I have just learned that Alex has passed. The tears roll down my cheeks for I wish their little boy could grow up knowing his daddy. I wish Vee didn't have to say goodbye to her husband. As she says, they were meant to grow old together. I cannot fathom the grief they feel today. I wish things were different. I wish for so much... and yet, none of it will come true.

So instead, I wish for peace. I know that Alex feels no more pain. I know that one day, he will see Vee and their little boy again. I wish Vee comfort, in knowing that we all share her grief and we support her. I wish them love. I hope that the memories of her beautiful Alex will live on. I know that their baby boy will hear about how very much his daddy loved him.

And still I shed tears, for life has not dealt them a fair hand. They deserved more than this. We all do.

Grief marks us today, but it will not mark us forever. We shall move on and rejoice in the fact that we knew Alex at all. And one day, when Petite gets to meet their little boy, and I get to hug Vee in person (I will make that happen), I will raise a glass with her in Alex's name. For he is a wonderful man, a strong man, a beautiful person, a doting father and loving husband.

Alex, may you rest in peace and may God hold you in the palm of his hand until one day, your family is with you again. Watch over them and keep them close, just as we pray for your safekeeping and peace. We love you Alex. God bless and Godspeed.

Before his passing, Max asked Vee to convey that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Rainbows For Kate Foundation in his memory. I will certainly be doing that myself, as obviously being in Canada, I cannot attend the memorial in Australia on Friday morning. But you can be certain that is exactly where my thoughts and my spirit will be...


Patti said...

Oh Gil - oh man, I'm just sobbing at work. I wish I knew Vee so that I could hug her as well. My heart is breaking for her. Life is so unfair at times.

Wish there was something I could do...

serenity said...

I'm heartbroken.


Heather said...

I followed Vee for a long time and then she went password protected and I got lost somewhere along the line.

I'm glad he is no longer in pain. I'm sorry that now everyone else is.

Delenn said...

Like Heather, I followed Vee for sometime and then got lost during the switch over. I am so very sorry for their loss. I am glad that he is without pain now.

Miss K said...

Beautiful post and so sad. Very heartbreaking for them.

Cibele said...

Life is so unfair. My heart aches for them .

Caro said...

I lost Vee after she went password protected too. I'm so sorry to hear this but glad he is no longer in pain.

ultimatejourney said...

I used to read Vee before she went pwp. I'm so sorry for them.

OHN said...

Sometimes life can be so unexpected.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

That was beautiful, Gil. I was gutted when I heard the news last night.

Yo-yo Mama said...

Like many others here, I too lost touch once she went pwp, but knew that Max had been there to see the birth of their son.

Please pass on my deepest sympathies to Vee.

Your tribute touched me deeply.

~ DD

AussieJenn said...

So very very sad. My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

Hope's Mama said...

Here via LFCA. I'm so very sorry to hear this news. What an absolute tragedy.
My heart goes out to the family. Please pass on my sincere condolences to all.
This was a lovely tribute post.
With love
Sally (Melbourne, Australia)

Jules said...

Here from the LFCA.

A wonderful tribute to a courageous man. I am in tears with Max's sad passing & again after reading your post.

RIP Max. xo

thegalwho said...

Gil you have such a wonderful way with words when it comes to telling your friends story (our friend - though unfortunately only virtually).

I am upset that Vee and Doudou no longer have Alex in the physical sense, relieved that Alex is no longer in pain, saddened that he had to pass over to no longer be in pain and comforted by the fact that even though Alex is no longer here in the physical sense, he is not far away and will live on in the hearts of many....


DI_Dad said...

Gil -

Thanks for a beautiful post. Someone left a comment on the inactive DI Dads Speak Out Blog and I just posted about Max / Alex's passing on my DI Dad blog and the Yahoo DI Dads group. Bea confirmed via email to me this morning and sent me the link to your post here. I am heartbroken for Vee, their son, and their familes

- Eric

benedicteggs said...

I'm over here from LCFA. I'm gutted, having been a lurker of Vee's for a while before she pwp'ed her blog.

Having just lost my dad in the past week too, I can feel what must be a shade of her grief. Please, extend my sympathy to her on my behalf.

And thank you for such a loving tribute. Beautiful.


Leah said...

I also read Vee's blog until it got password protected. My prayers are with her and her family and loved ones. May God give her peace and comfort at this time.

luna said...

what a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing this.

ms. c said...

What a beautiful tribute post, Gil.

Nearlydawn said...

Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to Vee, Doudou, and Max (Alex). Their love was palpable through their words to the world.

I too wish I could be there to hug her and support her. She shared so much - was so raw, and now I wish I had some way to repay a part of the gift she has given through the sharing of her story.

RIP Alex. You will be greatly missed.