Monday, March 06, 2006

Bunnies and Flowers

There are so many things to be happy about, really, there are. Like getting into the car and hearing Luisa tell Miguel, "Yes, honey, I'm sure Spiderman has a penis". Like my daughter turning 1 and dazzling the crowd at her party, even though some guests suggested that perhaps she looked a little Ukrainian peasant-like with her fat legs in tights stuffed into some high top boots. Like the fact that we refinanced our house and are building on rather than selling our house which means we don't have to leave our cool house in our cool neighborhood near all of our cool friends (and the Dairy Queen). Like the fact that we are getting a Rainbow play structure - nothing says "happiness" like a Rainbow play structure! Go to the website and you see nothing but happy, smiling people. Can't I be one of them?

Here's the problem...I'm not feeling my happiest right now. I was hoping that my thyroid was out of whack which was leading to some mild depression but I just talked to the clinic and it is fine. I hate that...it would be so much easier to take a pill than to have to deal with the actual circumstances in my life that are making me feel sad. But, it turns out that I actually have to cope with the fact that my step-father has leukemia and is going to die...soon. I found out on Friday that he has about two months left if he doesn't do the chemo. The chemo won't cure him but will buy him time and nobody has told us how much time it might buy. I don't want him to do it because I worry that his quality of life will be poor but I also don't want him to die. Of course, it's not my choice and he wants to do the chemo because he said he is not ready to leave the porcupine. Not his exact words, since he doesn't call her the porcupine, but you get the idea. How could I not love the man who has stood by my mother all these years, my mother with all of her quills? This month, they will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. This is their second marriage to each other. I didn't mention that? Yes, they married when I was 8 and then had their marriage annulled. Then, they remarried when I was 12. He had a chance to get out and signed on for more. The man is a saint or a sadist.

My step-father has really been my father and I should start calling him that because it's the least I could do after all that he has done for me over the years. He is the strong, silent type and he has always shown his love through his actions rather than words. He bought me my first car (a cute little 1979 Fiat Strada), taught me to drive a stick, taught me to water ski, taught me to drive a boat, and taught me to install glass block windows. He was there for every important moment...my high school graduation, my college graduation, our commitment ceremony. He came to Minneapolis when Luisa and I first bought our house and stayed a week to work on the house with us. He put in light fixtures, hauled in new appliances, took down a wall (non weight bearing, of course), built a deck, edged the lawn, taught us to glaze windows and, basically, armed us with some basic home maintenance and improvement skills. He got us started and left his fingerprints all over the house...just as he has my life. He has always been there with a bear hug or a kiss on the cheek.

So, this weekend was filled with the knowlege that he will not be with us much longer. His life is coming to an end just as we celebrate the beginning of my daughter's life, her first birthday. At her party on Sunday, I kept expecting Elton John to pop out of the pantry belting out "The Circle of Life" from the Lion King. No Elton John, though...just Zeca smiling and stomping about in her cowboy boots basking in the love of her people. I guess that's how it goes...we have to sit with profound sadness and joy at the same time, never knowing exactly which of the emotions is bringing us to tears...

2 comments:

Kristin said...

Good Blog Vik.

Susan Raffo said...

love, i don't know what to say other than that les might like to read this. it is an incredibly kind and loving statement.