Receiving news one late and stormy night that my father is positive for lung cancer, and the life expectancy isn't looking promising was devastating; heart breaking; and earth shattering! Hence, there was no doubt in my mind that where I need to be right now in my life is at home; at home with my dad and family.
I knew instantly I need to be present to my dad to take care of him, and spend this time with him - I'd have utter regret if I didn't.
I knew instantly that right now in my life, family (spending time with family) is a top priority. So after a whirlwind of a summer in Philadelphia, I came home to my family on September 4th.
Well...the decision was easy, and clear, everything after is....we'll say an adjustment. The truth is, I've been used to living out on my own and doing things my way for the past five years. So adjusting to sharing a room again, is well, an adjustment. Adjusting to the fact that I've lived in two very urban cities full and rampant with accessible subways and buses and thus just being so free to walk a block or two and hop on a trolley or subway and being where I need to be in half an hour; and now being back in the middle of Orange County (a great big suburb) with a mediocre bus system, and needing four wheels to get anywhere in a timely manner is...an adjustment. Obviously, my savings account will be that for a car now; fingers crossed I can put a decent down payment on one before new years! Finally, being away for the past five years, I've grown in so many facets; I've had countless life experiences away from the safety net of my loving family that I'm a different person than when I first moved away to pursue the rest of my college education. That person I've become has to...adjust...back to living with my family. Or rather, they might have to...adjust...to who I've become. Perhaps both parties have to adjust to one another.
Despite the growing pains of transition, there really has been so many great and wonderful moments; it's those moments that give me grace, comfort and hope for my father, family, me and my life, and the future. It's in the long time friend who happily picked me up from LAX and enjoyed a half free dinner at Outback Stake House - complements of a nursing graduation gift card.
It's in a bliss filled "girls night;" going to a local Angels baseball game.
|Girls Night Out at the Angels Game!
It's there when I receive thoughtful emails and loving phone calls from my Philadelphia friends.
I find it when my father teaches me how to play Canasta - a loved past time of his side of the family, anytime there's a Quigley Family reunion. Then I start to remember and realize how old people used to entertain themselves before the internet (said with all of love and affection).
|Me learning Canasta.
|How does my dad and I look as cartoon characters?
There it comes when I spend a afternoon and evening with a Berkeley friend - now San Diego friend - and we shoot the breeze at the beach; complete with ice cream, and a dumb laugh of a movie in the evening.
There it comes when I connect with a once acquaintance (through my newly married friend), who also is new to the SoCal area, and we enjoy yummy food, and connect on a religious level too.
And there it certainly comes when I nail a job interview and land a job, after being home before that month mark has hit!
All in all, I know that I'm being taken care of, and I'm doing my best to take care of myself. There my be unintentional times when family and I rub each other the wrong way; or when once had freedoms of being on my own in big vibrant cities are again realized; despite all that I keep my eye on the reason I came home - family, and my dad! In the meantime I look forward to Fall (won't quite be as special as it is back East) and all that comes with it: Halloween festivities, crisp air, Thanksgiving and sinfully delicious food. I look forward to working again - first day of work is Monday! Not least, I look forward towards a bucket list of things to do with family and my dad before his time comes; and I look towards my friends for comfort and support. This is a time to not waste; and time to make things right; and in many ways I'm blessed to have it - even if the blessing is painful to accept.
|Can't forget the Dog; well one of our dogs!