600 words

My dad is dying of lung cancer, and I started an anonymous blog to help me deal with his impending death. That’s words 1 through 21.

The blog eventually became more of an anchor than a balloon, more salt than salve. I was spending too much time pondering a death that had not yet occurred, in lieu of celebrating a life that was still going on right before my eyes. So I decided to let the blog go. But not before it brought about one pretty surprising realization. That’s words 22 through 93.

The realization was this – I loved writing. So much so that I created a second blog to further explore other topics and interests. As with the first, it was anonymous in nature. Partially because I’m rather reticent, and partially because I wanted to be able to be honest with my thoughts (which translates to: I would hate for someone to read the words and – knowing the man behind them – determine them to be lies). That’s words 93 through 175.

Of course, while it began anonymously, it wasn’t before too long that I wrote a post I was particularly proud of. One that seemed to get good feedback, from all but one. The one, I realized that I needed the positive feedback from, was my dad. The very man who started the whole thing in the first. The man whom, I suppose, I’ve been seeking approval from my whole life. So, I scrunched up my best “determined” face and boldly decided to print the one post that thrilled me so and present it to him, thus “blowing my cover”. I made it very clear to him that this was a secret and that he in no way could tell anyone about this besides mom (you always have to exclude telling mom in promises like this, since there hasn’t been one instance in over forty two years wherein a secret given to dad, has not at some point then been brought up in conversation by mom). To date, he has kept our secret – with the mom clause being taken advantage of – and as fate would have it, they both loved the post even more than I. That’s words 175 through 377.

Of course – with mom being mom, and dad being dad – they made mention of the fact that this was truly worthy of being published, that people needed to be able to see writing such as this. When I tried to explain to them that it actually was already “published”, and viewable by the public, mom came back staunchly with “well, I’m talking about all of us who don’t have the internet”. Now, I love my mom, but I’m not to sure if she realizes that the “all of us” without internet is – at this point – really much more “her and dad and maybe another retired couple somewhere in the west coast – you know, for balance”. That’s words 378 through 503… Come on, wrap this thing up.

So, at mom’s request, I promised her that I would submit the post to our local newspaper, to see if I could get “published”. I went (online) to submit it, only to find out that they had a 600 word max. My posts average about 1,200 words, and this one was no exception. Mom was upset to hear the news, and to help soften the blow, I promised to try to write a post that would fit within their requirements. This is that post. Now at word 598.

I suppose that if the paper does publish this, my cover will be forever blown and my secret out. And I suppose that the promise of that occurring sort of scares me – maybe even to the point where I might “accidentally” sabotage the post, to help prevent it from ever seeing the ink-and-newsprint light of day. But that is not at all why I am now up to writing word 670.  Nope, not at all.

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15 thoughts on “600 words

  1. great song

    I’m so sorry for your father. I hope he finds peace through all of it. My father in law is going through the same thing – cancer…his being of the brain variety. It’s awful to see the shell of a good man as opposed to the man.

    God Bless your family

    • After months of squander and denial and blame (his is lung, of the smoking variety), he is finding his peace – thanks. And you’re spot on with your analogy (curse tyour writing skills!) At times, he does almost seem to be a locust shell instead of a man – however – at other times he seems to be more alive, more “real”, than he ever has before. It’s all very strange.

      And while I’m ashamed to say it, the song was chosen because it has been my (involuntary and self-aimed) Theme Song almost since the first day I heard the lyrics. I hope to some day change that – even IF I’ll still love the jingly beat regardless =)

  2. Hi t,

    I love the post that you are proud of and I hope that the newspaper will publish the smaller version.

    How is your dad doing? Send my regards to him please:)

    Much love!

  3. You have a nice subtle sense of humor, being on word 670 and all. That, and the way you balanced out your parents not being too internet bound.

    I am sorry about your dad. Mine has passed, but it was a slow degeneration, so to speak, and I felt like I grieved for five years, instead of five months. I hope you and your family pass through this experience with lots of love and peace.

    • Thanks, and I would ask that I be able to show your opinion of my humor to my children – at this point, they wholly disagree with your assessment =)

      As for my dad, I know we’ll all pull through – well, besides the obvious. And it will only be because of humor and love that we will. Thanks again for your kind words.

  4. I wanted to stuff my fingers into my ears and give you the WTF were you thinking look, I bet you know the one. Now, I feel a little….well, you stated in a comment about it being a theme song of sorts and as I suck at understanding lyrics without having the words to read along…brrrp, scuse me I’m scarfing down ice cream, oh yeah off about having to cover my ears over a song that has import for you. Does it still have import for you? Will I have to retaliate with Glen Campbell’s Little Green Apples?

    **OH I LOOKED UP THE LYRICS–I now officially suck. The only thing that I have to offer at the moment is one teeny tiny licktypebite, a miniscule one, the meaning of which is MINE…to make up for it. You do not want me to pretend to like the sound of music that I do not do you? I can admire greatly or greatly admire the lyrics. My shoe is all covered in ice cream goo now.

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