I watched a video today of Randy Pausch on Oprah. Granted, I’m not a fan of Oprah, but it was something we had to watch at work. Nevertheless, I realized how long its been since I’ve thought about my father—like really thought about him. There were things about Randy and his story that really struck a chord in my heart. I wonder how people can deal with news like that. How can you be told you only have so much time to live and deal with it? How do you make that decision not to be pitied, but to live your life to the fullest. For those of you that are unaware, my father was diagnosed with liver cancer on Saint Patrick’s Day two years ago. There’s a bitterness inside of me every time this “holiday” comes around.
Last year, I went to my parents house, and sat beside my father and smiled wide, and said, “dad, it’s been a year, isn’t that great?”
Now, I didn’t say that sarcastically. When he was diagnosed, they didn’t think he’d make it to august, and it was already a year, and I was thrilled. I still had my dad. How wonderful was that? But he didn’t think so. He was angry that I brought it up. To him, it was a year since they told him his life would soon end. It was a date he didn’t want to celebrate, a day he didn’t care to remember, but I did. See, I always remember dates. They hold merit to me, whether or not I want to remember them. Like the day I learned his cancer spread into his lungs. It was my 21st birthday. My grandmother’s funeral was on my 8th birthday. My father was diagnosed with cancer on st. patty’s day, my papa died on the 4th of July…see what I mean? I remember the bad. But how many times do we take into account the good in our lives?
So, today isn’t about my book. It isn’t about what is going on in the publishing world, it’s beyond that. Maybe today we can all sit back and think of something great that happened to us, besides an anniversary, or birthday. Something beyond the obvious, and smile—if only for a moment. Because for that moment we can live beyond the destruction of this world and be at ease.
Today I’ll remember my father. The smile on his face, the way his eyes squinted when he laughed, and how even as he suffered, he didn’t skip a beat—not once. Maybe that should be our inspiration. I know he inspired me. When he was diagnosed, my aunt Lilla bought bracelets, like the livestrong ones, but they’re royal blue and they read, I DO NOT FIGHT ALONE. You don’t. None of us do. Remember that. I still wear mine in remembrance of my father, and to know that I am never alone, I’ll never fight alone.
Have a great evening, and be strong.