dad

day 19: mum + dad

Thursday, 3/24/16 

My parents arrive tomorrow to visit and I am so pumped. They are two of my favorite humans and best friends. They’re wise and strong, flawed and encouraging, and most importantly, hilarious and fun to be around. 

I did not want to call them that day. I made my friend promise not to. In his wisdom (don’t get a big head over there,) he ignored me and called almost as soon as I was safely inside the walls of the hospital. A brave feat considering he was aware of his position at the bottom of their list of favorite people.

I didn’t want them to know or to see me - I knew that I looked different - I felt almost unrecognizable. Especially my dad. I especially didn’t want him to see. I don’t know how to put into words why (believe me, I sat at this computer for far too long trying to figure out how to phrase it) but I think that any dad with a daughter or daughter who is close to her dad will understand. It’s just not supposed to be that way. This is not something you’re supposed to have to do.

And my mum - well, on the one hand, my mum’s a doctor who ran an ER, so she’s used to seeing, and acting, in crisis. But on the other hand, I’ve put her through the ringer with all my medical stuff - and putting her through this seemed wildly unfair.

Beyond any of that, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed and I was convinced that they’d see me differently. When they looked at me they’d no longer see their fun, adventurous, and wild Becky. When I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t see her anymore - how could they?

They were on a mission trip in Poland when my mum’s phone rang. If memory serves me correctly, they were in the middle of a church service - surrounded by a group of people who know us intimately, and who stopped everything they were doing to pray - to help my parents book flights to New York, to stand in the gap where they stood in disbelief, and to fight on their behalf when they were knocked down in shock. I am immeasurably grateful to each and every one of them. 

When my apartment buzzer rang the next morning, I shook in anxiety as I walked over to let them in. Opening the door took every bit of courage I had. No matter how old you get, you want your parents to be proud of you, how could they be proud of this? Head down, half hugs - I couldn’t look them in the eye. Eventually I did - I don’t know when. There was no getting around the awkwardness of the initial conversation - but once it was over, it was over. 

There’s no handbook for this, and as I look back on it, I realize how well my parents know me. I don’t have kids - so I can’t claim to know a love like that. But I know from all the parents I know, that the hurt you feel for them when they’re hurt is astronomical. I know how I feel when a member of my family is hurting. It’s a palpable pain - one that takes over. You feel like you can’t breathe and you want to do whatever you can to fix it - to take it away. Whatever emotions they felt about the whole thing, they didn’t overtly feel them around me. I’m sure there were tears cried, and anger spewed - but not in front of me.

We didn’t dwell on it, but we didn’t ignore it. They listened when I wanted to talk about it, but they didn’t pry or prod. They encouraged me with loving messages from those that knew what had happened, but they didn’t tell the world. They read through all the hospital paperwork and mum made sure I was taking the correct medication at the correct times, and prepared me both mentally, and with supplies, for the possible side effects, but she didn’t treat me like a sick patient. I took a couple days off work and we got out and did fun things - my dad even quietly suffered through yet another open-top bus tour (my mum and I have a love affair with open-top bus tours and he most certainly, does not!)

And then after a couple of abnormal days, they helped me settle back into a routine. At first it was modified - I couldn’t take the train - being trapped in an enclosed space with no way to get out made me feel like I couldn’t breathe. They graciously picked up my uber tab for a couple of weeks. They made sure I was seeing a therapist. They made it clear that nothing I did warranted this. But they treated me normally. They still called me out when I was in the wrong and we still laughed until we cried when we found something funny. All the fears I had about them seeing me differently were unfounded. I was still Becky boo of kalamazoo to them. 

I don’t know what was said on the phone that day, but I do know that if he hadn’t told them, I never would have. That fear, shame, and pain would have been buried in such a deep, dark place, that I think that silence would have suffocated me until I died. The only reason I could say it, was because I knew the people that I was saying it to, that I was walking those first few initial days with, were safe. 

Because no matter where we are in the world, rugby matters. 

Because no matter where we are in the world, rugby matters. 

Occasionally I’d catch them staring, and would wonder what they were thinking when they saw me now. Well, I don’t know what they were thinking when they looked at me over those two weeks, but when I looked at them, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I saw pillars of strength. I saw freedom. I saw joy. I saw hope. I saw encouragement. I saw unconditional love. I saw safety. I saw a future. I saw Jesus. 

I have loved you with an everlasting love - Jer 31:3 

day 7: smoothie-gate

Saturday, 3/12/2016

On Saturdays I am part of a baller film acting class. No, really. I wouldn’t be rolling my ass out of bed to be there at 11am on a Saturday if it wasn’t as good as it is. 

Sidenote: When my sister and I were little, my dad gave us the first of many life lesson attempts about how we were not allowed to curse (I’m still learning) outside our favorite Saturday morning breakfast place, Shipley’s Doughnuts (there is little I would not do at any given moment for one of those damn (also in the Bible - that'll make sense in two seconds) doughnuts. The only ‘curse word’ we were allowed to say was ‘ass,' because it was in the Bible and was another word for donkey. You can imagine how much fun my sister and I had that day calling my dad an ass everywhere we went, and met his protestations with, “But it’s in the Bible!” Who can argue with that? He did not find it as amusing as we did. 

this is from a few years before the "ass" debacle, but I just love this photo 

this is from a few years before the "ass" debacle, but I just love this photo 

A class at 11am on a Saturday requires advance breakfast planning. Enter: smoothies. Also known as, manna from heaven. What is it about smoothies? I don’t know, but I have a problem. A real problem. It is a hint of warm outside and my smoothie world transforms. In one particularly bad week last spring, I spent $70 on smoothies, which I only realized  after a friend asked me how many smoothies I drink on the regs due to the volume of snapchats devoted to them. That embarrasses me on many levels and I started making my own smoothies the next day. So (homemade) smoothies, hello lovers, and welcome back to my world.

just one more Liquiteria for good measure

just one more Liquiteria for good measure

 

Apparently, the winter, and therefore, lack of smoothies, made me forget that you have to actually put the lid on your personal smoothie maker... I came back to see my kitchen decorated in my version of Liquiteria’s blue velvet smoothie - 20 minutes before I’m supposed to be in class. And because I’m still new at transforming my negative thought process to a positive one, it went something like this:

“ooohhhhh f***ing sh**balls no. (looks up at heaven) seriously?!! Craaaaaap. This freaking blows. Ugggghhhhhhh. BECKYYYYYYY you freaking idiot. See this is it! This is the proof that you will not get your life together and should not do this journey and should DEFINITELY not write this blog. You can’t even put a lid on a smoothie maker, how the heck are you going to do actual life things?”  

Now, is this a logical thought jump? Absolutely not. But it allowed me the excuse of remembering the plethora of reasons that I don’t want to write about this journey, let alone be on it. Or actually, the only reason : fear. And in that fleeting moment, that was comforting.  

Sidenote: I’m starting to wonder if I should forewarn those featured on this blog that they are making guest appearances. Probably should. Hopefully they won’t be as annoyed at their guest appearances as I am at my constant appearance, but if they are, maybe they’ll just begrudgingly oblige?  Er, I don’t know. I should think on that. 

So here I am, sweatily sitting in class, 45 minutes late from having to clean up my smoothie mess, the MTA sucking the life out of my soul (as it regularly does,) and all out sprinting to get there before the hour, talking about an episode of 'The Good Wife’ with a group of girls - and this guy, Jack, who I don’t really know, turns to me and says, “you should start a blog.” Ok. So. Uhhhh. Here’s the thing. Acting class is weird because I don’t actually really know the people in it. I don’t know where they’re from or what their favorite food is or if they like their parents or really anything about their lives. But because we do this awkward thing where we get up in front of a camera each week, which believe it or not is very invasive and off-putting, and read scenes together - and sometimes you’re meeting someone one minute and reading a scene about penises in the 1800’s with them the next (I'm not kidding you, I can't make this stuff up) - you know them. So like, I don’t know them, but I know them. 

So Jack's “you should start a blog,” threw me for a loop. Now, granted, Jack was talking about me starting a blog in regards to TV shows. But I truly think that sometimes God (or the universe - hopefully by now we’re at a place in your reading of this thing, where you know that my faith is the foundation of my life, but if you don’t believe in God, and the universe is your higher power, or maybe you don’t believe in higher power, you can go to your relatable place of understanding when I make references to God because I certainly don’t want to be EXclusive, but I also don’t want to keep taking breathers to not “offend") uses people to tell us things in whatever way we need to hear, regardless of context. He kept talking but I was just kind of staring and not hearing him because the first time in the history of my life that a person who I truthfully, barely know, tells me I should write a blog is on the same day that I spent the entirety of smoothie-gate clean up coming up with reasons not to write a blog.  

Try and tell me that’s not a sign. Now because I am this way, I immediately jump to, "ok, but why am I meant to do it?" Well, that I don’t know. There are about a bajillion potential reasons swimming up in my head, but since I’m not the orchestrator of the universe, I’ve learned that sometimes its best not to try and figure out the ‘why.’

I also learned that I need to get back to running on purpose. Like going on runs. Not out of necessity. Because there were moments in that sprint to class where I thought “this could be it."