...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Friday, March 06, 2009

olive juice, my lovelies. olive juice...

Have I ever told you that my Dad was one of the first people to ever encourage me to write? Yep. While talking to him on the phone during what I then considered to be another traumatic day of my freshman year of college (Oh, to have such trauma now! I WISH my only problems were having a weird roommate!)(Wait...ha ha, universe. Now you've apparently given me three!), I slid down the wall in a dramatic, tear-filled moment, landed in a lump (Freshman Fifteen, y'all!)(Um, probably a month after school started) on the tile floor, and lamented to him that I just didn't know what I wanted to do with my life.

After tossing out a few ideas, Dad, being a good Dad, said I seemed to have a flair for the dramatic. "I can't act!" I yelled into the phone. And perhaps tossed the back of my hand, quite diva-like, to my forehead, then turned for my best angle when a girl who lived down the hall from me walked by.

"You could try writing," he interrupted. "Your English teachers always liked the things you wrote."

I sighed again, just as dramatically as an Oscar-winning actress, and wondered how I could make a career writing papers about my thoughts on Romeo and Juliet, but, when we hung up, I gave it some serious thought. Aside from my high school English teachers, my Dad - up until that phone conversation - had been the only other person who had ever read the things I'd write. Later that week, I switched my major from education (where I no doubt would be reading papers about Romeo and Juliet written by my inspired high school students) and tackled journalism. Four years later, I was writing for a weekly newspaper, where several hundred people joined my Dad in reading the words I cranked out.

After my Dad had his stroke, he could no longer read the newspaper I had eventually become the editor of. A few years after that, I quit writing completely. Even more years after that, I kind of thought I missed writing and starting doing this. My Dad has never read my blog, but yesterday, many hours after his lengthy surgery, I sat by his bed in the ICU and told him that many people had read something I wrote about the day we'd just had, and that they were sending out positive thoughts his way.

First I had to explain what a blog was, then I had to assure him that all of you were very nice and not trying to take advantage of me, and finally I had to ask him not to tell my Mom I have a a blog.

In between all that, my Dad - exhausted, coursing with morphine, and stitched from the top of his left ear to the bottom of his chin - whispered a request that I thank all of you. I assured him I was absolutely going to do that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oh, and thank you! All of you who read, all of you who shared a kind thought, just all of you, thank you!

Surgery took a couple hours longer than expected, but his surgeon was happy to find the mass growing in my dad's neck hadn't spread. We'll hopefully know if we're dealing with anything beyond yesterday's task sometime next week, and after a night in ICU, Dad will be checked again later this afternoon to see how his healing is going. The doctor hinted yesterday that, if things looked good, he could actually go home today, but healing is a delicate work in progress, so we'll see.

We're very optimistic that this is one of those all is well that ends well situations, and say what you may, I, for one, believe that you really can feel the support of people who have offered up a prayer or positive thought for you. It helped tremendously yesterday, especially as my Mom and I putzed around the hospital, wondering why things were taking so long. If you have a few more prayers or positive thoughts to share from time to time, I'd appreciate if you'd toss them up for me. Remember how I said in my last post that we have a running checklist of things we keep after my Dad about? Well, yesterday, as nurses prepped him for surgery, they asked me to come look at a large lesion on Dad's back, and suggested I ask the surgeon to remove it while he was under because it really (really) didn't look good. In his own way, my Dad pointed to his ankle and said, "You think that one's bad, you should see this one down here." I rolled my eyes at him, pulled out a notebook, jotted down the word dermatologist, and asked him what he thought I was going to do about him.

Long story short (did someone say I used to be an editor?!), when I finished that long-ago phone call with my Dad, we closed things by saying what we'd habitually said to the other for years. "Olive juice," I said. "Olive juice, too," he replied. When I left him last night, we said the same thing.

And I olive juice all of you, too.


With my Dad's blessing, I am going out this evening with a friend for Mexican food (which I do not like, unless it's nachos, and then I wonder if that's just stretching the definition of Mexican food a wee bit), margaritas (which I've never had), and a movie (which she's going to regret when I suggest seeing the Jonas Brothers 3D). It's been that kind of week.

Tequila, everyone. Tequila.



Blogger Kim said...

So far so good. I hope it continues that way!

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:35:00 AM  
Blogger Seriously Brenda said...

I'm sorry you are going through such a hard time. From another girl who adores her dad, be strong and go enjoy those margaritas tonight! Sending supah healing vibes to your dad from Wisconsin!

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:44:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

So glad surgery went well and recovery is underway.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:44:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Is you dad saying, "I love Jews"?

Gad to hear things went well.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:52:00 AM  
Blogger Chasity said...

I'm so glad to hear things went well. Enjoy your tequila. I'll be craving margaritas for the rest of the day now, but not 3D. I'll leave that to you. Enjoy your evening out.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Booms said...

So glad to read this, with tears in my eyes... thanks for that!

I love your Dad and dad's have the most awesome way of saying just the write thing to put it all into perspective.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:57:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

SO relieved to hear the surgery went well. Continuing to send warm fuzzies to you & to your dad.

On a serious note, I am concerned about this margarita situation. Worried, even. Please go have a pitcher & enjoy the deliciousness - you've certainly earned it.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Very happy to hear that surgery went well... hope you enjoy your evening out, sounds like you could use a little relaxing, stress-free time off.

Though I still worry about this Jonas Brothers thing...

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a) So happy the surgery went well. Hope the coming weeks bring only positive news.

b) How is it possible you've never had a margarita? What corner of hell do you live in?

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

good to hear your pops is going to be okay.
i'll continue praying that his pathology comes back good.

i'll see your olive juice and give ya a big fat pair of "elephant shoes" girlie.

you know i love ya. and uh let's hope in your dad's drunken morphine IV stupor he doesn't remember that chat you had where you told him all about your blog or he might turn into my mother.

"kimmy, you're so crazy, why do you say that stuff?"

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Well, olive juice, too, my dear. . .

Glad to hear the surgerating went well. Prayers now that he mend quickly. My dad had bypass in his 70s; when he first came out of surgery, he looked awful, but in a couple weeks' time, he was well on the mend. . .

And I'll be going out later tonight w/ 3M for 21st-bday drinks. I'm guessing there could be a margarita or two involved. (And just between you & me, I think you'll love 'ritas. . .)

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Therese in Heaven said...

You've never had margaritas? Well, Miss, you are in for a treat! Just make sure to get them frozen.

I'm happy things went well!

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger San Diego Momma said...

I am SO glad to hear your dad's surgery was successful.

I've been pretty incognito in the blogosphere lately (WORK!), and am sorry I missed this from the beginning.

Still: I've got many positive vibes to share and olive juice.

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I'm so relieved that it was a success and Olive Juice both too. I'd say more but I'm afraid I might cry and you know me, I can't be emotional, must maintain my robotic fa├žade.

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:40:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Oh, and just between the two of us. . . I think an olive juice margarita would be perfectly dreadful. But maybe that's just me. . .

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:55:00 AM  
Blogger DawgDyke said...


Friday, March 06, 2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

I'm sooo glad it went well, and I have lots and lots more prayers and warm thoughts heading your way.

Love the "olive juice" reference, reminded me that my (now) wife and I used to say that to one another, as well, when we were ages and ages younger than now.

Enjoy the margaritas, and Therese's right- have a frozen one!

Friday, March 06, 2009 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger funkimunkii said...

first time at your blog and you have me BALLING. glad your dad is ok. and glad I found your blog!

Friday, March 06, 2009 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger txsjewels said...

i had an eerily similar phone conversation with my dad when i was in college... then ended up writing for a weekly.. are we living a parallel life? olive juice really goes better with vodka... yo daddy is lucky to have you! loved this line: "first, i had to explain what a blog was..." classic dad stuff.

Friday, March 06, 2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

Thanks for the update, I was thinking about you yesterday. So glad it went well. And Olive Juice? Well, that may just be the cutest thing I've ever heard...

Enjoy the tequilla friend, you sure earned it this week!

Friday, March 06, 2009 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger kaila said...

So glad to hear everything went smooth - will continue to send positive vibes.

You are kidding when you say you've never had margaritas, right? RIGHT????

Friday, March 06, 2009 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

Another vote for frozen margaritas. Glad you came back today to let us know how it went.

veri: punwater??

Friday, March 06, 2009 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger DKC said...

Go easy on the margaritas if it's your first time - they can be brutal!

Tell your Dad we are all pulling for him every day. Isn't the bloggy world great? Constantly reaffirms my (often shaky) faith in humanity.

Hugs to you and your family!

Friday, March 06, 2009 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When life gives you lemons, slice those bad buys up and use them to chase your tequila, my dear!

Glad to hear the surgery went well. I'll keep sending you good wishes.

Friday, March 06, 2009 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Here I am goofing off with you on Twitter when I finally get over here and find out what you've been going through! BIG HUGS!! I am a total Daddy's girl so I got very emotional reading your post.
Have fun tonight, be careful with the tequila, it has a way of sneaking up on you and take care!
ps - you can have Bono (until your Dad gets all better, then he's mine again!)

Friday, March 06, 2009 1:05:00 PM  
Blogger Swirl Girl said...

It's so hard seeing your once vital and studly dad in this state - I know all to well.

But it sounds as though he knows how much you love him, and that he still has his sense of humor..which you obviously got from him!

Hoping all remains on the up side!!


Friday, March 06, 2009 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

You are quite welcome, my love, quite welcome.

And I have all sorts of positive thoughts and prayers for ya, so I will keep sending them your way!!

Friday, March 06, 2009 1:55:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

So far so good, which is great news.

Enjoy your night out!

Friday, March 06, 2009 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

oh, i'm so glad he's going to be fine.

but, WHA? you don't like mexican??!

Friday, March 06, 2009 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

"You're English teachers always liked the things you wrote."


Read that sentence again. Then flashback to the point in this post where I mentioned I used to be an editor.

Then remark, "Well, we didn't want to say anything, but ha ha ha..."

Friday, March 06, 2009 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Glad to hear it!
My dad always encouraged me to write, although he'd never read anything I'd written, and still hasn't to this day. Lucky guy.

Friday, March 06, 2009 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Delighted it's gone well so far, much love and prayers, FADKOG.

Friday, March 06, 2009 2:16:00 PM  
Blogger Elan Morgan said...

You are being featured in Five Star Friday!

Friday, March 06, 2009 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so bizarre the flip flopping of roles that happen as we age.
I am so glad to hear that his surgery went well. These last two posts got me in the boo boo a bit.
In 2000 my father went into the hospital about 8 months after I told the entire family that something was wrong with him...I could see it. He happened to be in full cardiac failure with pulminary edema. I had to get his DNR and bring it to the hospital, however I absolutely refused to hand it over. Not on my watch buddy. At the time his five year out look was not good, but thankfully he is still here, and also not doing everything he should to promote still being here. Enjoy those margaritas (yes I mean multiple margaritas).

Friday, March 06, 2009 4:14:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

Your blog is one of the best written blogs on my list
It's a strange book and I enjoy reading and re-reading chapters (entries) as I go....
I'm not a praying man but your pops is in my thoughts and so are you....

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I hope everything turns out ok for your dad. My thoughts are with all of you.

P.S. Tell your Dad I'm glad he encouraged you to write.

Friday, March 06, 2009 8:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh hon.

I can't believe I have missed all this.

Please send big jugs of Olive Juice to your daddy and an even bigger one for you, from the Redneck Clan.

Sending virtual hugs (I promise, I'm not grabbing your boobs...), smooches.

Friday, March 06, 2009 9:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on a blog hiatus (a short one) and missed this news about your dad. SO sorry to hear it, and SO happy to hear that he's pulling through okay. Lots and lots of very true, very good vibes being sent your way from this side of the blogosphere.

Better late than never.

Olive juice, too.

Friday, March 06, 2009 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most excellent news about your dad. Here's praying that all continues well. I thought it was double cute saying "olive juice" My wife and I used that a while back with the kids, but it didn't stick with us so long. If you've genuinely never had Margaritas, then you're in for a treat. And as for not liking Mexican food...that just completely puzzles me. But then I don't get your Jonas brothers thing either.

Take care,

Saturday, March 07, 2009 3:33:00 AM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

awww, we say olive juice in our household too!!! hang in there kiddo-your dad seems very sweet!!!
let me know how you like marguaritas (LOVE them).

Saturday, March 07, 2009 7:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best to you and your family. I am glad things are going well.

Saturday, March 07, 2009 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

Huge sigh of relief! Glad your the surgery was successful and that your Dad is going to be ok.

Hope the tequila helped!

Saturday, March 07, 2009 3:55:00 PM  
Blogger Divine Chaos said...

So glad he came through alright! I'll send lots of good thoughts that next week's news will be good :)

Saturday, March 07, 2009 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

Sweet Jesus. I go into hiding and shit! I'm so glad everything went okay. I'm sending good healing vibes to your dad and some calming ones for you.

Lots and lots of olive juice.

Saturday, March 07, 2009 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad everything is OK. I'm saying this pre-tequila, however. And OH GREAT. Now I have that old song TEQUILA in my head.

Sunday, March 08, 2009 1:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From one daddys girl to another

Olive juice

My daddy and I have our own similar love language.

MWAH, and sending all my love and positive vibes to both of you.


Sunday, March 08, 2009 5:02:00 AM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

Olive the other bloggers...say olive juice, too!

or yell olive juice olive juice olive juice in the style of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!

it really isn't easy to type the same words over and over again.

and remember, were you with me, we would totally go see the Jonas Brothers movie!!!

surely the midwest cannot be THAT far from Alabama....hehehe

Sunday, March 08, 2009 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

I am glad all is going so well!
You have never had a margarita? and you don'lt like Mexican food? Hard to say if we can stay friends after that confession!

Olive juice!

Sunday, March 08, 2009 5:22:00 PM  
Blogger MsPicketToYou said...

Ole! Aye Carumba! Guacamole!

Also, must catch up but first things uno:


Sunday, March 08, 2009 8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Michele R said...

Just found your blog. Got teary eyed reading this. I have no close Father memories, but great grandpa memories. Sending you both wishes.

Sunday, March 08, 2009 9:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I'm hoping that this is the end of the surgeries and hospitals for your dad.

I echo Chag in being glad that you are a writer and I've met you through the blogosphere.

Sunday, March 08, 2009 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

It's great that the surgery went well. It's always good to hear you get all serious-like once in awhile. I like your Dad. I think he and I should hang out sometime.

Hey, why don't you and I start our own newspaper together? I think that'd be kind of fun.

BTW, I'd just like to point out once again, for the record, that I also like nachos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

You are all awesome. This whole thing might explode from the abundance of awesome going on around here. Before that happens, I must thank you again!

Friday, March 13, 2009 8:18:00 AM  

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