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F Cancer

{Warning: This is raw. Real. Unpolished. Unpretty. I'm not sure I will publish it, but I am sure going to write it.}

You should know that I detest profanity. I do. I don't swear around my kids, or even once they've gone to bed. I guess I think there are so many other words, wonderful words, out there to use to describe how I am feeling. I guess I think swear words are kind of boring and unoriginal. Quite simply, I'm not a fan.

But. Today, I feel a bit differently. Today, I feel like there are exceptions to even my own steadfast rules.

Fuck cancer.

There, I did it.

Goodness, I am sad. I am sad about a man I didn't know. A man I don't even know much about. His name was Steve.

Goodness, I am sad. I am sad about a man I did know. A man I loved. His name was Strachan. Dad.

These men had nothing in common. Steve was a digital visionary. He changed the world as we know it. He created beautiful objects of technology that my two-year-old can use. Strachan was a philosophical visionary. He changed my world as I know it. He brewed up brilliant ideas that I will tell my kids about one day once I understand them a little better.

Wait.

These men had everything in common. They were thoughtful. They had ideas. They were family men. They were private. They worked hard and dreamed big. And they were young. Too young.

Steve was 56.

Strachan, Dad, was 66.

Too fucking young.

(I did it again.)

Both of these men had so many more years and ideas in them. Both of them had things left to say, and do, and realize. Both of them had wives and families, wives and families who loved them and needed them.

Yesterday. October 5th. It was a hard day for me. Because it was the day after my birthday which is also the anniversary of the day Dad was diagnosed with cancer. That was a terrible day that cruelly cracked my life into Before and After. It was a day I think about often, rolling it over in my mind, wishing I could rearrange it, eliminate it altogether.

But I can't.

Yesterday, consciously and unconsciously, I ran away from the day. I knew there was a layer of sadness there, silky and slippery, but I said no. I refused to write about it, I refused to breathe it. Instead, I wrote about my darling daughter and her penchant for pink. I avoided.

And the day rolled on. Into night. And I thought I'd made it, but no. Then I heard about Steve. About how he was gone, too. About how another big life had ended. How another idea man was taken from us. How another family lost a father.

And I was sad. Of course I was sad. On the anniversary of the day my own Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a major man, a good man, died of cancer.

This was too much to ignore.

And yet I tried to. I wrote a post about a bag. A beautiful red bag. And about a good man, a wonderful guy who loves me, who is very much here. It was a silly post with some more serious undertones, but it was again an avoidance, I think.

So. Here I am. In my sweat-stained gym clothes. Hunched over a table at Starbucks, pounding away on, yes, on my sleek little Mac. Sun streams in and I squint. I think and I remember and I revere. I feel lost and empowered and the sudden and stabbing urge to do something good with my life. To wake up. To the life I have now. The very good and complicated and rich life. The life that often exhausts me and confuses me. The life that it is a profound and precarious privilege to have.

Because things change. Diagnoses are made. Good people, and great people, die young.

So, yes, I am sad. About a man I didn't know. About a man I did know.

And I'm angry, too. Angry that things work the way they do sometimes.

Sad enough and angry enough to use that good old F-word. I feel okay about this. I even feel okay about the fact that my little girls might read this post one day. In fact, I hope they do. Because this? This is real. This is life. Also, I feel okay because Dad did this. He never really cursed either, but every now and then, quite rarely actually, he would let one fly. When he really felt something, when he really meant it. And even then, even when I was little, I think I respected this, that there are times to break the rules, to say things we otherwise wouldn't.

I think if Dad were still around, he'd utter these two words too.

Fuck cancer.

{Yup, I'm going to publish this. Forgive me for the likely typos and the unmistakable profanity. Soon, I will return to my regularly scheduled program of editing and being polite.}

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How did the news of Steve Jobs' death affect you if it did? Did it make you think of people you've lost in your own life? About the unfairness of it all? Do you think it's okay to embrace profanity in certain situations? Please leave a comment to let me know you read this. Even if all you write is "F Cancer," it would mean something to me.

Beauty in the Blur

My Birthday Bag