This is the first of what I'm sure will be many, many posts to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. When I decided to start this project and hope for the best a few days ago, I did so on a whim...hoping that maybe a handful of people might see this post and send my dad a card and in turn I hoped that it would give him a boost in his motivation or in his overall outlook. I'm not looking for miracles here, I'm just looking for ANY type of forward progress. Anyone who's battled cancer or been a caregiver for someone battling cancer understands that, I'm sure. It's a relentless disease and it seems to just beat a person down emotionally and physically non stop. I created this looking for something that could put a halt to that pain even if for a second and make the brain go in the opposite direction....POSITIVE! HAPPY! THIS FEELS GOOD! Those are all things that the brain really misses, I think, when cancer comes into play.
I truly never imagined, nor could I have, the type of response that this has gotten!! I woke up the next day to see that several friends of mine had shared this on instagram, twitter and Facebook and then went on to find people that I don't even know resharing it. Not only were people sharing this project and this blog, but it was with the most kind and loving words which has touched me more than I can say. Then I found out we're going to be on a podcast this week!!! Thank you so much Renay and Ana :D If you're not doing so already, you should totally be listening to Fangirl Happy Hour! It's an amazing podcast run by two amazing women about amazingly nerdy and bookish things!
I went by my dad's house after work on Saturday to check on him and the first thing he tells me is "I don't know what the hell is going on, but something is weird...people are coming out of the woodwork from my past. Everyone knows I'm sick all of a sudden!" So I had no choice but to break the ice at this point :p Which ended up being perfect because he had amassed quite a few comments left all over the internet which I got to deliver. The response I got from my dad was much more than what I was expecting. Like I said in my initial post, we've gotten much closer since his diagnosis. My dad has made some amazing changes since his diagnosis. His outlook on life has changed tremendously and it's allowed him to be open to the kindness of others I think. More so than he was before at least. He was literally speechless after I read him the blog post. He would later send me some of the most heartwarming text messages that I will always cherish, but those will remain private.
To say that he's thankful for everyone that has wished him well so far, that has reposted this project, that has offered support, is an understatement. We both realized together as we were searching the internet that people he hadn't spoke with since his teenage years had found this project through Facebook already. We spent about two hours on Facebook revisiting old memories from his past. After which I realized that my dad apparently thinks the internet was written for him :p I had to continuously remind him that "no dad, the entire internet is NOT your project....these people were ALREADY on the internet and Facebook ALREADY existed before tonight" :p It's hilarious watching my dad discover technology. My dad just got a cell phone about a year ago and knows how to call someone and send a text message (which takes him about 5 minutes to do). That's it. This was an awesome bonus side effect of this project...watching my dad discover technology :p
I came home last night after visiting with my dad and he already had a little gift that had arrived for him at my apartment which I brought to him today. When I saw it, that's when it truly hit me how amazing and how powerful this project is and just how big of an impact this is going to have on my dad. And I was suddenly so overwhelmed and so filled with gratitude for everyone out there. All of you. My friends, my dad's friends and people I don't even know...proof that the human race is essentially kind and good and loving. This project is an example of how love and compassion can, if not save, at least extend and better a person's life. That's a gift that has no value that can be paid for. It's overwhelmingly beautiful. The gift, by the way, was The Beatles' Meet the Beatles CD, with a note reminiscing about the days of hearing the Beatles' for the first time. That's a gift that my dad literally can't look at or think about WITHOUT having a happy thought :) I realized when I saw that....this is going to be so good. In so many ways.
I wanted to take the time to mention this too - I wish there was a way that I could tangibly thank everyone for even taking the time to think of this project and think of my dad. I know there are probably already people that I'm unaware of that have shared this project. What I can do is this...I hope to keep this project going as long as possible, as long as it's needed. Along the way, if I can use this blog to be of support for anyone else, to get the word out about others who need support, others who are in need, others who have a project of their own that they would like to share, please don't hesitate to let me know!!! I'm happy to help. It's the very least that I can do!!
Also, if you send something and if you're comfortable doing so, would you mind sending your address or return address as well so that I can send a thank you card? Even if you feel that is not necessary, it would make my day to be able to send you a card ;)
Once again, thank you all SO much. More than I can put into words, I appreciate all of your support and your continued efforts. Please feel free to mention the project whenever you would like :) We're in this for the long haul. I wish you all a happy week ahead!