May 8, 2006

Uphill, both ways, in aluminum shoes, in the snow

In my break between finals 2 and 3, I drove to my hometown. My dad is doing much better than I expected. He is tolerating his most recent rounds of chemo quite well and rearranged his next cycle so that if nothing goes wrong between now and then, he can attend my graduation. The sense of relief that I feel at seeing him do so well is indescribable. I breathe easier now. It's amazing.

Last week, E & I sent him Lance Armstrong's book: It's not about the bike. He is 2/3 of the way through it and has a very different attitude than he did the last time I saw him. He is still determined to fight this disease, but he's also much more educated on the realities of what he is facing. One of the hardest things about watching my father go through this has been knowing what is coming and realizing that he does not know. And that it's ugly. And that, much as I may not like it, it is my silent cross to bear the knowledge of the ugly possible realities that he does not yet know about because it would serve no good purpose for me to tell him of my fears.

I sent him the book to inspire him. But I hadn't considered that it would serve another purpose. The book is simultaneously educating him about the long difficult road ahead and yet helping him to build and maintain his hope and strength. I think I may put the book on my reading list for post-finals.

So, I'm in a house of struggle. I harness it while I'm here. I can't believe how much easier it is to focus and study while my dad is sleeping in the next room as opposed to when I'm home alone. My dad HAS to sleep. I have the luxury of being awake. The least I can do is use my time to overcome the mild boredom, annoyance, and frustration that face me while I'm studying for finals. (Intellectual Property? Yeah, I'm talking about you!)

Similarly, while studying for the bar will also be nothing like fighting cancer, it will be a struggle. There will be personal doubts to fight, hope to maintain, motivation to keep up, and all of the other difficulties that humans must face on the more difficult portions of their journeys. So yeah, I think my next pleasure book will be Mr. Armstrong's book.

And with that, yet another thing on the list of "things to look forward to," BT will now return to diligently studying.

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