I recently updated my will to reflect the scholarship that winning the gusher marathon got Kiana (http://www.donationto.com/Sports-Society-Fund-for-Iram-Leon)… The simple truth is that probably anyone with kids should have a will at least because of the legalese of property etc. With that said I never had one until the cancer stuff started… And at the time I just downloaded some forms because well my finances were going towards direct medical bils not sideways ones but this time around an attorney was kind enough to give me better guidance than that (http://www.texaswillsandtrustslaw.com/). The will that stood until a few days ago simple left everything to Kiana to receive at age 18. I am not worth much but I am in a house with some equity and have a fairly minimal term life insurance that I wanted to make sure she received with the least hassle. She pointed out it’s probably best to establish a trust and some caveats and so some modifications were made like that Kiana receives 40% of whatever there is at college graduation or at when she turns 25 (here’s hoping she uses that scholarship fund wisely) and the rest when she turns 30. Even the most responsible among us, I imagine if were handed $100 or $10K at age 18, it probably wouldn’t make 19 but it took someone with more experience to help me be aware of that.
Some other documents were put into place that were not, again because of wiser guidance. There now exists a standing power of attorney. When you’ve waken up in an ambulance a couple of times, when you take pills twice a day to prevent that, it was a standing power one rather than one in case of medical emergency because that apparently (no pun intended) is a gray area where the doctor has to decide if you’re not mentally fit and the one we set up they have it now whether or not a doctor thinks its neccessary. Trust me… that takes trust. Other realities that somehow I’d neglected to put into place where pointed out… are there particular items that you want to go to certain people… I don’t own much but there were a few people who I thought would appreciate some sentimental tidbits from running, world travel, ultimate etc… who gets your dog (it’s going to the “Bon Jovi” girl, a nickname she’s not sure she likes).
A question on there was what I would like done with my remains… and this is literally in legal papers now, I asked that I be cremated and flushed down the toilet. There will, of course, be those who think this is less than appropriate; there are no consequences or binding things to this and the executor of my will Todd has already let me know that when the time comes, and he always says decades from now, that he will be ignoring that part. But this is simply because I don’t care about my final resting place… I’ve never cared about resting anyway. People asked why I'm not being thrown on a race course or buried in Mexico and I've had enough friends who do things like that and I find the romance comforts them and their loved ones. I have full respect for that and to each his but I don’t romanticize death, never have and hope I never will. Look how much I struggle with romantic moments in life. My brain will be donated to science and perhaps my organs will be donated as well (there are questions about whether or not medicine would take them due to the cancer diagnosis, typically they wouldn’t but this type of cancer doesn’t metastasize outside the brain and spine). But other things are in place like there is a very very short window of keeping me on life support. I know, have met, respect and at some level understand from having watched my great grandmother lie in bed for the last few years of her life that we have a hard time letting go… but I am not going that way… I am not going being a burden and if takes technology to keep me breathing for longer than 72 hours… well it’s time to stop breathing.
But as that document was prepared… I got invited to speak at the Pocatello marathon (http://www.pocatellomarathon.com/index.php?page=race-info). They asked if I had a book I would like to show at the expo. I’ve gotten the book question a few times and I suppose even with this blog (which is obviously mostly whining) the book would be, I love my daughter, I love to run, it’s unfortunate that it took brain cancer for me to get better focus on both of those. The end. But this pocatello race unlike anything I’ve done before because it’s a huge elevation drop and I’ve been in sprint mode so this will literally be the shortest time I’ve ever trained for a marathon and with Kiana being out of school for the summer… let’s just say that appropriately enough my 8th marathon will have me intimidated and excited. That tends to be my life mantra.
But Kiana’s school has had so many functions in the last two weeks of school, watermelon and splash day (I got soaked), chalk and autograph day (I signed it by the only way I’m known in that room, Kiana’s dad), Boone’s got talent day (teachers danced on stage and I couldn’t decide if I was more sad or happy that I’d never seen my teachers from elementary do something like that). There was a dad function day where, like she does often, Kiana put a flower in my ear. Several dads looked at me weird and it took me a while to realize that my normal isn’t theirs… Someone said I was showing them how to live and I’m certainly not trying to do that, I’m just trying to get a little girl to keep smiling and if a flower in my head does it, what does that harm? I mean school gets out tomorrow (has it literally already been a school year) and we have a pedicure scheduled for Friday. So flowers in my hair and my toenails done in a week just to get a six year old to smile… a friend of mine’s daughter just had her sweet sixteen. I hope I’m still standing then.
I finally used the frequent flyer miles from all the trips to Duke to go camping in that exotic land of Canada. It was a Frisbee tournament where I realized that no matter if you win a marathon or a 5k… you can be completely out of shape for other things, even things you used to do a lot more often. It was a goofy tournament, like a color run or the beer mile that I’ve done. It was the first time that it was just a random trip. There have been trips everytime I’ve gone to Duke just to make the trip easier but this was just a trip for a sporting event. I am always one of those people who volunteer when they offer up money to get bumped and this time I couldn’t help but think if only my medical situation was like this flight… I can volunteer to arrive later at my final destination and get paid for it, that would be a dream world J. Let’s just say between vouchers, this Toronto trip and the Pocatello one, the kid who can’t drive is glad that I’ll be getting some flights in. The camping one in another country where there was no cell phone, no facebook, no internet, made me remember why those were invented but also glad to take a break from them.
No new news on this de novo hearing with Kiana’s mother… And I’m going to continue the attitude I’ve had since I got fired and she filed for custody… while that’s pending, I’m not even going to pretend to look for work right now. I keep helping at things but at the end of the day if everything goes right with these legal matters and with cancer and all I did was hang out with Kiana some more… or if everything goes wrong and a seizure or cancer kills me soon or a judge really does grant that I should only have supervised visits… well if all I did was swallow my pride and hang out with my kid some more, to me that’s a win/win. There was a dad who at one of these end of year functions went up to a teacher and said it’s nice to finally meet you to her. We talked after and he felt guilty about how little he saw his child but he said with his job, it was a financial necessity… The other day as a friend was going to work after a meal with me, I said, “Oh that’s tough that you gotta go to work” and they responded with, “You know you’re jealous.” And I was but this insurance I live off as a financial necessity and the cancer which comes with some other financial and other realities… well let me refer you back to that if everything goes right and all I did was hang out with my kid some more or if everything goes wrong and all I did was hang out with my kid some more, to me, that's a win/win.
Last summer, I wasn’t working, having gotten fired in May (showing you how dumb I am/what I’m made of, I was given multiple chances to resign but that’s just not my style). Legal proceedings were just starting and I was trying to figure out Cobra, health realities etc. This summer, some of those things still aren’t settled but the job thing for at least till 2014 is full time dad. And I hope I can earn my keep.