a day that is always special because it is my dad's birthday, and you know i love my dad.
i looked back tonight at what i wrote about him on this day last year:
"i love my dad, i think that he is the best. he will turn 68 this year. he taught me to ride a bike. to fly a kite. he played with me at the park for endless hours when i was a kid feeding ducks and watching me go down the slide (over and over again). he has taught me a million and one things that i carry through my daily life. not the least of which is how to set a good example and be kind and generous to friends and family. he has been so proud of all of my accomplishments. the big and the small. he has been a cheerleader when things haven't gone my way. he is a great grandfather to all his grandkids. he has been there every step along the way with me. he was at my first surgery, he will be at my second. he drove me to treatments. he sat with me in the room while the interferon dripped into my arm through the iv. he took me anywhere i wanted to go when i just wanted to get the hell out of the house for a while when i felt like hell during treatments. throughout the last two years, he has done everything possible to help. mowed the lawn. ran errands (and they have been endless). dropped off and picked up my drycleaning. waited in line at the post office to mail packages for me (he will do that again this week). went to the grocery store (sometimes more than once in the same day). washed our cars. filled them up with gas. made numerous costco runs. got the oil changed in the car. took my car to have the tires rotated. made a million trips to my mailbox for me. paced our sidewalk outside waiting for the phone to ring with results. he has done it all, and he has done it all without ever thinking twice. that is my dad. he is the reason that february 11th is an important day in my life."
last year my dad spent his birthday at the uw hospital as it was the day that i had my lung surgery. i am so glad that i am here to celebrate with him this year, and that his day doesn't revolve around me being in the hospital.
my dad turns 69 this year. this year i could use many of the same words above to describe what he has done for me. he saw me through my second surgery. he ran countless errands for me when i was recovering and not feeling well enough to get off of the couch. he heard me wailing from my upstairs bedroom when barrett took the bandages off my scars after surgery. he sat with me when i talked to him and my mom about what it would mean if the diagnosis came back as stage iv and how afraid i was, a conversation that none of us wanted to ever have to have. he has paced our neighborhood every time him and my mom wait for me to call with scan results, i am surprised our sidewalks have any pavement left. he has cheered for me when we got good news. he has done whatever i have needed on the days when i feel like hell after scans. he made me his world famous nachos to celebrate my latest scan results, and told me that those results were the best birthday present that he could have got this year.
when we went out to lunch to celebrate my good scan results, my dad pulled a lucky fortune. if you all remember, last time i got good scan results we went to lunch (same place, i believe in repeating lucky patterns) and i pulled the fortune that said in three months i would have good luck -- clearly that fortune cookie came true for me in january. so my dad is now carrying the below fortune in his wallet, and he will be the one to bring the luck for the next round in may (briel -- this is why the necklace was so perfect - xo).
so on this february 11th, i wish a big happy birthday to my dad -- the best dad a girl could ever ask for.
also on this february 11th, i want to wish two other people a ton of love, mojo, and prayers and hope that you will do the same:
+++ tomorrow afternoon in wisconsin mary goes in for her surgery to remove the melanoma tumors from her leg. she already has her outfit picked out which includes a shirt i got her that says "i am going to kick cancer's ass" (which btw is a shirt that i think everyone fighting cancer should own) and so i know that she is ready to go.
+++ tomorrow morning in washington beth goes in for a prepatory surgery for her treatment and larger surgery. beth has also started her caringbridge site so for those of you that you want to follow beth's story in her own words you can find her page at this link. i talked to beth tonight and i know that she is going to rock this one tomorrow.
both beth and mary's surgeries are outpatient so i should have updates to share tomorrow night. please send them both lots of love, mojo, and prayers. i have told them since 2/11 was my surgery day last year and we got all of the melanoma in my surgery, i think it is going to be a day when their surgeries will go well too.
c'mon february 11th, i am counting on you.
don't let me down.
happy birthday dad. love you beth and mary (you've got this girls -- f*ck cancer). xoxo