This I Believe

Annie - Everson, Washington
Entered on January 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in having fun no matter the circumstance.

In the spring of 2005, my dad was diagnosed with a blood disease called polycythemia. Since then, we discovered that he also had brain cancer and two types of leukemia…all unrelated. That is a lot of disease for one body to handle, but it has never shown as badly as the doctors expected. What can I say; my dad’s pretty damn tough. Lucky for me, I got some of that toughness too.

After being in the hospital for over a month and a half this summer, my dad has come home to stay. But not for long. God wants my dad pretty badly now. He’s gonna go to heaven pretty soon. You wanna know what God? I don’t really think I’m ready to let him go. Look at my brother. He’s only 12. He’s got a lot more years of needing a dad. I don’t really know how to settle this dispute. We both know you’re gonna win in the end. All right, I’ll trust you. I guess. Be good to him for me, k? He’s a good guy.

A few days ago, we thought it might be his last day. We had to give him morphine to kill the pain. He was confused when he would wake up after his naps.

“Who are all these people?!”

“Dad, they came to see you,” I would try to reassure him.

“Oh, well I guess that’s ok.”

His eyelids lowered heavily back down to cover up his pretty brown eyes.

“Dad,” I said semi-urgently.

“Uhh…” he muttered as his eyelids fluttered back up.

“Dad, I think that you are the cutest dad in the whole world. The very cutest.”

“Oh, Annie,” he mumbled as he tried to twist his lips into a smile through all that morphine.

“Dad, I think that you are the best dad in the whole world. The best dad a kid could ask for,” my sister chimed in.

“Aww shit. You guys spoil me so much,” he choked on a sob. “Don’t stop now.” We all burst into laughter and tears. The kind with the most meaning.

The next day, you would never guess he was so sick the day before. My sister and I were lowering him into his chair, and he grinned mischievously.

“Watch this, we’re gonna scare Mom.” And oh, how he started groaning. My mother flew around the corner holding a spatula, and flour speckled throughout her hair with a look of complete distress written all across her face. She began to shriek in the most god awful way.

“What?! What is it! What is wrong?!!!”

We all burst into laughter at the sight of her. She was near tears. My sister and I were rolling on the ground laughing.

“Guess I fooled you Sheila,” my dad giggled.

“Oh Douglas, you big turd,” my mom bantered back with a kiss on his bald head.

I believe in laughing when you don’t know what else to do. It cures the sadness at top speed. You don’t need to forget, but it is pertinent for us to live in the present. When you look for ways to have fun on the days that seem the darkest, you might find the brightest white light hiding inside you, ready to clear away the dark.