4 Years…..

This past week marks 4 years since my Dad passed.  I never know what to say in posts like this.  After all….there are only so many things to say, and also so many things to say.  It’s always been a weird feeling, and I doubt that will ever change.  At the risk of repeating myself from year to year I’ll just say that cancer is a bitch and I’ve really had enough of it.

Cancer took the mother of one of my childhood friends this week as well.  I’ve gotten to the point of losing track of the friends and family I’ve lost to cancer.  It’s depressing, and it isn’t something that they teach you to deal with growing up.

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My family, right before Dad started his chemotherapy treatments.

Another One Bites the Dust….or Toilet

As it turns out, I’m not a great fish parent.  I have lost many a 22 cent Walmart goldfish to their watery graves.  I’m not quite sure what I do wrong as a fish parent.  I’m just gonna assume that fish have limited lifespans, and that they just die.

“It’s the ciiiirrrrcccllleee……the circle, of life.”

 

The most recent death was Blackpearl, the betta.  He was proceeded in death by his distant relative Captain Jack.  He is survived by his other distant relative, Bootstrap Bill.  Blackpearl had a rather interesting entrance into my life.  To share that story, I’ll share a little bit about ol’ Captain Jack.

Captain Jack died I think the day after Thanksgiving last year.  He was always such a good betta, slightly angry at you all the time.  He would always swim up to the front of his skull head bowl when you’d walk over to feed him.  He’d puff way up to look like a little badass, and then go full throttle after his food.  And then, he suddenly died.  Lil Sis and I found him floating dead with frosted over little fish eyes.  So, we did the only practical thing, we flushed him.  I’m not sure what else you’re supposed to do with a fish after he’s gone to the great bowl in the sky?  I suppose you could bury him if you’re so inclined, but that’s not really an option on the mostly frozen tundra that is SoDak around Thanksgiving time.

After a few days of mourning, the Bitch Faced Bestie and I went shopping for a new fish.  I settled on a nice sorta iridescent blue/green/purple little man, and in keeping with the pirate theme I named him Blackpearl.  Getting Blackpearl home was maybe more than his little fish self could handle.  The ride across town was uneventful, and Blackpearl hung out, I assume happily, in his cup in the cupholder of the truck.  Events took a drastic downturn upon arriving at home.  The BFB drove, so I had to exit the vehicle on the passenger side….obviously.  What isn’t so obvious is that because my drive way is mostly in the shade, coupled with the fact that I’m too lazy to buy salt, means that I exited the truck onto an ice skating rink.  I generally ignore this fact because when I drive, I park in the garage.  The ice rink alone might have been ok, expect that I was wearing my cowgirl boots….which are not widely known for their ice gripping abilities…..

This series of unfortunate events lead to me loosing my balance, and in the process….launching Blackpearl airborne.  He subsequently landed upside down in his cup…..halfway across my lawn…..in a snowbank.

Now, I’m not an animal expert, but I assume that an event of this traumatic nature would have an effect.  In Blackpearl’s case, I’m a tiny bit sure that the effect was maybe shock and some slight damage to his little brain.  He just didn’t really seem to want to be a fish after that.  I had him 10 months give or take, and in that time I think I only saw him eat once.  He rarely left the rocky bottom of his tank, and didn’t really appear to be living his best life.  To say that when I saw him floating upside down at the top of his tank the other day was a surprise, would be a lie.  Hopefully he’s moved on to a happier bowl, or ya know maybe he just likes chilling on rocks…..who really knows these things.

In any case, I was again left with an empty skull head.  So I went out betta shopping the other night, and brought home a new little man.  I managed to get him safely and uneventfully into the house and into his new home.  He seems quite happy, and has already munched down more food than I think Blackpearl ate in his whole life.  Please note that the photo below doesn’t really do him justice.  In person, he’s a cute pearl/grey with gold tipped fins that he like’s to flare to impress you…..or probably to try and intimidate you….cuz he’s a little badass like that!

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He’s fancy, he’s puffy……he’s Bootstrap Bill!

Spirit in the Sky

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I never know how to feel on days like today.

It’s almost too many emotions to pick apart and quantify.  I’ve always been good at quantitative analysis, so the fact that I don’t know how to explain my emotions on these days makes me almost as upset as the day itself.

  • I’m sad……but I’m not sure how sad I am, or how sad I’m supposed to be.
  • I’m nervous…….because I sometimes don’t want to talk about it when people ask, but how much of my feeling is nerves?
  • I’m jealous……of people who have their parents around, but don’t appreciate them.  Am I even supposed to be feeling that way?
  • I’m empathetic……..to the kids, many much younger than me, who’ve lost their parents.  This, more than the other emotions, has I think slowly taken up the bulk of my feelings on this day as time as passed.
  • I’m anxious……..about things in the future that I will need my Dad for, and he won’t be here when I need him.

 

This this what being an adult has come to?  If you open the door to death does it suddenly just swoop into your life and consume it?  I hope not, and most of the time I don’t think that at all!  However, in the past few weeks, it feels like death has circled around several of the people who’ve I’ve held very close during various phases of my life.  Two of my blood bank sisters now have to raise their children without loving fathers…..both taken far too young.  A high school acquaintance is left to raise a large family after her husband was taken.  A sudden death rocked not only Cornhusker nation, but the Main Squeeze’s family last week.  Sometimes, it just all feels like I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I live my life the way Dad wanted us to live in the “pre-death/post-cancer” life we as a family were handed, WE MOVE FORWARD!  We do everything we are supposed to do, and life as we had known it remained remarkably the same until it suddenly was not.

I guess in that way I watched my Dad fight cancer in much the same way he always wanted me to swim my competitive races.

Leave it all in the water, and if you can’t get out of the pool at the end, I’ll pull you out.”

I guess Dad just needed someone much bigger to pull him out when he was done with the race.

 

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So, I suppose I shall celebrate the day by working on some woodwork for my bedroom.  I might also get around to putting my “Fuck Cancer” sticker on the car.  I was once told I had earned the right to the sticker.  I’m not sure it’s a right I wanted to have earned, but I suppose there’s nothing to do now but embrace it.  Plus, “Fuck Cancer” is a true life statement!

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