Archive of ‘my personal angels’ category

I love you, Dad.

Life begins with a promise. It is promised, when you are born, that one day you will die. You might spend 20 minutes on Earth, or revolve around the sun 60 years, or tomorrow, or 3 weeks from now. I guess in order to keep living, we pretend this isn’t true, like when you’re rereading a great book and try not to think about the ending you know is coming, so it won’t spoil the journey. There feels like there is always another tomorrow, and one after that, and the one after that…on and on unto the end of your imagination.

I became aware I was a mortal at a very young age. I was diagnosed with a genetic condition which predisposes me to tumors when I was 3 (that’s when I first remember it being explained to me). I became aware that tomorrow wasn’t promised. That there was only one promise the planet had yet to keep; that I would die. That we would all die. The first promise, my birth, had been fulfilled, and every moment was a gift. I lived every day after that with the intention of filling every second of existence with an infinite infinity of moments, memories, love.

It was easy. It was impossible. I failed. I succeed. I tried, though, and that’s the most important part. I try.

I tell my parents I love them, and hug and kiss them every night. I say goodnight, as though this might be the end of the Earth’s promise. That the tomorrow which is just dreams away might not be waiting for me. That tomorrow might move on without one of us. I’ve never told them that when I said “goodnight” and “je t’aime”, I was really whispering in my heart “goodbye”. I never wished to say a last goodbye.

So I am not wishing my father goodnight. Or goodbye. I am whispering to him with every breath we breathe together in our existence that I love him. And those are the words that have always meant everything and encompassed all.

I can’t even bring myself to type the word. That word. The word that is so final, so absolute, that once I type it, I won’t be able to see from the tears that roll down my chin. I’m not ready for a salt-stained keyboard. So I won’t. My father is taking a journey, a journey to a somewhere, a somewhere neither of us understands. He has stage 4 lymphoma. 2 weeks ago he was flummoxing me at Scrabble with his funny made-up words, eating dinner together, teasing me about how much onions I put in everything, walking, buying groceries, reading, snuggling with me. He was doing the ordinary things that make every moment extraordinary, and make up our infinity. He also went profoundly deaf, a side effect of the chemo. So we were also playing like the worst, most hysterical version of “Telephone” the planet has ever seen. So much was lost in translation, in deafness, but the love was not. Last week, we think he blacked out or his heart stopped, causing him to have a car crash (no one was hurt. not even him.). He went to ER, where he seemed alright, if a little confused and “odd”. But something as “off”. They admitted him, and he went downhill so quickly. He got a pacemaker, to combat the effects of the chemo, which were finally rearing their ugly head. After the surgery, he was very tired. A kind of tired which frightened me. Dad would wake up for a few minutes, maybe eat a little something, smile at me or say a little something, and then sleep again. Today he did that less. He is slowly walking away from me and I cannot catch up.

I’ve spent the past few days bawling at inopportune times, and wetting my dad’s pillow with tears (sorry-not-sorry). I need to make these moments even more infinitely infinite than they always have been. Because I need to store them in my heart.

I do not know how much time he has left with us. I never have. It is an unknowable thing, and we are blessed with this ignorance. Because the knowing would break us. It is breaking me. Cancer is terrifying because it makes you see the final promise looming ever-nearer.

He once told me he never imagined having children, but that he couldn’t imagine his life without me. <3

There is never enough time to be with the ones you love. A thousand lifetimes and the last “I love you’s” would still break my soul. I am so grateful for being a part of my Dad’s incredible journey on Earth.

And feel deep gratitude and love for all possible moments we’ve shared together, past, present and future <3.


Shooting Stars

Shooting star. Fallen angels. I like the idea. I grew up in a city, a loud city, and like all cities, they could always use a little more love. A lot more angels.

I’ve seen one shooting star. One. Not in a city where you can’t see the stars for the lights, but in little East Sooke. I witnessed an angel falling from heaven! I know exactly where that angel fell. When the star hit the earth, it shattered into many pieces and the pieces landed in the hearts of many beautiful people.
I have never met an angel before. I would have said that a year ago. I would have said I didn’t believe in the basic goodness of people. Everyone lied, cheated and stole anything you let near them. At least I thought they did.
And then…and then I got sick. And suddenly found myself in the playground of heavens’ fallen children. I am speaking of course of Nancy and Phil Smith. My aunt and uncle.  
My disbelief in angels ironically bit me back. I was a blood relative to the purest angels I’ve ever met. George Elliot wrote, “the golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand;the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”
Nancy flew out to help out her twin (my mom) and me with every day things. She acted like it was the only course of action. She became mom 2. I can’t put into words how much she saved my mind. That sounds weird, but sunny angels can be like that. When they laugh, it’s infectious. Their concern feels genuine. Selfless. I was proved wrong as soon as Nancy entered our home.
It wasn’t just coming here that shocked me. I was in for an even greater shock when she followed us to Seattle for the first, rough leg of the trip. She was there, with smiles, laughter, soup and crackers for me and for the soul. She played canasta with me and other games! It made my gradually slimming horizons open up a little more, letting me plan games. Nancy’s uplifting stories brought hope. I was more thankful than ever before. 
The Seattle ‘jaunt’ was only a first of lengthy trips. Being unable to fly due to my illness, angels, displaying wondrous driving skills, sped us to California. 
  I had Phil, angel of love, laughter, smiles, good hugs, wisdom, honesty. 
  I had Nancy, angel of love, laughter, smiles, canasta, warmth, stories and wonder. 
  I had Dad, angel of love, bear hugs, 6:30 am music acceptance, cooking, surprises and laughter.   And I had Mom, angel of love, affection, emotions, midnight snacks, laughter, goodness and desserts. 
They all are angels of what I have become. 
They stuck with me. Incredibly. Even with pain when I lashed out with my tongue and weak arms. They stuck with me. Shockingly. Even when all I ate was Phad Thai and curry which I’m sure they will never touch again.  They stuck with me. Wonderfully. Even when I bugged the hell out of them or got angry or gave up or freaked out or lost myself. 
Because that’s what angels do. They stick with you. They help you work it out. “Angels have no philosophy but love.” (Adeline Cullen Ray)
Angels drive you from the Bay Area, California to little New Haven, Connecticut in order for you to get the help you need, even when you don’t want it. They stay at strange and ‘funky’ hotels to keep you going, let you order pay-per-view new movie releases when you can’t go to the theater, let you be picky about food, let you freak out and cry when you want to and yet they always love you in the end. They hug you. they pick you back up. Again and again and yet again when you think that they’re arms are tired from all the lifting they do of you. 
Angels stick with you for months, far beyond their heavenly call of duty. Nancy has been here for how many months and still is funny and has a contagious laugh and lets me joke with her and play games and feeds me breakfast in bed when I need the pep and still loves me. They still love me. 
Angels stick to you. Angels believe in you. My parents do. Not in so many words but I feel it. They brought me here. I fought, kicking and screaming. I dug my claws in, but they wrenched me here. Thank goodness. Glad they didn’t listen to the silly rumblings of an angry teen. They do more than I ever thought possible. I owe them all the gratitude and love my heart can hold. They’ve given me all the hope I can hold and still give me more. You can’t do more than what you do. Know that that is the truth. 
I need their love to hold me up. Angels are so strong in their hearts. Steady and emotional.  
In a city full of unsung angels, we need only look close by to see them. They wait for the chance to act. They have integrity and love like nothing I’ve seen. For angel-wanna-bees, you need only reach out a hand to find yourself one. 
Thank you angels. What more can I say? “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” 
Stick around, please. I could use some more flight lessons…
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