In 2016, my father hurt his back. I took him to the doctor and to my shock and dismay, learned that it was the first time in over 30 years (since before I was born) that he had been to see a doctor. Due to a genetic predisposition for dementia, his many years of experience working with lead paint, and his love of alcohol, pa's memory isn't what it once was & it became apparent that a parent needed some assistance.
I began taking him to a variety of specialists for the check-ups that were long past due. Later that year, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I moved him in with me and the following few months were spent in and out of hospitals and doctors offices fighting infections, allergic reactions, and side effects. Among other movies the hospital provides, pa & I watched Smokey & the Bandit, Frozen, and a PBS tribute to outlaw country musicians. The results came back and fortunately, the surgeon was able to remove all cancerous tumors in his bladder in January of 2017.
Unfortunately, In December of last year, he received the same diagnosis, the C word was back, trust me, cancer is a real cunt (I don't use this word lightly but cancer deserves it). Throughout the first round of doctors' visits and surgeries two years previous, I continued to work my 40 hour weeks and found myself constantly exhausted, sick, and with migraines that made me vomit uncontrollably. So when I scheduled his surgery for Jan. 2019, I decided that I needed to take time off to take care of him (and of myself) during this stressful and emotional process. The surgery went even smoother than last time yet my father had fallen in late December and fractured a small area of his spine causing tremendous pain and difficulty completing everyday tasks. During my time taking care of my father* I did a lot of thinking about my future.
On Feb. 18th I submitted my resignation. It was an extremely difficult decision as I have worked for this library system for over 10 years. I was only 16 years old when I began as a page and the system has been like a second (or first?) home to me. My coworkers and patrons felt like family. Yet there is no room for that kind of thinking in a professional business organization and that has been made clear to me these past couple of years yet I still felt deep love for my coworkers, love for my patrons, love for my system which is not professional and it was time to fly from the nest and explore some new career options and opportunities.
I attended the fabulous 80's-themed Prom at the Grievous Gallery in Salisbury, NC & had such a great time that I decided to record a song I made up and have sung for the last year hoping it would give me the courage to move on, wander, explore! instead of remaining at the same job for 50 years and retiring without having at least given my dreams a shot.
I've decided to also take this time to finish the book I've been planning to write. I've promised to "reveal" the title today, March 1st, but I wanted to note that this was not a promotional tactic as much as it has been a deadline I had to set for myself to be able to put the title out there into the universe. I have made a lot of progress on the book this week and sharing any part of it - even the name is terrifying. This is a project that is extremely close to my heart and difficult to share with others as it is not the part of me I like for others to see - my ugly side - if you will. When I'm less emotionally exhausted I'll explain more about the book but for now...but for now...but for now...but for no.....ow...The title of the book is...
*(and I have also continued to rehearse for the GLORIOUS play THE CAKE! Have you seen it? If so, what did you think? Two showings left; tonight, Fri., March 1st, & tomorrow, March 2nd at 7:30 pm - doors open at 7. Tickets are only $15)
Emma Red March Rose