Monday, June 17, 2013

What Dad Can't Do

I just had my best father’s day weekend ever by a mile, or maybe by a half marathon. I had agreed to shortly after the Beaumont race to do a virtual race ( will benefit the group that did counseling with Kiana, Wonders and Worries ( I’d never done a virtual race but it's a way to get people to exercise in places where there aren't as many organized races. Because my friend Dave had offered to share his Galveston beach house with us on the weekend, I decided to do something I’d never done which was do a really long run on the beach. The simple truth is that I intended to do the 18 miles my scheduled called for on the beach but running in sand, with 80 degree weather, in high humidity by myself whooped me so I ran the half marathon that I was "virtually" committed to and jogged the last 2 miles and got in only 15… that is the most water I’ve ever drank on a long run and the most dehydrated I’d ever been. The next day I was more sore from a slow run than I have ever been from any road half I've ever done...

We went from there to an ultimate tournament where Kiana and I did some running together and I played some in one of the only two ultimate tournament I’ve never missed, the Texas Beach Ultimate Festival. Dave has a little boy and Kiana and him clicked instantly and they played with light sabers together and "drove the boat" together. That was actually the most I’ve ever seen her hanging out with someone of the opposite gender and I said it was fine for them to be friends till one of them went through puberty ;). I still haven't quite gotten her to convert into the idea of becoming a nun and interestingly enough when you ask her what to be when she grows up the answer on careers have shifted but consistently she says she wants to be a mommy.

And there in the ultimate community, the community I am and was part of for years long before I'd run a marathon, I helped put together the bracket in between slips out to the beach with Kiana. There were the people there who 2.5 years ago put together a tournament where most of the profits went to Livestrong but some went to my medical bills… There were people who felt the need to say my mom/dad loves you because of the news coverage. There were people who notice the deficits and others who the more beer they drink the worse/better the jokes about my brain cancer got. There were strangers there that just wanted me to make the bracket go better for the team. But mostly there were just friends there who it was good to see them in what had been too long since the last time.

Before I left for the weekend, Kiana and I spent Friday making an arts and crafts purse. She put together one side of it for her with a K and all daytime decorational stuff and the other side of it together with a d for daddy and all night stuff…  So with painted toe nails… and now a nighttime purse, I think that made me be officially out of man cards. I am not quite sure whether more girls or guys pointed out my toenails... you know I've done this many times but usually Kiana picks pink which doesn't stand out as much. Her picking out my favorite color this time, royal blue has made them scream for attention...

Then on father’s day itself… I was just watching her sleep realizing she's worth every ounce of holding some things back and she woke up. She wanted to get a dress on that she had packed because it was also my favorite color (I hope her sensitivity to me will be something she holds on to and share with a lot of people and care always). The anti seizure medication I take everyday I had connected with some things around her morning and evening schedule as reminder. These have become a little more “relaxed” since school let out and so now I’ve set up an alarm that rings on the ipad and my phone and …so she’s become used to it popping up on the ipad if she’s playing with it. But somehow since it’s become part of her routine that it interrupts any games she's playing she asks even when she’s not on the ipad. So without a shrug or a care, moments after waking up on her time scale (definitely not a morning girl) she said, “where’s my bag so I can put on my dress, have you taken your pills yet and happy father’s day.” Ridiculously good summary of my life…

And now at six she had managed to make a father’s day gift at school that she had (with help) hidden until father’s day. There was a portrait of me… and some really nice messages in a story book she had made one in which I was wearing a Livestrong short. It talked about my favorite foods, about how someone lives with us to help us, about how she thinks that while at school “I think he playz on his computer and 2 phone calls," that I look handsome with a fancy shoes and tie, that I make sure she’s always taken care of, when she’s hurt I help heal her and that when we go to Costco I buy her ice cream. There was a whole description of a variety of aspects of life but she put that the hardest thing I have to deal with is my brain caincer…

But there was a then a little card that said “My dad can run, draw, read but what my can’t do is wear my high heels with little white shiny bows.” You gotta love that… I’ve painted my nails, I’ve carried a purse… I am frustrated by my lack of confidence in many areas of my life, especially those that we associate with being "manly". I wonder when/if I should get back to work, when/if I’ll die of this brain cancer and why can’t I have any certainty of it, when/if these legal issues with her mother will settle and why can’t she just let the legal process have a break,  when/if I’ll ever be allowed to drive again, when/if I'll ever forget to take my medication (which she reminds me of!)... but despite all that, the one thing that the center of the universe thinks I can’t do… is wear high heels. What’s the equivalent of size 10 men’s size for high heels? If that’s all it takes to show this little girl that I can do anything to make her happy, let me know what color you think I'd make them look good in. 


  1. You know, I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident, but have followed it since then. I am amazed as your selflessness and love for that beautiful little girl.

    My husband lost his leg when he was 19 to osteosarcoma....Not alot he cannot do....wearing high heels is probably one he couldn't do, but if our little (21 years old) girl was still little and requested it, I am sure he would try.

    God Bless you and Kiana as you grapple with the daily issues that come your way....praying you are blessed beyond measure....

    Trudi Burner
    Lookout Mtn., GA

  2. This is one of the sweetest father's day posts I've read. I love reading about your daughter, and I wouldn't give yourself a hard time for doing "only" 15 miles in the sand, that's a lot of work!!!

  3. Size 12
    Glad you had a fantastic Father's Day! KC

  4. You've certainly got the legs for heels! I checked the link from the poster above and while I think the red would be awesome on you, Kiana did specifically say you couldn't wear a pair with little white bows, so I vote for the white ones, surely she would be just as pleased with marabou as she would a bow. :)