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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The flu, I miss my Dad and the Job update

I am sorry for taking so long to update.  I've been very busy - 2 kids with the flu on separate weekends and so many other things I won't bore you with....

I wanted to post last Saturday about my Dad.  He passed away 12 years ago - and it feels so strange to not only type that but re-read it.  It certainly doesn't feel like 12 years ago.  I miss him every day.  Since I always spent so much time with him - I have so many great memories that simply do not fade.  For any of you who have never lost someone so important to you, I can tell you one of my greatest worries was that my memory would fade over time and I'd forget him.  Let me tell you right now - that doesn't happen.  My memories are just as sharp and I feel just as close to him as I was then.  Its very comforting to realize that now.

I also think of my Dad often because whenever I need to know how best to react to a stressful situation, I think of what he would do.  When I am faced with a lack of grace in people around me and want to be sure I'm rising above it, I think of how he would handle it.  In any tough situation I'm faced with, I think of him and know exactly what to do.  He led by example and I learned a lot from him.  

He died from skin cancer - he was a dirty blond, bright blue-eyed man who worked outside all his life.  He had a home improvement business but spent most of his time doing the work along with those who worked for him.  That meant additions on houses but a lot of roofs and bricklaying in his early 20s.  All those sunburns on his ears (he always wore long pants) and nose turned into squamous cell carcinoma 35yrs later.  You know those little white barnacles most people get burned off at the dermatologist?  He didn't have the "lethal" melanoma that you see and read about.   Basal and squamous cell - are not related to your melanocytes (cells that produce pigment in the skin).  The deadly Melanoma is cancer in your melanocytes - the cells that produce pigment and often spread to other areas of the body.  Well, for my Dad, the kind of cancer that doesn't spread turned into tumors in his parotid gland and eventually his bones and lungs.  We thought he'd licked it after surgery and many radiation treatments.  They also couldn't find any other documented cases of this 'innocent' skin cancer turning deadly.  We thought it would all be okay.  The doctors said no one dies from this kind of cancer.

But it came back after a year and eventually killed my strong, 6'2", otherwise very healthy and stoic Dad.  My dad was one part Clint Eastwood, one part Harrison Ford, and one part John Wayne.   He was only 55 years old when he died and he never got to see my kids.  My mom, my grandma and my 3 siblings were with him in his room on his bed when he died.  I had my hand on his heart and felt his last heartbeat.  I saw him breathe for the last time.  It was just awful how cancer ravaged such a strong man into someone I didn't recognize because he was so thin and weak .  He always willed himself to work harder and longer than most people could stand.  He also willed himself to live as long as he could for us.  (That's why my son's name is Will)  He only got to see one of his eventual 8 grandchildren.  

He died Feb 12th, 1999.  It still sucks when I allow myself to think about how unfair it is.  But I live my life in the best way I know how in order to HONOR him and that's what makes me survive not having him around.   Besides, if I did anything less, he's probably find a way to kick my ass!  I sure do miss you DAD!

I just wanted to take a second to tell you all about him.  I try not to let the day of his death affect me - its just that I miss him a lot and he was the coolest!

Ok, on to brighter things.....as for my job update....So,  I met for lunch with the VP.  

I was actually quite comfortable and had a pretty productive conversation over lunch.  Its pretty hard to talk and eat so I didn't eat much.  He's got a lot of challenges and it does sound like they could use some new blood and fresh perspective on their whole customer and employee approach.  I know that I could help them, heck, it would even be fun only because I know exactly how to fix it and have done those things in my own center many times over the past few years.   Anyway - I won't go into the details b/c it would be straight up torture for you all!

At the end of the conversation I learned he needed an Operations Director (ok, so it sounds like it could be the right pay and responsibility) and he needed someone in March.  Wait, what?  March?! HALT!  A car screeching HALT!   I swallowed the bite of cheese ravioli in my mouth and calmly explained that my job wouldn't be ending until June.  He then asked if my giving up my severance was a deal breaker.

I immediately said - Ummmmmm. YES! (to myself).  What I said out loud as politely and professionally as I could was that since it was a substantial package based on my 18 years with the company, it would, in fact, be a 'deal breaker' for me to give that up in order to go to work for him in March.  The conversation ended swiftly and politely with a "well, if anything changes, please keep in touch." 

What I didn't tell you was that one my favorite co-workers - really my partner at work - she got a call from him too.  She met with him over lunch the previous day.  Of course we told each other all about our  EXACT same conversations and laughed at how duplicate our experiences were.

Now, I really thought this was over.  And I'm ok with it.  I actually wanted the experience so I could know exactly how it will be in the future when I'm looking for a job.  I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from the experience even if I totally screwed it up.   Well, he called today and wants me to stop by the center this Saturday so he can talk to me further.  He wants to meet me on Saturday so I can 'tour' the facility to 'look around' and talk further.  He doesn't want me to be in the office during a busy workday because he doesn't want the management there to know he's looking outside the company for someone to 'change things.'    I'm thinking to myself - what is there to talk about?  I also told him that there will likely be a contingency in my severance package that doesn't allow me to work for a vendor of my company for 6mos.   So, I'm thinking why would he call me to talk further?  Well, I'll let you all know.  I also told my co-worker and she didn't get the same call back which surprises me b/c she's very talented and I'd hire her in a split second - she's that sharp!  I have to say, however, that its awkward.  I had to tell her, though!

So, there's my saga.  Lots of flu in my house, I miss my Dad and the job update.

Oh, and my weight isn't moving b/c I'm not making time to exercise.  I've got time carved out tomorrow and I'm going to make it fit!  I need stop and make time for ME and my health!  The kids are going skiing with my husband's parents this weekend so I get some alone time with my man! Woot! 


  1. My mom passed 3 years ago and it seems just like yesterday. It hurts just like yesterday. Your Job situation seems crazy! It will all work out and the scale will move again!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing about your dad. He sounds like an amazing guy and you are so fortunate to have all those memories, I can't imagine how much that hurts.

    My dad is still around but we don't have much of a relationship, sadly.

    Kids with flu - no fun! Hope everyone is feeling better.

  3. Wow your story about your dad really touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing

  4. I was riveted to your story about your dad, especially after you mentioned parotid tumors. My Mom died in 1998 as result of metastasized parotid tumors... yes, the same tumors that 99% of the time are not cancerous. Not quite sure what the genesis of hers was, but they were there. I miss her mightily sometimes.

  5. I am glad you were left with memories. My father passed when I was 9 but I don't remember anything.
    Hope your household is on the mend!

  6. I am so touched that you felt you could share that story about your dad...he sounds like such a wonderful man!

    Good luck on the job front! Hope it works out for you!


  7. Your dad sounds like a great guy! Cherish your memories.

  8. Thank you for sharing your dad with us today. I am crying while typing this My dad is only gone 9 months and it feels like a lifetime already. I am constantly "talking" to him and I pray that will never stop.


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