Five years ago today, on April 29, 2009, my father, Jan Albert Iverson, passed away.
In August of 2007, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He hadn't smoked during his life. The cancer was a result of years of acid reflux problems.
On September 9, 2007, we traveled up to Oakland, California where my dad would have surgery to remove the cancerous tumor the next day.
We took this family photo the day before his surgery in Oakland. One of my sisters-in-law couldn't be with us. From left to right: my husband Brent, myself, my brother, my dad, my mom, my brother and his wife.
My dad's surgery took around 10-12 hours. The surgeon removed the cancerous tumor which was in the lower part of my dad's esophagus. After the surgery, my dad had radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He also had a feeding tube inserted in his stomach. During my dad's struggle with cancer and the complications associated with it, he lost about 100 pounds. He also seemed to age 20 years. A once active, vibrant man had become so frail. But, my dad was an inspiring example of enduring to the end. He patiently and bravely faced the trials he was going through.
These two pictures were taken only six months after my dad's surgery. We were celebrating his 72nd birthday.
This photo was taken on September of 2008, one year after my dad's surgery. He was hugging one of our sons.
I took a photography class in the fall of 2008 at a local junior college. As part of an assignment, I took this photo of my dad and mom. This was also taken in September of 2008. How much my dad's appearance had changed in just one year!
My dad became weaker and weaker over time. I stubbornly refused to believe that he he was going to die. I thought he would regain his strength when he was going to physical therapy. But, he was wasting away before our eyes.
I took a beginning Photoshop class in early 2009 at the same junior college I had taken the photography class. My dad passed away near the end of the semester. This was my final assignment for that class. It's titled "Broken Heart." I know it could have been much better, but I was just learning Photoshop at the time.
Because my dad was a Korean War veteran, he was buried with military honors.
We all miss my dad very much. But we know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be able to see and be with my dad again. Our family can be together for eternity. What comfort the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. This life is not the end. We can see and be with our loved ones again. That knowledge is what helps with the grief and sadness of missing our family members when they pass away.
To end this post, I'll leave you with a few pictures of my dad from happier times before his cancer diagnosis.
This was taken in March of 2006 at a local restaurant. We were celebrating my dad's 70th birthday.
Here's a photo of my dad goofing around with his one of his brothers. My dad is the one sitting in the chair.
These next three are photos of my dad with some of his grandchildren when they were little kids.
My dad loved his family and we love him.
Thanks for reading!
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