My dad has cancer.
Throughout the month or so since we've found out, my family has gone through endless cycles of feelings of shock, confusion, anger, fear, regret, hope, optimism and lots and lots of love. Ultimately, we think it's going to be OK.
However, the next couple of months for my Daddy-o will be filled with radiation therapy, chemo, surgery and endless trips back and forth from the hospital. Lots of stress and worry. And meanwhile, here on the other side of the world, there is so little I can do and it's driving me crazy.
On the day we found out, I spent a few hours in shock and a few hours crying in Nick's arms. The feeling of helplessness was almost overwhelming. Then I remembered some friends who were having a much, much harder day than mine (believe me!) and I thought: "Well, at least we can do something for them." So we dried my tears, washed my face and sneakily planted some flowers in their garden to surprise them when they got home.
And we felt so much better.
Which got me thinking: My dad isn't really one for get well cards and sentimental goop. But he is one for helping people. In fact, one of the things that made my mum fall in love with my dad was his kindness and ever-readiness to help. And my parents both taught me to value kindness. While I was growing up I may not always have appreciated sharing our family Christmas with the random elderly bachelors of the neighbourhood, but looking back with adult eyes, I'm impressed by my parents willingness to help and to share. My dad has always been willing to do anything for anyone. But that will probably not be possible for the next few months.
This is where you come in.
Will you go out and do something unselfish and kind for someone else in honor of my dad? While he's out of commission, will you fill in for him as part of the Helpful Brigade? And when you've completed your kindness, will you come back here and leave a comment or send me an email (tamsinrobole at gmail dot com) and tell me about it, so I can tell him about it? I think he's going to like this.