Does this come in striped?
It’s never the things you think it’s going to be.
It’s not the sappy Today Show stories about the father who is dying and films a first dance with his 16-year-old daughter for her eventual wedding.
It’s not the stories about losing a parent to cancer.
It’s not the article in New York Magazine about the Oncologist who chronicles losing his wife to cancer (yeah, I don’t know why I read it either… clearly, I’m an embrace the pain type, sigh).
It’s every time I see an old guy on the street. Watching older men struggle takes me so quickly back to this time last year; the last time I saw my father. Thankfully, it’s sunglasses season outside, so no one on the street can tell I’m crying.
It’s the awkwardness with my mother. We’ve never been close, I’ve always meshed more with my father, but now I feel responsible for her. It’s a feeling I couldn’t have predicted and probably the hardest part of this whole thing.
The past 12 months have been incredibly busy and active and memorable. But they’ve also been a roller coaster of emotions and moments of breathless pain. It’s true what they say about grief: it eventually normalizes into a new reality. One where your father is dead and you still don’t quite know how to be close to your mom and you cry when you see old guys on the street. But as long as you’re trying, it’s all ok.
"If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive." —Elbert Hubbard
I’m really glad I married the best advice giver I’ve ever met.
A few Friday night things, before I hit the hay
- Tonight, I made fancy chocolate-covered gummi bears for a friend’s baby shower tomorrow (and for me, obviously). They look vaguely like poop, but are delicious so… success?
- This week I went to Raleigh, NC for like 27 hours for work and all but fell in love with the triangle. Delicious food, cute towns, beautiful everywhere. If I didn’t have a full-time ban on living in the southeast, it would certainly be an option.
- The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I want ev-ery-thing. I kind of wish my birthday was in July so I would have an excuse to go cray.
- I’ve read a number of excellent books lately, but all of them are serious/intense/sad. I’ve also been in a serious/intense/sad mood, unrelated. But the books aren’t helping. Have a funny book to recommend? (Not by Tina or Mindy or anything like that, because I’ve already read those!)
I’m not a big fan of whispery posts but.
- me: so you know how I haven't smacked anyone today?
I did not dream of being a TV writer. Never, not once when I was here in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, did I say to myself, “Self, I want to write TV.”
You know what I wanted to be? I wanted to be Nobel Prize Winning Author Toni Morrison. That was my dream. I blue sky-ed it like crazy. I dreamed and dreamed. And while I was dreaming, I was living in my sister’s basement. Dreamers often end up living in the basements of relatives, fyi. Anyway, there I was in that basement, I was dreaming of being Nobel Prize Winning Author Toni Morrison. Guess what? I couldn’t be Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Because Toni Morrison already had that job and she wasn’t interested in giving it up. One day I was sitting in that basement and I read an article in the NY Times that said it was harder to get into USC Film School than it was to get into Harvard Law School. I could dream about being Toni Morrison. Or I could do. At film school, I discovered an entirely new way of telling stories. A way that suited me. A way that brought me joy. A way that flipped this switch in my brain and changed the way I saw the world. Years later, I had dinner with Toni Morrison. All she wanted to talk about was Grey’s Anatomy. That never would have happened if I hadn’t stopped dreaming of becoming her and gotten busy becoming myself. - Shonda Rhimes’ commencement speech at Dartmouth (via many other tumblrs) is fantastic and you should go read every word, but this part hit me.
toaster ovens and father’s day
it has been a little over 5 years since i lost my dad. by now, mentally preparing for father’s day is a routine. i know it’s coming, i know it’s going to be hard, but i can keep myself busy, and it’s “fine.”
it’s the unexpected that knocks you off your feet. like moving home and realizing that the toaster oven dad gave us for christmas 6 years ago is on its last leg. and really, really needs to be thrown out. and honestly considering just… hiding it in a closet because i can’t deal with throwing out something he gave me. something he would easily laugh at me for even considering. (i ended up donating it, and then drank a bottle of wine. dad would be proud.)
as time goes by, i won’t have any more silly household items from him. i was so lucky he was able to travel to raleigh, see our house, and experience our world. moving back home was bittersweet because while it means being surrounded by family, it also means anywhere we live going forward, dad will never get to see.
so while my preparation for the expected is “easier”, the lack of his footprint in our future is something i’ll never get used to.
Thank you, Luci.