The holiday break is over. Well, not for me. I’m still relaxing at home. But it’s over for my wife and daughter. On Monday, our kiddo reluctantly woke up early and went back to school. That evening, she finished her first pages of homework for the week, also reluctantly. My wife resumed her night classes (medical assisting) this week as well.
It was a nice break for us, though. Christmas eve was spent here (bro-in-law’s place). It went surprisingly well. No stress. No nausea. No back pain. At the end of the night, we were left with a fridge full of leftovers. Good times.
On December 27, we went down to the Bay Area to visit my dad-in-law’s family for a post-Christmas party. It also went well.
For New Year’s Eve, we headed to Elk Grove to visit my parents. I got to see my brothers, sisters, nephews and niece. There’s lots of next-generation rugrats now. It felt pretty cool to see my kid interacting with her cousins. Seeing the little ones was a definite highlight.
In health news: Pneumonia’s all gone. Nausea in check (with meds). Still super-thin, but working to gain weight.
In other news: Something’s happening. I can feel it. I think I’m growing up.
I am a dad and a husband. I can’t forget that. In my misery, however, I did forget it. Illness was all-consuming. My pain turned to anger. Then I became bitter; A jerk. I take full responsibility now for neglecting or lashing out at my wife.
It was just a few days before Christmas that it dawned on me:
Illness is no excuse for disrespect.
I had allowed myself to become apathetic. It didn’t happen overnight, either. In retrospect, it was a systematic transformation over the course of the last few years. My happiness chipped away against the (seeming) unending strain of life. I lost myself. Because it happened gradually, I didn’t realize who I had become.
For whatever reason, I finally took the time to just open my eyes and actually see myself. My heart was gone. I must have hung it up a long time ago, afraid of any further pain. In doing so, my family ended up getting hurt in their own way. I was a zombie. I wasn’t me.
You might think I would’ve fallen deeper into depression once I figured myself out, but the opposite happened. A fire came on inside me. I wasn’t going to continue letting my illness infect the relationships in my household. I’m my daughter’s dad and my wife’s husband. Enough was enough. Cancer was not going to pollute my love. Not one more second. In that moment, I imagined myself smearing war paint across my face. “You want a piece of me, cancer? Come get it, motherfucker.” I was back.
I AM back. I have a new focus for 2010. My resolution is to continue improving emotionally/mentally and to strengthen the bonds between mom, dad, daughter…and even dog. Physical health? I’ll deal with that as it happens.