Fourteen Years Gone

24153_419790996958_1767782_n-2My father passed away fourteen years ago today, and it strikes me that he has now been gone more than a quarter of my life. Something about that is beyond bizarre to me, and yet his influence is felt every single day. I feel him in my attitude, the way I talk, and the manner in which I approach life itself.

So much has happened since he died – so many things I wish I could tell him. He wouldn’t say much in response. Never a big conversationalist, he would most likely nod or smile, or scowl dependent on the subject matter. He could get exasperated pretty easy, but I like to think he would have mellowed a bit more with age.

My mother always says that my father would never have survived in these times. He’d find them too upsetting, the world too crazy. I don’t know – he was pretty realistic. As an engineer, he looked at life strategically and was a straight shooter in his response to what life handed him. Or maybe she just knew him so much better than me and perhaps his failing health was in response to the world around him and his internal strife in viewing it.

Maybe I just idealize the man that has always meant the most to me. Continue reading “Fourteen Years Gone”

A Not-So-Chance Encounter

heartfeltThere’s seldom a time when I am not aware of the blessings I have, and never more so than during the holiday season when the abundance of my own life seems overflowing in comparison to what so many others are experiencing.

Today was one of reflection as I started the day in a somber mood, remembering a dear friend who passed away unexpectedly seven years ago this very day. I had much to do early in the day, working on an end-of-term final paper and figuring out where I stood with my holiday preparations before heading off to Barnes & Noble to engage in volunteer gift-wrapping to benefit a nonprofit transitional housing program. In thinking about the day, I felt good to be doing something for others and at a place that my friend loved so much, too. It was the type of activity that she and I might have done together and most likely would have done many times over the years had she been here to still participate. Continue reading “A Not-So-Chance Encounter”

Thirteen Years Ago Today

750px-Anaplastic_large_cell_lymphoma_-_cropped_-_very_high_magThirteen years ago today, I found out I had cancer.

Here’s the surprising thing—I had no idea what the exact date was until a little while ago. I knew it sometime in late February, but it is only today when I came across a copy of the email sent to my surgeon and a print-out the doctor gave me to give me some background on this disease I was diagnosed with that I realized the date. And even more surprising, it’s today’s date.

Continue reading “Thirteen Years Ago Today”

Getting Through It

256px-Anaplastic_large_cell_lymphoma_-_high_magHaving survived stage 3 anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, at times it’s as if it never really happened to me even as it remains an integral part of who I am.

In the darkest days of that illness, while I did indeed worry if I would get through it, there was still a part of me that believed that this was just going to be one more twist in the legend of my own life and in the long run, it would be insignificant in the face of everything else still to come.

I don’t dwell much on that time, but every now and then, something brings it all back. The other night was one of those times. I watched the movie “50/50” with one of my sons and my daughter.  I had wanted very much to see this movie, and had been looking forward to it for some time. If you’re not familiar with the plot, the main character, played so well by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a 27-year old man who finds he has advanced stage cancer and has a 50/50 chance of getting through it. Thank goodness, he did.

Continue reading “Getting Through It”