22 Aprlesser of two evils?
he bounced back from two major surgeries only to watch it come back. and ultimately, take over his body.
he died on a wednesday morning in a big bed less than an hour after i said my final goodbye to him. my brother was at his side.
i hear people discuss which is preferred: to lose a loved one unexpectedly, in a suddenly your life is very different moment…not giving you a chance to say goodbye. or i’m sorry. or i’ll be seeing you…
or is it less painful to watch your loved one slowly fade from this life to the next, often in pain, sometimes great pain, breaking your heart over and over? yes, it’s painful…but it’s a chance to say goodbye.
i’ve had that debate myself and i never come to any conclusive decision…what’s easier? which hurts less? i finally came to the conclusion that i had a little bit of both. i knew my dad had cancer for 3 years…and for 3 years, we managed it. he lived with it. we changed his diet. we changed his lifestyle. we bickered. we took a cruise. we debated. we had dance parties. we learned together. most of all, we loved.
3 years of fighting…and a miraculous recovery from a terribly invasive surgery only to find that 6 months later the cancer was back and stronger than ever before. the doctors all said the cancer was going to take his life. they suggested hospice. we thought they were wrong.
didn’t they know how strong my dad was?
didn’t they know how long we’d been fighting this battle already?
didn’t they know about how he was a miracle and nothing could beat him?
his decline was rapid (something that is bittersweet). within a couple months of this news, he was gone.
i can’t pretend i didn’t feel the balance of the universe shift as i watched my brother help change my dad’s diaper. or from helping lift him out of bed in his final days.
i could see him fading, but after 3 years i was still holding on to a modicum of hope that he would miraculously recover. leading up to the moment he took his last breath. even though we knew it was coming, it felt like he’d been taken in an instant, a tragedy unforeseen, unpredicted. and certainly i was unprepared.
lesser of two evils? i can’t speak on that because i don’t believe there’s a good way to lose someone you love.
i do believe the time together changed us for the better. it made us more aware of each moment we have with the people in our lives.
my dad always saw the possibilities in every challenge. he was (overly) optimistic and valued love over all else. i see these traits in myself.
in the end, when cancer stripped my baba of his health, these ideals were something it could not take, something so strong that it outlived even him.
15 Apropen marriage.
backstory: this is jada pinkett smith on how trust & love coexist, regarding her statement that she lets will smith do as he pleases as long as he can look himself in the mirror at the end of the day. people interpreted that to mean that they have an open marriage.
Do we believe loving someone means owning them? Do we believe that ownership is the reason someone should “behave”? Do we believe that all the expectations, conditions, and underlying threats of “you better act right or else” keep one honest and true? Do we believe that we can have meaningful relationships with people who have not defined nor live by the integrity of his or her higher self? What of unconditional love? Or does love look like, feel like, and operate as enslavement? Do we believe that the more control we put on someone the safer we are? What of TRUST and LOVE?
Should we be married to individuals who can not be responsible for themselves and their families within their freedom? Should we be in relationships with individuals who we can not entrust to their own values, integrity, and LOVE…for us???
Here is how I will change my statement…Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.
14 Aprforget me not.
my dad moved into his own house a mere 6 minutes away from my mom’s. it was ideal…in a not commonly ideal situation. i didn’t really mind their split. it just gave me an extra bedroom and a place to escape from whichever parent i needed to get away from (read: my mom…never ever my dad).
it was 1991 and posters were way cool. so, my dad and i popped on over to the nearby wherehouse and bought the gem pictured above. as soon as we got home, i put it up on my door. i loved it. i loved the heart in the rose stem. i loved the wild make-up. (don’t judge me, it was the early 90′s)
eventually i grew out of the poster. my dad never took it down though, even after i switched to a different bedroom in his home. and for years afterward, i would hear him tell the story to other people that i picked out a poster with the words ‘forget me not’ on it…he interpreted it to mean that i feared he would forget me. which couldn’t be further from the truth. i never corrected his story. i loved his version. i loved his interpretation of my childhood whim.
he told the story up until he was no longer able to speak…he even told it to me sometimes “remember when you said ‘forget me not?’”
just like i loved his interpretation, i hope he loves mine.
of bringing him forget-me-nots.
it just seems appropriate.
14 Apra year and a day.
like every sunday morning, i thought about what i would be doing with my dad today.
i plopped down at my computer to write and found myself flooded with thoughts of him, but couldn’t find the right words to convey my feelings.
i started rummaging through old files and found this, dated 4/13/12:
i woke up this morning and planned to go to the gym, but instead i started to write…
and i wanted to write about the thing that i had been avoiding writing about: my dad’s cancer.
sunday was always our day. my brother, him, and me. it seemed appropriate that sunday would be the day i’d confront my dad’s mortality and put my thoughts to paper.
but i couldn’t do it.
and i became frustrated.
and so instead i cried.
i hate how easily the tears flow when the words won’t.
and while the overtones are sad, it didn’t make me blue.
sure it’s sunday, and sure it’s the day i miss baba most, but that’s ok.
i can’t change it, and that’s ok.
it wouldn’t change the fact that I still miss my dad almost a year later. or that i would still miss him a little bit every single day. it also wouldn’t change the fact that at every bit of laughter, every soccer game, every sunday, every fight with my mom, every accomplishment, every disappointment, and everything in between, i still close my eyes and wish that he were next to me. and, well, that’s ok.
on a recent trip with my girlfriends i cried to my best friend about how i missed my dad and she said ‘that’s ok.’ so simple. and so oddly liberating. i don’t think she knows how her two simple words impacted me…giving me permission to feel how i feel. even when it doesn’t feel appropriate.
so it’s sunday, i miss my dad. and i’ve learned that there is no right way or wrong way to grieve, there is only your way, and there is my way.
28 Febi look for you.
11 Janthat’s my #man.
11 Jandear peter.
i’ve always found your storyline amusing…but even as a little girl i was frustrated with your inability to grow up, leave neverland, and love wendy (and NOT like a mother).
as a (still little and arguably wiser) adult, i find your refusal of maturity downright irritating (albeit charming..and whimsical). you remind me of just about every guy i’ve ever dated. a discerning fact that is painfully obvious by my ex-boyfriend’s facebook posts (i’ve removed him from my feed at least 5 times. facebook, please stop changing your settings on a weekly basis). i try not to be judgmental, i really do…but if you’re over 30 and posting about getting wasted every weekend and acting like a frat boy, i don’t think you sound cool. i think you sound pathetic. and because i once dated you i start questioning my own judgement.
…but then i realize, i grew up. i outgrew you. you were a phase.
great white buffalo.
guys who don’t grow up can be fun…but they can’t (usually) be ‘the one’
the ex loved a good time. but he seemed so lost and had never been serious about a career. he had several low-level jobs since i’d known him. life wass one big party. he was unreliable (and that’s putting it mildly). the only kind of follow-through he knew about involved his golf swing.
is it that difficult to achieve a healthy balance between work & play, seriousness & silliness?
don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having fun. no woman (that i know) wants to be with someone who is perpetually uptight. but when fun-loving & lighthearted cross over into unreliable & irresponsible, the teeter-totter lands on the ground with a painful thud. and the girlfriend is the one left with bruises (or depleted bank account, in this instance).
in the movie version of ‘peter pan’, the iconic man-child tells his new lady friend, “forget about them, wendy. forget them all, and come with me where you’ll never, never have to worry about grown-up things again.”
truth be told, despite the fact that she didn’t end up submitting to peter, wendy was too much of a pushover for me to identify with anyway. i much prefer tiger lily. she’s stubborn, she’s adventurous, she’s loyal, and she dances!
my advice: if a charming, fun-loving man-child says something like the above to you, think twice about becoming a resident of never-neverland. i will admit that (at the time) the departure of my ex was a devastating heartbreak, but looking back now all i think is ‘AMEN! there IS a reason for everything’
it’s six years later and the aforementioned ex hasn’t grown up a bit…although i think he is beginning to grow out…of his hair. (smirk)
happy 2013! the highlight of my past year was bonding with the magical dolphin pictured here. i forgot her name so i have been affectionately referring to her as: tuna. quite a catchy name for my mammal pal, in my opinion.
my hunky boyfriend and i had the pleasure of cuddling with these loving creatures on a recent vacation. which brought me to the conclusion that i definitely need a pet dolphin…
aside from the time spent in the water with my new best friends, i particularly enjoyed the moment when i overheard the following conversation.
adorable little girl (to her parents while looking through photos from people playing with the dolphins): she looks like princess jasmine!
me (to my hunk): is she talking about ME?!
my hunk: of course she is.
and I’ve been reminding him ever since.
“she said i look like princess jasmine” has been repeated countless times since. no time for modesty!
which is why it was especially funny the other day when my boyfriend said something about an ex-girlfriend and i told him it wasn’t my fault his dating history read like a line-up of the seven dwarves:
my point is: he ain’t never had a (girl)friend like me (hair flip).
i mean, we can’t all be princesses.