All day I was trying to find the words to say in this post. It had gotten to the point where I wondered if I would come up with anything at all to say about the ‘final countdown’, then I got a text from my dad. He and I have a unique relationship unlike some of the other parents who have sent their children off to college. He recognizes me as my own person and respects me as an adult. And because of that, he doesn’t nag or pester me with texts and calls asking what I’m doing, who I’m with, am I getting my homework done, etc. But he is there for whatever I need. Because of some big news lately, we’ve been talking more about what’s going on and exchanging emails and texting back and forth. I got a text today at 11:48 pm-
“Are you up”
“Want to talk”
And thus began a phone conversation that lasted over an hour, despite starting at 12 on a Wednesday night (or I guess technically it’s Thursday morning).
We talked about an email I’d received from the hospital PR department asking permission to bring extra media in to cover my story, we talked about my sister who’s vacationing in Italy, and my brother who’s on spring break in the Dominican. We talked about family, my job, his job, his friends, how the house was quiet with all of us gone.
He gave me advice on how to deal with the negativity, and reassured me I was doing the right thing. He made sure I knew that he was proud of me for taking my story public and handling the naysayers with grace. Then, while discussing all that’s happened the past few months with the media attention and the interviews, my dad gave me the greatest compliment I’ve ever received, “You’re one of my idols, Kelly”.
Do you know what it feels like to have the person you respect most in the world tell you that you’re their idol? I hope you do. My dad is the greatest guy I know, I feel so blessed to have been raised by him. There’s tears in my eyes writing these words, because it doesn’t feel like enough. Nothing I say or write will ever accurately convey how proud I feel to have him as a father.
This has to be so hard on him. He’s been through this before, sat in far too many waiting rooms, heard far too much bad news and yet, he never says he’s scared. Just asks me how I am.
Anyway, that’s what got me thinking. How am I? Honestly, something happened to me today. A mental alarm went off saying, “One month left. One month left. One month left.” I have been counting down for so long, I never stopped to think about when the countdown ends. I’ve thought about the surgery of course, but not how I’d feel the night before or the morning of. Emotions are unpredictable. One thing I never want to do in this blog, or in the documentary, or an interview, or a lecture, is to sugar coat what’s going on- especially the emotions involved. So, honestly, how am I right now? I’m overwhelmed, anxious, excited, and the one emotion I hate to admit- I’m afraid. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about post-surgery experiences and talking to other women that have had the same procedure, and while it’s comforting to know they all got through it and are better than ever, no one looks forward to feeling physical pain. But more powerful than the fear of pain is the fear of the ones you love having to watch you suffer through that pain. It’s inevitable, though, so not worth fretting over. For now I relax, finish out the semester strong, and enjoy my last month with the gals. Who knows, maybe the weather will cooperate and I’ll get to rock a bikini one last time 🙂