Runner Up: Wave Geber
I began writing my blog a few years ago, after spending enormous amounts of time in bed... Well, actually, there were a couple of years before that, after the diagnosis, when I spent enormous amounts of time (and money) playing online poker in bed...but eventually I got a grip, and began writing about my life, especially what it’s like to live with Metastatic Breast Cancer...
The wavesworld blog has been one of the most rewarding and healing aspects of my life. I vent, I share, I hope, and I vent some more, through my posts...and my life is sweeter and less scary because of it...
Before all that, I earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, was a licensed MFT, and always worked with inner city youth. I’m in my fifth decade now, OMG, and I hope to stay here on earth as long as possible...
my father’s day
today was the day my father was born, in 1931...my father’s name was morris. in jewish his name was moishe...but everyone called him murshe...kind of like how my father pronounced toilet—terlet...
when he was young he had a “touch of tuberculosis,” and he was sent away for a time. they forced him to eat food that he hated, like tuna fish... after that, he couldn’t be in the same room as an open can of tuna fish. when we were kids, we’d try to scare him...we’d be laughing and running after him, holding “chicken of the sea” in one hand and a can opener in the other...we also tried to tickle his toes whenever we could...he couldn’t take that either.
my father sometimes would try to scare my mother by hiding us in the kitchen cabinets. when she’d return from grocery shopping, and she went to put away the food, we’d pop out. we all got a big kick out of that, and my mother acted surprised, every time.
my dad had a volatile personality, so every so often when he’d come into the room yelling, “you know what burns my ass”...we’d get nervous...then he’d hold his hand about 4 feet up from the ground and say...”a fire about yay high”...then he’d walk away laughing... sometimes we’d walk into his room and he’d be laid out on the bed like a corpse, arms stiff at his side...he’d tell us he was practicing for when he was dead...then he’d say,
“if i die in this here state of new jersey, i have one request
pack my bones in a big pine box, and send them by express
if there’s any charges, which there’s sure to be
mark them H E double L and send them c.o.d.”
murshe was a good dancer, and a pretty good singer. all the ladies liked him...at least that’s what he told us—often. when he was in a good mood, he was the most fun... but truth be told, most of the time everyone tiptoed around him.
sometimes during a fight with my mother, my father would call me into the room to judge who was right. he said i was smart and fair...i would search for the most diplomatic words to tell him when he was wrong. once during a divorce talk, he asked me who i wanted to live with. when i saw my father cry, i told him i’d stay with him...he never let me live it down... all through the years he reminded me and everyone else that when push came to shove, i chose him... i remember us watching the movie “hole in the head” starring frank sinatra. he played a degenerate gambler, who was always trying to make it big for his son. they sang “high hopes” together and we’d sing along... that movie made my father cry... a lot... he’d tell us to stop looking at him, but we didn’t.
we never had enough money, so he was always trying to figure out how to make more...these were generally not well thought out ideas, but they were usually funny... once he bought a thousand pairs of toe socks to sell at the flea market—just because he got a good deal on them... when i was about 9 i wrote a poem that was published in the “school bank news,” he danced around the house that day, paper in hand, saying that we were going to be rich...because i was a poet...
in 1996, when i was going through radiation he sent me a thousand dollars. that was the most money he ever gave me and the most he ever had to give at one time... he told me that he would buy me a house if he ever hit it big, but he never did... right before i left for hawaii to celebrate the end of treatment, he asked me if i needed anything...i don't remember him ever asking me that before...i told him i was fine... i knew he felt good to ask. that was the last time i ever spoke to him. i was on maui the night the comet came and my father went... it was april 4, 1997...the day of his death.
i saw an indian healer after that, and she told me that my father took my place...and that i would be given many more years of life because of that... i sometimes wonder if he had a choice and decided to give me this gift.