Today is a day of great reflection for me. It would be my father’s 69th birthday if he were alive today. The sad truth is that he is no longer with us and hasn’t been since he was 44.
My father had been suffering from severe headaches for quite some time. He’d been to an eye doctor as the headache was always behind them, but the doctor told him that his vision was fine and sent him on his way. After several more weeks of complaining about these headaches, and asking for toys when he meant advil, my mother booked him an appointment with a different optometrist for his eyes.
It was during the test where they blow air into your eye to take the picture that our lives changed so drastically. The optometrist found something there behind his right eye and sent my parents to the hospital for an MRI.
The day is so ingrained in my brain. It was my mother’s birthday, March 24, 1989. I was 9 years old and was currently making my mother a boondoggle keychain for her birthday.
While the keychain isn’t quite so significant, it is as attached the next memories as everything else.
My sister and I were in school at the time of everything. We were picked up by our Uncle and taken to the local hospital to meet up with our mother. That is where she broke the news to us, our father had a brain tumor.
It was located behind his eyes and had wrapped its self around his actual eyeball and his brain. Later we would discover the fact that it was cancerous, after his first of many surgeries.
My father was only a few months from his 39th birthday when this was all discovered. I won’t go into the torment or how many surgeries, the months we all spent at the hospital while he fought this. However, I will say that he fought it for 5 years before it finally took him. He passed one week before his 44th birthday.
Now, you may wonder why this has brought on so much thought. I am currently 39, my birthday only a few months. I don’t consider myself all that old.
I realize people have lost their lives much younger than my father, but they were not as close to me as he was, so it is his death that impacts me the most.
To know I am at the same age as my father when he was faced with such a horrid diagnosis. He had a cancerous brain tumor. At the age of 9, I don’t think I quite realize the vast scope of it, or how much the next few years would have such a large impact on my life.
You also never realize quite how many crucial coping mechanism you need are developed during those years. Those have a vast affect on your grown up life and they are things I’m still working on getting a better handle on even now as a grown adult.
The thought of being the same age as my father when his life changed so much and was faced with his own mortality makes me really think about my own life. There are so many things that I still want to do. Like go to Ireland.
Please don’t ask why that is. I am drawn there and I can’t explain why. It is the same way that I want a Great Dane dog. I’m not sure what it is about any of it, but it feels like they are a part of me.
Anyway, the list of things that I want to do still are vast. There are so many books I still want to write. My list of things I want to accomplish is quite large.
As I sit and think about how quickly life could change, I realize all my time of procrastination and wasting my time isn’t helping me accomplish my goals. Now, I know people need time to relax. By all means that isn’t what I’m talking about.
But, I spend a lot of time doing nothing and procrastinating doing the things I say I want to accomplish. You’d think given my thoughts it would light a bigger flame under my behind, but somehow I remain in a state of procrastination.
Life is so short and you simply don’t know when your number will be up. So, with that, I will make sure to procrastinate less. Celebrate life more. Love with all that I have.
Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.