This is a rough month for my family. It starts with father's day. Actually, the week before father's day, seems to always be "Awards Night" at the high school from which my brother's kids graduated. After dad died, we set up a scholarship in his memory. The emotions begin just before father's day when we present the award. THEN, Father's Day.
And then, his birthday: July 3rd. And then, July 19th, the day he died. Tons of emotions crammed into one month. I suspect it wouldn't be easier if these dates were spread out but I barely catch my breath from one sad reminder and the next one is upon me. I know my mom's heart is broken and I know she reads this blog every day. I hate that she is going to read this and be reminded. AS IF she isn't reminded every second of every.single.day. Some days, I just wish you weren't reading, mom...... I love you.....
I couldn't let the day go by without acknowledging it and sharing my feelings here. So much of what drives me is my dad. I spent lots of time with my mom in the weeks after his death going through his exceptionally organized and meticulous file cabinets. He was an attorney. And he did so much for so many, quietly, behind the scenes, without ANYONE ever knowing.... It was after he died, when we were looking through decades of records that we saw how many people he assisted, "pro bono" ..... And that was the selflessness that was my dad.....
He lived every moment of his life guided by one simple concept: Do the right thing. And he did. Always. Mostly without anyone even knowing. He was never motivated by an agenda. He didn't step up for the "glory" of recognition. He just did. Because that's what you do.
My dad was admired by many, respected by many more and LOVED by all. Today, and every day, he is missed.
I've "met" many people in the past eleven months and I have people I consider to be friends all over the world. From the people who are geographically right here, to those I've met who live clear across the country and to those I've only met in the blog world or on twitter, these are all real friends. Very real friends. Pure and sincere people who have steadied me when I faltered, who have picked my up when I was falling, who helped balance me when life made me dizzy. And people whose absolute kindness and support have, at times, brought tears to my eyes.
Back in November, I found that Erik remembered us at an event in Colorado:
And this past Friday? Joanne who lives in the UK...... blogged about her participation in the Race for Life and I saw this photo in the blog post:
There are simply no words to describe how touched I am to see things like this..... They bring tears to my eyes. Things like these remind me of my dad..... Selfless. Considerate. Kind. Supportive. Loving.
How does one say thank you? The only way I know how..... Pay it forward. And I shall. Stay tuned.
My commitment is to give voice to the METAvivors. One day a week, I will be writing about Metastatic Breast Cancer. It's still unfolding in my mind but in memory of those who died and in solidarity with those who are forgotten and ignored, I'm opening my big mouth......
Donna was eloquent in her impassioned plea and reminded me that those of us who can, should.
And I will.
Because, as my dad would tell me if he were here:
It's the right thing to do.