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Because I Have to

One of my biggest regrets was that my dad didn’t hold Saoirse the day she was born.  I’ve told you this before, I think? Dad was there, all right, in my recovery room as soon as we were allowed visitors after her birth. He was bundled up in his winter coat with a scarf wrapped around his neck because the chemo made him so, so cold, but I didn’t let him hold her. He’d been at the hospital for twenty-four hours, waiting for me to have the baby who wasn’t in a hurry to come out, even though he was in pain and should’ve been at home, in bed, sleeping. I don’t remember if he was the first one to enter the hospital room after she was born, but he’s the first one I remember seeing. I made a point to remember that moment, remember his face, the way he carried his body, because I guess I knew I’d never see him greet another one of my babies. But I didn’t let him hold her. The nurses had scared…

Five Years

You know what I miss about my dad? Here’s a short list: He loved Japanese food. He loved Vietnamese food. He loved a good steak and potatoes. Um. He loved food. He’d randomly speak Japanese. He’d seen more of the US and Asia than I ever will. He read so quickly that he’d no sooner open a book than finish it. He loved ABBA. And Celine Dion. And Crystal Gayle. And the Vogues. So much to make fun of, and we did. (Except for the Vogues. They were allowed.) Wait, there’s more: He cried when he saw Les Mis on Broadway. He insisted that well water was better tasting than anything that could come out of public taps. He made our lunches during our school years and packed notes into them with puzzles and riddles and messages with an eyeball and a heart and a letter U to tell us he loved us. He offered to “drive down there” when I drove home from college in tears after a boyfriend broke my heart. He hated the Beatles. Thought they were a bunch of noise. He always wanted to…

We’ll Try

David and I ran a 5K called PurpleStride this weekend, along with some very game family members who volunteered to push our children around–all 71 pounds of them, mind you–in a stroller on the coinciding walk.  The whole purpose was to raise funds and awareness for research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. Only six percent of all people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are alive five years later.  My father was not in this minority.  And the thing with pancreatic cancer is how little it’s discussed, how little money is funnelled to research.  Pancreatic cancer is seen as the lost cause.  I don’t like lost causes.  They annoy me. So we ran. And ran we did.  Holy Moses, that was the pits.  We didn’t find out till we got there that the course was cross-country.  I thought it was a mistake when I saw the start/finish line marked in the grass.  At the base of a hill.  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I told David.  “They’re joking, right?  This was supposed to be a fun run!&#8221…