Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Best Wishes For A New Year

I think the majority of us could not be more anxious to get the year 2020 over with, never to spoke of again.  Covid19 became the new worst word beginning with the letter “C”.

I was able to get some things out of 2020 that were positive.  An annual trek in January took my daughters on a detour through an actual “ghost” town, that is doing all it can at this point, at least developers anyway, to make it disappear.

A town in Pennsylvania called Centralia, famous in the area for having a coal fire burning underground for nearly 70 years, totally abandoned except for four remaining homes, had its main road closed off, deserted.  As the road no longer carried vehicles, soon vandals marred the highway, spray-painting the road until soon, it became a ritual for any visitor to the area, to leave a remnant of their visit in the form of graffiti.  This road would of course be called the “Graffiti Highway.”  Soon after our visit, the developer bulldozed dirt over the entire road, never to be seen again.  Our timing was perfect.

Another huge moment for me in 2020, was marking my 30th year, cancer free.  A party was held in my honor just before Covid started wreaking havoc.  Again, all about the timing.

Covid did take away from me as well, especially time, time with my daughters.  Until safety precautions were determined and implemented, travel back and forth was not a good idea given my vulnerabilities to the virus.

BUT, once the recommendations came out, I did manage to return to visits with my daughters again, safely, with minimal risks to each other.

2020 gave us a lot of time to think, and prepare.  We still do not know when the end point of this crisis will be, but we are now learning not only that we need to be able to move on, but how to do it safely, some would call it, “living with the virus.”  Honestly, it is not the first time we have faced a virus crisis, though clearly in my lifetime, this is the worst I have ever seen.

But here we are, finally getting to the year 2021.  And I already have so much on my calendar that I am looking forward to, Covid or not.  During this time period, I have made real progress writing my first book, based on survivorship, now two-thirds of the way finished.  I am looking forward to another great year writing this blog, and hopefully maybe making it a podcast.

Most importantly, I am looking forward to more time with my daughters.  I am so proud of how they have had to handle the diversity in regard to schooling, socialization, and more.  And they did it without complaining.  They knew the right things that had to be done.

Holy Cow!!!!  I just realized this year, I will be the father of an adult daughter.  Reality is setting in.  My emphasis on teaching and encouraging values, now turns to life survival lessons, about money and how to save it, spending wisely, negotiating, and to not be taken advantage of.  The decisions she soon faces are more serious, the rewards greater, but so are the consequences for any wrong decisions.

My younger daughter will also turn a milestone as well.  And as both of my daughters get older, they are learning more about what I have gone through in my life, through my cancer journey and beyond.  That images in the memory that make no sense, have a story behind them.  Those stories will become important to them because there will come a day, that they will need to know what I have gone through.  But that is a long way off.  I have graduations to attend and daughters to walk down the isle.

I wish everyone a Happy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year.  See you on the other side.

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