It's been a long time since I have Blogged but have come to realize that if I do not get back to Blogging now, I probably won't ever. The last 8 months have been life changing for me. I've been very hesitant about sharing my heartbreak but now know that if I don't, part of me will just keep everything bottled up and I won't be free to continue living life to the fullest and expressing myself in my art and love of Crazy Quilting and dyeing lace. I've struggled for months on writing on my Blog, it seems every time I started, the tears blinded me from typing.
Last November I was one of those people who believed "not in my family" would we ever hear that dreaded word "Cancer". It is true, it's been said "every family will be afflicted sooner or later". I got a call from my mom telling me that my daddy had Stage 3 Colon Cancer. My heart was crushed. In January I flew down to help take care of my daddy and be there for my mom. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be able to handle what I did , never did I think I would be strong enough to do things I'd never done before - you have to be a quick learner in every aspect of taking care of someone who is terminally ill. With the help of my sister Anita and BIL John, we made my dad comfortable and during his last days, he knew he was loved.
A bit about my daddy. My Daddy, Peter Russell Boyce, was a quiet, private man and ever the English gentleman.. He was raised in England and at the age of 16 came to the US. He served in the USAF for 24 years and another 30+ years he worked for the Civil Service. He met my mother in 1952 when I was just 2 months old and married her 2 weeks later. He gave me the lust for travel as we were lucky enough to travel all through the United States and live in places like Lybia and Spain. Holding his hand and promising him I would never ever forget him, he passed away on March 16th, exactly one month after his 87th Birthday.
At the age of 40 I met my Biological father, Nicholas Philip Chantiles for the first time. I found out about him when I was 18 and it was then that I found out that my real name was not Barbara Lee , but Nicki Lee ...... hence me going by 2 different names . Meeting him was so very exciting - not only did I finally look like someone, I found out that I was of Greek heritage. Nick was "Dad" to me. He welcomed me into his life with open arms as did my whole Greek family. For my 50th Birthday he took me to Greece for 2 weeks to meet all of my Greek relatives, a trip that will forever be in my heart. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time getting to know him and learning about a family I had never known. Sadly, My "Dad" Nick passed away just 2 months after my "Daddy" on May 29th.
Life has a way of taking and giving. I truly believe that these 2 wonderful men have made me who I am and I'm so very grateful and proud to be called their daughter - Barbara or Nicki . They are both now at peace and free from any pain and I know in my heart they would want me to go on and enjoy life. The tears will continue to flow, my heart will slowly mend but the love I have for my Daddy and my Dad will never end. I promise, I will never forget you and will always love you both ... thank you for being my fathers.