Welcome Back; Tidal Waves and Rainbows

My try-hard, ganbaru face

My try-hard, ganbaru face

You may have noticed an absence over the last year. Or maybe you didn’t (I won’t be offended). Well, I have good news for you: I’m back.

The last year has been quite the roller coaster for me. My previous post marked the final turn in my father’s health, and subsequent rapid decline. The prior November, in a last-ditch effort, he underwent a difficult procedure to “replace” his immune system to beat the Lymphoma. Remember my “Thankful for Superheroes” post? Well, that post was made just after he completed that treatment. He was such a trooper, the true image of strength and a positive attitude. I’m still learning these lessons from him, and will continue to do so for a long time.

It’s been nearly one year to the day since his passing.

Maybe you saw him around here. He was always commenting on my posts. I mean, if no one posted, he did. That meant the world to me. It made me feel that when I pressed “Publish” it wasn’t sending my words into some digital void.

He was my biggest supporter. He was my favorite person. I don’t know if you’ve ever lost your favorite person, but I can promise you, it’s very hard.

The support of my friends and family made the difference in my darkest days. Currently, I live a long way from those I feel closest to, down in Orange County, California. Some days I feel alone. Other days I feel supported by friends near and far. It just depends on the day.

I’ve channeled my general frustration at the unfairness of life into Brazilian JiuJitsu and running. Sometimes, I’m convinced it’s all that actually keeps me sane.

In the months preceding his passing, he was ever supportive of my adventures, helping me in buying my first car, accept my first full-time position in the Games industry, and so much more. I knew it was getting bad when he would call (as he did every day) and I would ask “How are you?” “Oh, I’m OK,” He would say.

But the day before he passed, I asked if he’d given up… He said “No.”

Sometimes I feel like giving up. Actually, I feel like that a lot. How will I navigate this complicated world without his wisdom and encouragement? I need to take a page out of his book and not give up.

So here we are. The waves won’t ever stop crashing down on me. I’m convinced of this. But, in time, they become farther apart. Interestingly, my family has come to regard rainbows as a symbol for my father. It makes sense, they are natural wonder found only with the combination of sun and rain. I don’t know if I believe in life after death, but I do know that energy is neither created nor destroyed. And my father had plenty of energy to go around. On beautiful days filled with light and color, I feel as though he’s checking in on me.

I’m not giving up and I hope you can join me as I continue my translation.


7 thoughts on “Welcome Back; Tidal Waves and Rainbows

  1. Nick says:

    “The waves won’t ever stop crashing down on me. I’m convinced of this. But, in time, they become farther apart.”

    Beautifully said.

  2. Such a beautiful tribute to your Dad. He was a very special person who brought smiles to all who met him. Rainbows are the perfect symbol for him. Keep your chin up, he is watching over you.

  3. Greg says:

    Glad you’re getting back into writing! Perhaps I need to make m readership more public, so you know your words aren’t drifting aimlessly in cyberspace 😀

  4. Jess, thank you for sharing.

    My mom also has lymphoma (Primary CNS Lymphoma). She was diagnosed in early 2014. One day at a time!

    I’m glad that you were able to spend quality time with your dad and that you had such a good relationship with him. I know he’s proud of you.

  5. This is beautiful, Jess. Heartfelt and touching. My father passed some 8 years ago now from leukemia and carcinoma. Our family associates rainbows with him as well. Every time we see one we take a moment and remember him.

    Life never brings us that which we expect. Oftentimes, though, what it does bring us is far greater than what we could have hoped for. Here’s to your days in California growing richer and your days of loneliness growing fewer and far between. 🙂

  6. Meredith says:

    I’m definitely crying. What a beautiful tribute to your dad Jessica! Thank you for sharing…hopefully these words resonate with others who share this same pain.

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