Sunday, October 12, 2014

What I Know For Sure

I recently downloaded Oprah's new book titled "What I Know For Sure."  I like Oprah but honestly never thought I'd read one of her books. I guess this particularly one spoke to me on some sort of level... the title only, maybe. I've read about half of it, the simplicity and key points and messages while somewhat interesting were typical and what you'd think she would write about life and her experiences, even the chapter titles didn't seem very original. But at least it kept my mind off of flying and distracted me from every bump and the unexpected turbulence that you always seem to encounter before the pilot turns on the seat belt light. The book wasn't filled with the insight and wisdom I'd hoped to gleam from it but a few chapters did resonate and get me thinking. Subconsciously maybe it prepared me for what I was about to experience, got me thinking in a more spiritual way. I read it while on my way to Florida on a red eye in hopes of having the chance to see my father one last time to tell him I love him and that I'll miss him.  That didn't happen. He passed away almost minutes after I boarded my flight from SEA to MCO. I didn't know until my brother texted me and told me he would be picking me up and not my Aunt. I didn't ask, wanted to hear of his passing in person. I didn't want to breakdown on the airplane before row 36 had a chance to deplane... but I knew.

It has been almost a month since he passed away. I still cry everyday and know I will for many more days and months and years to come. I was able to spend five weeks with him this past summer and am grateful for this time. During my visit I knew that his health was deteriorating, he was in bed most of the day, barely walking and interacting with us, sleeping so much. While I was there he lost his hair in two days and at his weekly chemo treatment was told that the chemo was now doing more harm than good. That was devastating. That was when reality hit us all. My Dad maintained his strength, his dignity and sense of humor. He would often say to my mom, "I'm not dying today." He fought cancer for seven years, much longer than anyone expected, his doctors were amazed by his results and are now using his specific treatment for other patients. He was so strong, it brings me to tears to think of his fight, the pain he tolerated for so many years. For so long he seemed as if he was fine that the odds were in his favor, that he would beat this or be with us for many more years... I think we all, my brother and sister, even my mom forgot he was even fighting cancer.

So...what do I know for sure?

I know that I will miss him everyday. I will wish everyday that he was here to hug and laugh with, to watch a football game with and to see his grandsons grow up play baseball, graduate from college and have kids of their own.

I know that every time I see an older couple together my heart will ache. It will ache for my mom who has lost her life partner and will not experience the feeling of growing old with my father. Her dreams shattered by cancer. I know that she will forever love him and miss him and wish she was with him every day.

I know that I will never be the same, that life will never be the same. I know that for my siblings, my mom, and me our lives have forever been changed and we will never be the people we were. We will never experience the same joys that we did when we were all together.

I know that he was a wonderful father and I wished I would have told him this more. He overcame so much to be the man he was, a hardworking, honest, and loving husband and father. He wanted nothing more than to make our lives better and give us what he never had growing up.

I know that my kids will miss out on so much not having the chance to really know him. I'm deeply saddened by the fact that my boys will not know him as adults, not have the chance to spend more time with him.

I know that I will forever try to learn and see the positive from this experience, however hard that may be. It's difficult to see the good in all of this but I will strive to do it for my sake, my family, my mom. I will try to be the person he would want me to be and would be proud of.

I know that I am so sick and tired of thinking of cancer, hearing of people fighting and dying from all kinds of cancer, seeing the commercials for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America with the smiling lady talking about how her treatment saved her life. I am sick and tired of thinking I have cancer whenever I have an ache or pain. I am tired of living in fear of cancer and while I know I have to let this go and that I can't live this way I know that cancer will forever be in my life, it will forever be a part of who I am and honestly this pisses me off.

This is what I know for sure, right now. I think Oprah would be proud.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's Been Awhile....

It HAS been awhile that is for sure... over two years since my last post. wow. I will not even attempt to do a catch up but rather just jump back in. I can't even begin to remember what life was all about back in May 2012... but I bet I can guess like most working moms out there life was hectic, chaotic and I was running myself ragged trying to balance full-time work, my boys (all three of them!), etc... thus the lack of free time to write. Life is surely different now. I'm grateful for that more than I can say.

Our decision this summer to regroup, simplify and go back to our "roots" if you will has been such a blessing for may reasons. There's a saying that some things just work out for the best or something like that and that is so true for us. I will admit there were many sleepless nights debating our decision to sell our "dream house," move our family from our home to a brand new town, although not new to us it would be new to Chase and Colby, a brand new school, new neighborhood, new friends, and begin an almost new life. But sometimes you just gotta take a chance and let everything else fall into place.  Of course, C&C are young enough that the move was definitely doable and without much resistance. To our surprise and much delight, Chase, was most excited about starting a new school and meeting new friends even though he had a wonderful year in Kindergarten he was up for new adventure.... Colby was also excited about moving to the "Blue House" and going to "Momma' School."

It's funny how a glass of wine (or two, or three...) and a truly honest conversation with your husband about what you want out of life for you, him, your kids can totally change your life in a matter of weeks. And, a lot of guts to dive in and take on a few risks.

I've never thought of myself as a stay-at-home-mom. Never thought I'd have the opportunity to take on that role for our family but it was time for me to pony up and see if I have what it takes. Seriously, it's not at all that I haven't had respect for all the stay at home moms out there, I just didn't think I could do it and do it well. Frankly, it terrified me a bit. Working and being in a professional environment was almost a relief even though it came with a huge amount of guilt came every day I would drop the boys off at daycare. I truly believed, and still do as I'm only a few weeks in, that my boys were learning way more from professionals at daycare and preschool than they would with me at home... But, it was time to let go of a job that was unfulfilling, demanding, and not providing the growth I needed and decide where I wanted to focus the precious minutes, hours, days I have here on this earth. Of course, many factors came into play with this life change and deciding to downsize significantly and move back into our first house (all 1,495 sq. ft. of it!) was probably the most difficult part of it all. But, I'm happy to report the whole process has been quite rewarding and therapeutic actually. There's just something about purging and getting rid of all your crap that is just amazing! And, most importantly what we had hoped would happen our dream really and the entire reason that we chose to change our lives is happening albeit we've only been moved and together in the house for about 4 weeks, we're already spending more time together rather than in separate rooms at opposite ends of the house and enjoying more home cooked family meals rather than going out EVERY night is already our new routine. It has been very worth it.

So I suppose I recapped a bit.. and now must refocus my energy on my four year old who has finished up with his "letter of the day" worksheets and has found my label maker (btw, I LOVE my label maker!!! It is sacred!) and is making a ton of labels like GUHHY and YUY5WT9IPKHT))i7RFWQRSA.... Ugh!

More to come..... glad to be back at it!