08
Aug

Back where I belong.

The tagline I thought up when I started this blog was “Tales of a Chicago girl in a LA world.” Well, this girl has found herself back home.

Two months ago, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A few weeks later, I packed up my suitcase, left Los Angeles, and flew back to Chicago with a one-way ticket. Hence, the radio silence for the last few months.

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would write about what’s been going on. For one, I didn’t want to betray my dad’s privacy. Second, I really, really didn’t want to spend more time writing about something that’s been on my mind every minute of every hour since May 31, the day I was told that a mass had been found in my dad’s lung. But I missed my blog.

Thing is, I talk about my life on the blog… and my dad for that matter. I knew that if I were to start writing again, it would be disingenuous to exclude my dad’s illness from my entries. So here I am.

I figured this was as good a time as any to restart the blog because this weekend my dad and I will officially become roomies. After more than a decade of living parent-free, I can only imagine the hijinks that will ensue once I move in. Why, you ask, after being back in Chicago for more than a month haven’t I already moved in with him? Well, I pay my bills by writing for the World Wide Web, and my dad doesn’t even have an email address, let alone a computer or Internet connection at his place. When I asked if he could set up wifi for me, he repeated, “Hifi? What’s that?” So for the last few weeks, I’ve been bouncing from house to house of no less than four crazyawesomeamazingwonderful friends who would probably just let me become a permanent resident at any of their homes if I asked. As of today, though, my dad’s condo is officially online. So now my nomadic existence comes to an end and a new adventure begins.

To state the obvious, cancer blows. My plan is not to focus on it – at least, not on the blog. Whether or not you have been touched by this illness, I think we can all agree that it’s horrible. I don’t know if I have anything original to contribute to the “how to cope with cancer” conversation. I’m still figuring that out anyway, so my strategy is to concentrate on everything else. Like how to cope with my dad’s incessant interest in watching golf. He has about a thousand channels – an Internet novice, yes, but my father is no stranger to the wonders of cable – yet if golf is on TV, he must watch it. To me, watching golf for five minutes is like getting stabbed with a million tiny tees for five days. I’m not so sure how this roomie situation will work out.

I’m also not sure just how long I will be in Chicago. For as long as my dad needs me? For as long as I can? Forever if it meant that my dad would be okay?

The other day he asked if I was keeping up with the blog. I tried to answer honestly without somehow making him feel responsible for why I wasn’t updating it. Then about as awkwardly as you could imagine, I asked if I could talk about his condition. His answer? “Sure. Tell everyone to send me a dollar.”

That’s the other reason why I decided to go back to the blog. My dad is awesome. I’m sure other people feel the same way about their fathers, and far be it from me to disagree. I don’t think dads being awesome need be an either-or proposition among sons and daughters. But instead of waiting until the day that I don’t want to think about to tell everyone of my amazing dad, I’d thought I’d start now. Plus, I promise it’ll make for much easier reading. If I were to write about how awesome my dad is in a single post, I might break the Internet. It’d be that long.

If you’d rather not read about some guy you don’t know, and many of you have never met my father, I get it. And to be honest, I probably won’t be able to help some sad stuff from creeping in every once in a while. I don’t blame you if you’d rather use your free time to look at kitten memes. But if I may offer a rebuttal… This blog is about the small, stupid, and sometimes happy stuff that happens in life. To be sure, my dad’s cancer diagnosis has made that mission harder. Though most definitely stupid, cancer is neither small nor happy. But even if he can’t beat his diagnosis, I will do my damnedest to make him and you and even myself smile in spite of it.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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18 Responses to “Change Of Scenery”

I look forward to your posts. Your dad sounds like an awesome guy that we could all learn something from. Hang in there and know that there are alot of people out there who love you. Including me!

August 8th, 2013

<3 Happy to hear that you've found your voice again. Love the blog. Love you. Share. Cry. Smile. Laugh. Start over. We'll all be taking the journey with you.

Gail
August 8th, 2013

So sorry to hear about your father! It makes sense that you are hesitant to write about it, but I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your perspective during this difficult time. Your dad sounds like a really great guy!

August 8th, 2013

Eileen, your friendship brings such a smile to my face! Love you, too!!! xoxo

Me
August 8th, 2013

Gail, your spirit brings me strength. Thank you so much for your kind words! Love you, sweet pea! xoxo

Me
August 8th, 2013

Thank you so much, Dan. I’m so excited for all the awesomeness happening with your Baby Time — and you rock for reading the blog even though I know you have a crazy busy schedule! 🙂

Me
August 8th, 2013

Can I look up kitten memes AND read your blog? If so, then I’m in! For the hard stuff, easy stuff, emotional stuff, funny stuff and everything in between. I miss you and send a million hugs!! xxxx

Annick
August 8th, 2013

this is awesome and honest and real. great job, you have a new fan. 😉

deepak
August 8th, 2013

Of course you can, sweet pea! Sending you a million hugs back!!! xoxoxo

Me
August 8th, 2013

Thank you so much, Deepak! I truly appreciate your super kind comment. 🙂

Me
August 8th, 2013

Hon, I wish I could be there to give you a hug. Your dad sounds amazing and I hope you know how much strength you’re giving him just by being there. Love you, miss you!

Thaphne
August 8th, 2013

Thank you so, so much, hon. Love and miss you, too… and I’ll be asking for that hug when I get back to LA! xo

Me
August 8th, 2013

Anna dear…good to read you’re back in Chicago for now. Hope we can be in touch. (I had overlooked your blog & Meghan just told me about your Dad tonight.) Please tell your Dad I’m willing to give him TWO dollars but only if he’ll let me take y’all out for lunch! Seriously, honey, you have my email info now so I hope you get in touch!

Lois Evenhouse Arthur
August 9th, 2013

Lois, you are amazing! Thank you so much for your overwhelming kindness… And lunch sounds lovely! I can’t wait! 🙂

Me
August 11th, 2013

This is perfect, Anna. Being there with your Dad is going to be so good for the both of you. But especially for him because having you around makes everything better!!

Kylah
August 13th, 2013

Anna, I am deeply sad to hear of your Dad’s illness but I am filled with joy that you are able to spend this time with him. About 3 months before my dad passed he and I had the chance to sit and talk until neither of us had a voice left. He told me stories about himself that I had never heard. He told me stories about my siblings before I was born. He shared with me in a way that I never thought possible because, well, we just never had that kind of relationship. From that day forward I had a different view of my Dad and I was glad I did. He died about 4 months later, very unexpectedly. I will forever cherish that night in August when we shared out lives, dreams and hopes. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know him that night and will never forget it. You will never regret your decision to spend this time with your Dad. I, of course, believe that it is never to late for recovery and I wish that for him and you. You will be in my thoughts on a daily basis. And you are welcome to come spend some time in Texas if you ever feel the urge. – Mary

Mary Augustine
August 14th, 2013

Kylah, love you so much, hon… Having you for a friend makes my life better! xo

Me
August 15th, 2013

Mary, thank you so much for sharing your story with me… The tears are a-flowing, but they’re good tears, I promise! 🙂 It has been far too long since I last saw you, so I would love to take advantage of that offer to stay in TX as soon as I can. 🙂

Me
August 15th, 2013