Music Monday! Hozier, Take me to church

Beautiful tune. Thinking of a beautiful soul named Rick today. He is the father of my favourite twins; two of the strongest and most amazing people I know.

Life has a weird way of reminding you about what is important – Rick had pancreatic cancer metastatic to the liver, discovered suddenly on Dec 26. How is it possible that my Dad and the the Dad of my twin best friends have the exact same cancer?

He died on New Years Eve, and all I can think is, “WHY DO I LIVE WAY OVER HERE?” I’m missing all the important things.

Flashing back to last year on the day before my Dad died, one of the twin’s friend’s had a dream that my Dad and Rick were talking to each other. Rick was telling my Dad that everything would be ok. I like to believe that my Dad must be with him now, somehow, and the two of them are happy together. How else do you handle this?

How short is your list of ‘What Ifs’?

Sometimes I go there.

I let myself think about all the things I could have done differently. I let my mind wander.

What if I had told my Dad to get a scan earlier?
What if I had paid more attention to his gastrointestinal discomforts?
What if I had visited more?
What if I had encouraged him to try newer and more holistic healing strategies?

You drive yourself crazy doing that. So I don’t usually let myself, because I’m crazy enough as it is.

But sometimes, I go there. Then I let out a big sigh, and inevitably end up back here: I visited enough. He didn’t want alternative strategies. No one talks to their fathers about their bowels.

It’s all so clear in hindsight. The signs were there. And that scan, why didn’t I push for that scan? The one that was just barely out of my control. So close I can feel it, but too far to grasp how I missed it. It wouldn’t have mattered, though; the pancreas is the most forgotten organ there is. And when you sum that all up, you get my list of questions. The list that occasionally I drive myself crazy with.

The list has taught me something, though: the goal of life is to live it as best you can.
I’m not saying happy or triumphant or goal-reaching. Just the best you can with what you’re given, every day.

I’m saying this: fulfill yourself with every small decision you make. It doesn’t have to be climbing a mountain or swimming with sharks for goodness sake.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/3d2/57040840/files/2014/12/img_7675.jpg (This is Ron Burgundy’s best life, but it sure isn’t mine!)

Just do your best with what comes to you every moment. Sometimes it won’t be quite right, but since that was your best at the time you won’t be able to regret it later, and you’ll inevitably be better on the next one.

When you live your best life, you automatically have a smaller list of questions to go over and over and over when the unexpected strikes. Your best life has no room for regrets, even when the unexpected happens quickly and shockingly, changing your foundation without your consent.

How short is your list?

Feeling griefy. The year mark.

“They watch the year mark of their loved one’s death approach with nervous anticipation and, as much as they wish it could be like any other day, they know it just can’t. They know everything will stop and they’ll be forced to reflect on the last year. They’ll probably remember the day their loved one died and they’ll probably reflect on the year they’ve spent with grief.  They’ll of course want to declare that even though their loved one’s been gone a year, they love them just as much as the day they died.”

A year ago today was the most difficult day of my entire life. I think my post from that day describes things enough.

My life has changed so much.  Different province, different friends, different person.

But the same love for my Dad that envelopes my entire being when I think of him.

Today, I’m writing an Anatomy and Physiology final exam and taking things minute by minute. As I go from station to station trying to identify arm, leg, and brain specimens, my thoughts will only be of my Dad.

I needed all my strength then, and I hope I can summon it again today.