This whole year has been ups and downs, with some ups being downs and some downs turning out to be ups. As I go to many of the same holiday parties, it provides some rough perspective. Last year I was at several of the same ones, holding my wife's's hand and Kiana's. This year, I still have Kiana most of the time but my other hand is blank. Last year I wondered whether or not I'd be making it the next year around and last year I thought 2010 was the best year of marriage. I thought wrong apparently and was in love with an idea of her that maybe didn't exist and apparently she wasn't much in love at all... And as MRI's show up strange things and the suspense sits there again, there are moments I think I miss her but I realize I miss the idea of her because I still can't wrap my mind around this being the reality of her. Yesterday Kiana was playing with some dolls and being their mommy while I was standing outside her door and she whispered to them "I'm never going to leave you or live anywhere except with you. I'll be the best mommy." I hope she keeps that true but I reflect on the fact that even President Obama sat there and didn't realize that it wasn't until his 40's that the parent who was there most of the time was the one who did the parenting and still chased the "dreams of his father."
I really did sleep well through the night all but 2 or 3 nights last year and to this day a few friends suggest it was because it had never hit me. It hit me but I felt comfortable with my life and trusted that even if things didn't go so well that Kiana's mom would be fantastic at figuring it out...that's tougher to see with a woman who leaves her husband when he's not cleared to drive or return to work to go be with the guy whose parents house he stayed at while having brain surgery. I literally am waking up to bad dreams. The dreams these days are so typically symbolic, something I always believed was at best a stretch if not down right silly but in several that have woken me up are where I find something that ends up being very deadly, a monster, a treasure with a virus, a job that ends up being like Tom Cruise in the Firm.
I am still pushing and trying to work on outlets. I took 3 minutes off last year's half marathon time to a 1:22.37 (though oddly last year with a faster time I won my age group and this time I didn't place, see what I mean about ups and downs), I have great friends even though I think the divorce naturally cost a few, I make new playlists to deal with the emotion. I am not even sure I worry about the dying as much as I do the radiation on the brain while trying to be a responsible single parent...that idea is more intimidating than the thought of death, maybe because last year I thought I'd be holding a girls hand I'd held since I was 17 was last year.
I've started looking for a roommate for the reason of needing helping if I get on radiation more than any other. There has even been talk about a schedule where I would do radiation on the Fridays on the weekends Kiana spends with her mom so I get the most recovery time. My doctor is both impressed and tells me to calm down a bit on over planning things like this but a man who is a father from a Hispanic country, Argentina, and I have some good man-to-man moments. But him and I both have the same approach of you plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Single fatherhood is hard. Dealing with cancer diagnosis and medical tests is hard. Training for a marathon is hard. Living off one income is hard. The frank honest truth is that I couldn't do one of those alone and people help with some of them and others with others.
Kiana and I made our Christmas cards last night and we put a quote someone sent me on it: "The best part of life is when your family becomes your friends, and your friends become your family." I am grateful, no matter what's coming down the pipe, that some of that has happened. That's my reality which these days is better than my dreams.