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I have had a father/son trip planned with my son for two years. It is one of those waiting list adventure trips that can not be rescheduled. My Dad has had several major medical events over the last year and a half. I have spent most weekends with him and taken 20 sick days since January. I have no regrets. My Dad is my best friend and my hero, and I would and will do anything for him.

This father/son trip is quickly approaching. My son says I should stay and my Dad says I should go. Most people have said they would stay. I am torn. I am afraid to leave my Dad and I am afraid to not go with my son. I will be a bad son or a bad dad in this process. Many have given advice, but few have been in this position. My gut says stay.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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I wonder if he ever went on the trip with his son....
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Thank you to all of you who were kind enough to take time out of your life to write these kind words of encouragement. I have been agonizing on whether or not to take a trip I planned a year ago, as my mom has been rapidly declining. All of your words very much resonated with me, and helped me to decide. My mom has said do not put your life on hold waiting for my death, go live it. Hearing those same sentiments from these posts really helped. Thank you
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I thought of that same question, BoniChak. This is a thoughtful, compassionate family of men. God Bless them, all 3 generations:)
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If it was the future...and your son had this dilemma...what would you want HIM to do?
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Go on the trip. Best wishes.
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I was faced with a similar decision when my mom was dying. I chose to cancel the planned trip. My mother lived another 6 months. I have never regretted my decision. It was important for me to be there in the end, but it was even more important to be there when she was alive and needed me the most.

My advise is to use this opportunity to teach your some about family and life. You can do another special thing with your son that does not entail a trip. You can save the trip for another time.
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Sorry you are facing such a tough call. As others have mentioned, there are several factors we don't know, such as whether they think death is imminent,how long your trip is, etc. If you can truly say you will be at peace if your dad dies while you're gone, I would say go (and I personally think you should be at peace with that, but you are the only person who can determine that). But your comment about your gut makes me think you are not at peace with that. But the main thing I want to say is that you are not going to be a bad son or a bad dad no matter what you do. Your son and your father have both told you that. You sound like a wonderfully loving family. I am sorry your dad will be passing on soon. My mom did so a year ago next Saturday, and it's very hard. I know it may not feel like it, but you really cannot make the wrong decision here. If you go and dad dies, try not to beat yourself up for not being there. He knows you love him. Not being there the day he leaves in no way negates that. If you stay, you and your son can go in a couple of more years maybe, or if not, your son knows you love him. Not going on the trip won't negate that. There's no easy way to get through this time. This cycle of life stuff sucks, as far as I'm concerned. I am glad you have loving family to ease it as much as is possible.
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Why is your gut telling you to stay? Do you think by staying you will prolong your Father's death? No, it is out of your control. You don't know when it will occur--do you? You don't know what will happen tomorrow with your son, with you, with anyone.
I would listen to YOUR DAD. He is the one you have been sacrificing for, and your son is gracious about the sacrifice. Please, Honor your Father and Reward your Son: take the trip. It will be more special than you can imagine. God Bless you All.
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What selfless people these parents are. I am so touched. As a parent I would want my daughters to go. If I die, I die. Doesn't matter. What we have between us from the many years of love and care matter more than sitting by my side at the last moment. Go. Make your Dad happy. You are so lucky.
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I have been hesitant to make long-range vacation plans for a number years because of my elderly parents. When my son announced plans to marry out of the country my husband and I went ahead and made plans to go to the wedding. In the back of my mind I knew something was going to happen and it did ... several days before we were to leave my dad, who was the primary caregiver for my mother, fell and broke his hip. He required surgery and is still in a rehab facility. I questioned whether I should go on the trip and to my son's wedding. The wise advice I got from this forum really helped and I followed the advice and went on the trip, celebrated my son's wedding and had a wonderful time. I bought a international calling plan so I could talk to Dad every day, which helped. Also helping the situation was the fact that my brother was able to be with my parents and take of things while I was away. I went when I returned and have just returned from another trip (they are 6 hours away). Do you have someone who can be there and check on your dad while you are away? Your dad is telling you to go and you should really consider what he says. My dad, too, told me to go. I think he would have felt bad if we had canceled our plans because of him.
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I had a situation somewhat like yours. My dad was in the Air Force and we traveled the states and Europe. His wish was to see me see all 50 states as I told him when I was very little that I would like to do that. When he got older, I had been in all but Alaska and Hawaii. He told me several years in a row to go to Hawaii because he wanted me to see Hawaii before he passed. I told him each time that our finances were low so couldn't afford to go. On our 23rd wedding anniversary, he gave us a card with a check with Hawaii trip written on it. It was the best thing ever. I made all the arrangements early to be in Hawaii on the Fourth of July. During the time of getting the gift until it was time to leave, my dad got very ill and was in and out of the hospital many times. I told him that I needed to cancel the trip to be with him. I was his only relative. He told me he would be fine and he would be here waiting when we got back from Hawaii. Though worried, we went and celebrated our marriage and his life. When we returned, he was waiting for me. Fortunately, he was with us for for 4 more months. He was happy we went with his wishes and said, "God kept me here to see you return from your trip." Since it is your father's wishes that you go, you should take your son on your planned adventure. God will keep your dad safe until your arrival home. Have a wonderful adventure!! Your dad will be in my prayers. Take care and have fun.
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I have a friend who is a missionary and while he was out of the country, his dad passed away. To my understanding, this was not expected. I have known people who have simply gone to work to find their loved one has passed and in the instance of my husband, for the last year and a half he receives phone calls about his dad that, "this could be it...it could be the moment he passes." Yes, the last year and a half.
None of us knows the day, the hour, the moment. There have been people sent home with cancer and told they had six months to live and six years later, they are still going.
My husband received another rush phone call the other day and said, "I will get there when I can but I'm not dropping everything anymore. I saw him this morning and if it was for me to be with him when he passed then God would have took him then." The Angel of Death doesn't need us to be there.
I have been in your position and life turns into a waiting pattern. Waiting for that last call, that last breath. And sometimes waiting turns into months and in our case into years. I look back on things I was waiting for. Those moments won't ever come again.
Enjoy your son. Your dad has lived his life and I am guessing enjoyed things with you. If your son is set on not going, don't force him but don't feel guilty if you go. There will be other occassions and events in your son's life. Are you going to miss those because you are waiting for death while not living yourself?
You said your dad is your hero and your best friend and he says you should go. That says a lot about the integrity of your father and this trip that you and your son have planned says that he raised a son who is a loving father too.
Hugs to you and your family and God Bless.
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You are faced with a difficult situation. Our intuition is really important and your gut is telling you something. That said, let me ask a few questions:

1) How long is your adventure planned with you son? When is your scheduled departure date?

2) What has hospice said about your father?

3) If you go on holiday, can you perhaps video Skype with your father with the help of another?

I pray you have the wisdom you need to make a right decision. Either way, it sounds like you have cultivated a loving and genuine relationship with your father and son. What a blessing. That will remain the same no matter what the outcome.

Peace and comfort to you and your family.


2)
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First of all, just because your dad is on Hospice doesn't tell us if he's on death's door. Is he going to die at any time? That makes a big difference I think. If indeed he could keel over and die at any moment, then I for one wouldn't go anywhere. BUT if this is ongoing and he's holding his own so to speak, then I think if I had people I trusted to take care of him while I was gone, then I'd go. No one knows exactly when a person is going to die, but there are indicators when it's imminent, after a long illness especially. All you can do is make an educated guess, that's all anyone can do.
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