After the Fall
Time Enough

Three to Six to Who the Hell Knows

We left later on Friday than we'd planned, as always, heading up to Pennsylvania in the thick of DC rush hour, hitting additional rush hours in Baltimore and Delaware and Philly all the way up, to a degree where the math of "rush HOUR" starts bending the space-time continuum and we basically sat in traffic for five solid hours, until 11 o'clock at night. We arrived at Jason's parents far too late to get over to visit mine, and I admit I was grateful for one last chance to steel my nerves before having to walk in and see my dad, now that we Knew, here in the After, the Suck. 

The first thing he said was that he'd read my posts. I'd emailed my mom and all but ordered her not to read them -- I didn't want to make her cry, but I needed to write what I needed to write, and I knew I'd end up with something different if I imagined them in the audience.

She completely ignored me, of course, and then promptly told my dad to read them. 

He loved them. He stood there, looking so thin and pale and bruised like a peach, praising my writing to the skies -- vocabulary! prose! flow! everything he spent 30 years trying to coax out of his high school students! At any other time in my life, I would have burst into hot ugly tears because that's all I've ever wanted to do since I was a tiny thing with my crayons: To be a writer and make my dad proud. 

On this day, though, I scrunched and contorted my face and felt some warmth juuuust behind my eyeballs, but I still could not cry. 

***

Later that day, I watched my mom cry. A lot. I hugged her and patted her back and stared up at random points on the ceiling. I watched my sister cry as she talked about a dream -- a ridiculous, meaningless dream -- where our dad expressed his completely fictional disappointment with her. I watched my mom cry again as my sister and I tried to convince her to hold off on putting the house on the market, as she heard me say the most awful thing out loud, because someone had to.

"Three to six months, Mom," I said as gently as I could. "Three to six MONTHS."

I didn't much like the idea of those three to six months being spent with a sign on the front yard, with strangers marching through the house and eyeballing medical equipment and oxygen tubing and perhaps even him, in bed, because how the hell can he get up and out every time a realtor wanted to stop by? I didn't like the idea of three to six months' worth of stress over low-ball offers and contingencies and inspections and contracts falling through, and then, even if everything works out...a move? To where? To what? How? Look at him. Look at how fast it's already happening. 

I felt mean and cold and hard. When it became clear that they were going to ignore our pleading and put the house on the market anyway, I got vaguely irritated and stomped off. But I still did not cry. 

***

Even later that same day, Jason and I volunteered to go get some carry-out for everybody. We drove to a restaurant and sat at the bar while we waited for the food and I rehashed everything over and over again. We drove back to my parents' house and I talked and talked and talked, arguing with no one in particular, because Jason had already agreed with me from the beginning but was just allowing me to ramble.

We pulled up to the house and I said it out loud for probably the 12th or 17th or 32nd time: "Three to six MONTHS."

But this time I only made it to the word "six" before I was wailing. I put my head down in my lap and cried and cried and cried.

***

Jason got sick the next day, with some kind of vicious acid reflux episode that wouldn't let him eat or sleep for rest of our visit. He still had a work-related obligation on Monday night involving a cocktail party and a baseball game at the Phillies' stadium. We went even though we both felt miserable, trying our best to put on a happy face. My mom had asked me to get my dad a blue Phillies shirt while we were there -- which required a Lord-of-the-Rings style quest to find, despite the fact that every other fan in the stadium seemed to be wearing one. 

Once we found the elusive blue shirt, I bought myself a Phillies hat to replace the one I lost when we moved. 

***

Yesterday -- the day we were planning to leave -- my dad had a doctor's appointment. The magical call from the lab never happened on Friday -- it turned out that in my parents' shock they had completely misheard the doctor and the full pathology results would take several days longer than that. 

My mom called me from the office parking lot, shrieking at the top of her lungs. 

"IT'S GOOD NEWS IT'S GOOD NEWS IT'S GOOD NEWS!"

She was beyond hysterical and I started shouting over her, begging her to get on with it and tell me. I felt my feet going numb. What good news could there possibly be? Was the doctor completely wrong? How could he be wrong? And if so, then what the hell is wrong with my dad?

My mom finally calmed down enough to say that the leukemia was not acute, it was chronic, and started rushing to assure me that this made "all the difference in the world" and it "wasn't a death sentence" and the doctor was telling them about how TONS of patients go on to live YEARS with this diagnosis. YEARS. Now, this was just their regular family doctor and they'd need to talk to the hematologist but still, Amy, STILL! Everything is going to be okay! This changed everything! EVERYTHING!

I sensed my mom was waiting for me to scream, to laugh, to give a triumphant whoop. Instead I went weirdly quiet and stared at the ceiling. I told her we'd be over once they got back from the doctor.

Jason started questioning me: How can this be that different? He still can't do chemo. He still can't do a bone marrow transplant. What treatment is there? Did they catch it earlier than they thought? It's still obviously coming on fast, and making him sicker, so...?

I shushed him and sat there for a minute trying to process everything. I felt like I'd been knocked off my axis, like it was Wednesday night all over again, only...worse? I felt...angry? 

"What the fuck is wrong with me?" I asked out loud.

How many times did we have to go through this? How many phone calls and car trips and well, THIS? How many times did I have to lose him, to grieve over him? To worry endlessly that The End would not be peaceful and quick, but painful and long? At what point is "more time" not actually better? When was this really and truly going to be over? 

"What the FUCK is wrong with me?" I asked again, to no one in particular. 

***

Part of what was wrong, thinking back, was that my brain was starting to already remember random Google nuggets I'd read about the chronic diagnosis. It would be one thing if they caught it early, or if he was younger, or if he was otherwise in better shape, health-wise. There would be some additional treatment options, some chance at the disease staying in a holding pattern for a decent length of time, of him BEING one of those "TONS" of patients who live for years. 

The doctor had still not told my parents what stage the cancer was actually at. On the way to their house I pulled up a few websites on my phone and quickly cursed my creepy photographic memory. At Stage III or IV, after anemia develops and other internal organs get involved, intensive chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant are pretty much your only options. My father has been anemic for a few months already. He had to be at least at Stage III.

The doctor told my parents something about getting his platelets and anemia back in check, making it sound -- at least to them, in their amped-up joy -- like fighting advancing leukemia required little more than an iron supplement, tra la la la laaaaa. 

The only difference I could really deduce between a chronic and acute diagnosis in my father's particular case was that while it would very likely kill him, it would just take a bit longer to do it. Or maybe it would let the chemo do it instead.

***

Jason had suggested outside that I try my best to keep my mouth shut and let the doctors talk with them, to let them enjoy this reprieve, and to pretend like I didn't know any better and was just as happy as they were. I promised to try.

***

When we arrived at my parents house I felt downright sick with knowledge. My mom came to the door with a huge smile on her face and her arms in the air, repeating her refrain about the GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! 

I could see my dad standing in the hallway behind her, clapping his hands. 

***

I am a terrible liar. 

***

Noah amused himself with my phone during the trip home, completely draining the battery. So I didn't see my mom's text message until a few hours after she sent it.

doc called

aggressive

needs chemo

u were right

***

I am exhausted. I am angry. I need something to hit. Something to throw. Even though I never really believed that the switch in diagnosis meant anything...maybe I did. I know my parents did, which makes the whole farce seem so extra cruel and unfair. 

Their house is on the market. After being at peace with the no-chemo route on Monday, he seems to be changing his mind, despite the high risks, in a desperate bid for more time. My mom is terrified of chemo, terrified of no chemo. I would now give anything just to have been wrong about the whole thing.

Because now I can't stop crying. 

Comments

Emily

My heart is hurting for you. I'm so sorry and will be praying for you all.

Charlie

Fuck cancer.

I am so, so, so sorry, Amy.

Fuck cancer.

Zoot

I'm sorry, hon. I felt the same way with all of my chaos when my Dad was sick. Every day, every doctor, seems like something different. It was like that after my Mom's aneurysm too. I think it's a bad combination of SEVERE ILLNESS/INJURY, MULTIPLE DOCTORS, and EMOTIONAL FAMILY TIES. They make the chaos around the healing/treatment a total mine field of news. I'm sorry, that's all I can say. Hang in there.

Liz

You've got me crying too.

Grace and Peace to you and your family for whatever decisions must be made and for whatever results may be.

duchessbelle

Not much solace but offering another comment of support. I'm so sorry.

Starbuck

My heart is aching and my eyes are leaking. I am just so terribly sorry.

baltimoregal

I'm so sorry. The fact is that there is no good cancer and while it is no consolation to be right about things like this you are right to be worried and stressed and even a bit numb. You're being strong and smart and there is nothing wrong with that.

Take care of yourself as much as possible so that when your family needs you, you're able.

Starbuck

My heart is aching and my eyes are leaking. I am just so terribly sorry.

Brenda Flynn

Oh, what chaos, tumult and heartbreak. I'm so sorry -- for all of you. We hold you in our hearts and in our thoughts. May peace find all of you, and whatever time remains be joyous time.

jonniker

Oh, Amy.

I can't stop thinking about you. I have not stopped since this whole thing started. I can't fix it. I want to fix it.

I want to tell you that you are wonderful and amazing and that this whole thing -- the way you've handled this, the way you've written about it -- is incredible. That YOU are incredible.

But that, in light of all of this, of everything you're going through, is meaningless. I want to fix it. I want to fix your dad.

All I can do is think about you, to hold you in my heart, and to do my small, non-prayer-y type of prayer for you and your family.

I'm just sending you so much love. I wish I could do more. I hate that I can't.

I'm sorry.

Julie

I'm so sorry. And now I am crying too. For you, your parents, and myself (because my mom died in July).

Emily

I'm so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you.

Queen Momma-Sweet Merciful Crap

Wow! I cried and stared at the ceiling with you while reading this. As a cancer patient and the sister of a brother who died of cancer, I have to say you hit it right on from all directions. Beautifully written. Sending prayers and good vibes to your whole family!

Nanette

I'm crying for and with you, Amy. (No, seriously -- tears running down my face.) I'm so sorry you're having to endure all of this. I lost my dad 7 years ago to a long battle with colon cancer, and it still hurts so much.

You're in my thoughts, mama.

Anna Marie

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can't imagine the pain and sadness. You are all in my thoughts.

Anna Marie

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can't imagine the pain and sadness. You are all in my thoughts.

Anna Marie

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can't imagine the pain and sadness. You are all in my thoughts.

Anna Marie

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can't imagine the pain and sadness. You are all in my thoughts.

Jan

My thoughts are with you and your family with hope for the best of all things.

Jan

My thoughts are with you and your family with hope for the best of all things.

Kori

I'm so so sorry. My heart is breaking for you and your family.

Jessica V

I'm so sorry Amy - I don't know what to say other than that. I can't fix it - although I want to so badly. Thinking of you lots.

Jean

Amy, I have no words, no wisdom. Only tons of support coming your way. Grieve, cry, rage...it's all ok.

PS...I wish you didn't have to go thru this either :(

KBO

Here for you and the fam. Stay strong.

Karishma

Fuck cancer. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing. Grief is grief, and it makes no sense whatsoever. I know *well* of the bizarre, meaningless type dreams that your sister had, and can also say that they unequivocally SUCK, like adding salt to a raw wound. I'm sending cyber hugs your way. Lots of them.

Karishma

Fuck cancer. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing. Grief is grief, and it makes no sense whatsoever. I know *well* of the bizarre, meaningless type dreams that your sister had, and can also say that they unequivocally SUCK, like adding salt to a raw wound. I'm sending cyber hugs your way. Lots of them.

JB

I'm so, so sorry. I won't drag you down with my own family's story, but it's so much worse when it's this "up/down, better/worse, good news/bad news, improvement/no improvement...." type of situation, like how @Zoot was talking about above. It's so much worse, it screws with your emotions, you have to keep re-setting your expectations and in a sense re-going thru the grief process....It sucks. I'm so sorry. It really sucks.

jodifur

oh Amy, I just wish there was something, anything, I could do. Even if it is a wine delivery service.

Judi

Thinking of you- So sorry to read this and knowing how excruciating this all is.

Not really sure what so say beyond that. You are loved.

Judi

Thinking of you- So sorry to read this and knowing how excruciating this all is.

Not really sure what so say beyond that. You are loved.

Judi

Thinking of you- So sorry to read this and knowing how excruciating this all is.

Not really sure what so say beyond that. You are loved.

Judi

Thinking of you- So sorry to read this and knowing how excruciating this all is.

Not really sure what so say beyond that. You are loved.

kdiddy

I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I want to hit something for you. We're all here for you and your family, though.

Christine

Sorry. Sorry. Just more sorry. Go easy on yourself.

Bitts

This post was just agony for you to write. Agony. I'm so sorry you had to do it. But like you said, you need to write what you need to write.

Know that you have legions of readers loving you and your family through this. I ache for you, Amy.

Cancer is a nasty fucker.

beth

There is nothing wrong with you. NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect yourself from getting your hopes up without overwhelming evidence that you should do so. And it's clear that not everyone else in your family is thinking especially clearly at this point. Someone needs to be pragmatic, or as you put it, "mean and cold and hard." The SITUATION is "mean and cold and hard". Not you.

Jennie

So sorry Amy, thinking of you and your family xx

Jennie

So sorry Amy, thinking of you and your family xx

Jennie

I'm so sorry.

Megan

I am so sorry, and there's NOTHING wrong with you.

It really sucks. I hope you find peace soon.

Redneck Mommy

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry. I'm still worn out with grief and sadness over my grandmother's (lost) war on cancer and my sister is currently battling breast cancer herself.

I have no words to help you. I wish I did.

Peace to you and strength and health to your father. I will hope for the best for your family.

Redneck Mommy

Oh Amy. I'm so sorry. I'm still worn out with grief and sadness over my grandmother's (lost) war on cancer and my sister is currently battling breast cancer herself.

I have no words to help you. I wish I did.

Peace to you and strength and health to your father. I will hope for the best for your family.

eM

I am so, so sorry, for you and your family.

Linda_M

So,so sorry. Keeping your Dad, you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

When my sister was terminal, the kindest thing her oncologist did was to tell me that there was nothing left to do and that we should get family there as soon as possible. No false hope, no "we can try this or that". And then he hugged me while I cried. It was over 6 years ago, and I still remember vividly, and I mentally thank him for that.

Amy

I'm just aching for you. The not being able to cry/not being able to stop thing is TOTALLY normal. You're grieving. Pre-grieving, maybe, but grieving nonetheless.

Try to give yourself the gift of not questioning whether or not your reaction is "correct." Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. Whatever you're feeling at any given moment is the right way that you should be feeling.

I hope you get some real good news soon.

Regan

Amy, what you wrote is raw, and unfiltered, and true, and courageous, and devastating and beautiful all at the same time.

Your Dad will be proud.

Cincy

So sorry, Amy.

meowlam

Heart aching, eyes leaking for you and yours, Amy. Wish there were more I could do but offer virtual hugs.

xxxxxxxxxxx

Miss Grace

I'm so sorry.

Miss Grace

I'm so sorry.

beth

Also-- every situation is different, etc., standard disclaimer. But my grandmother also did chemo despite a terminal diagnosis in an effort to get 'more time'.

That 'time' was not worth it. It was time we all spent watching her wither, waste, suffer and grow increasingly unable to actually be 'with us'. I can't say for sure what the outcome / experience might've been if she hadn't done the chemo, but I do know that the 'time' she thought she would be getting was NOT what actually transpired.

This is so hard and so painful for you, Amy, and of course you don't want to be just dashing people's hopes, particularly not when you love them. But if anything, from your description, I'd say you've already begun to cope with this in a more realistic way than they are yet. As your mother acknowledged, you WERE correct.

My heart goes out to you. For whatever that's worth.

Miss Grace

I'm so sorry.

Miss Grace

I'm so sorry.

agirlandaboy

I'm so sorry for all of you going through this.

agirlandaboy

I'm so sorry for all of you going through this.

lizardek

So awful, Amy. I'm so sorry. Sending you strength. Hang in there.

lizardek

So awful, Amy. I'm so sorry. Sending you strength. Hang in there.

deidre

Fuck, that is awful. All of it. There really aren't words, but I will say this (contradictions gotta love them) I created more guilt and anguish for myself between the time my mom was diagnosed and the six months that she fought and then lost to cancer than the (at the time) other 20 years of my life combined. I couldn't believe the things that came to my mind, the feelings I had, the things I did wrong, the crazy I brought, the emotional distance, the etc. 10 years later, I still carry so many regrets and "did I say that, did I really think that", that I could write a really long novel (kinda like this comment). All that to say, be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself and know that the things in your heart and mind aren't "wrong" or "bad" they just are a normal part of this process. And it sucks. The only thing that saved me from myself is I have to stop the guilt thread going through my mind and ask, "would mom forgive you for this, or what would she say to you?" and the thing is I know she would and she would tell me that it's okay. Be kind to yourself. The next 3 to 6 to who knows are going to be hard enough as is. I wish I could make it better. Peace to you and your family during this time.

Jessie Mae

Oh man do I feel you. My dad isn't doing quite as poorly, but it definitely isn't good. You're in my thoughts.

A.

Hey Amy. That sucks. But man, you are so lucky to have had a dad for your whole life. A dad in those pictures of yours. I want that for my daughter, and if she spends the first 30+ years of her life with a real father, with whom she has an actual relationship...

that is priceless. So I am happy for you, that you have had that.

Jackie

I'm so so sorry. Your family is in my thoughts.

Liz

I always find myself at a loss for words in moments like these, even though I know how I would feel if the situation were my own. So I'll just say that you're in my thoughts - a lot - and you have a silent, unseen ally in this community of friends - myself included - that you have made by sharing these glimpses of your life, the good and the bad, with all of us. I hope you can feel the love because there sure is a whole hell of a lot of it being sent your way. Hang in there, Amy. I'm so sorry. Thoughts, prayers and hugs.

Sarah

So very sorry.

Therese

Amy,

I just wanted to say I'm sorry and I think you are especially brave to be so open with your emotions and pain during this challenging time. I went through an eerily similiar experience with my father about 18 months ago and the only words I can use to describe the situation are "completely shitty!" I hope that someday, someway you and your family may find peace and comfort!

Melissa S.

I'm so sorry. For you, for your family, and all you've been through and will have to face. We've never met, probably never will, but if it's any measure of comfort to know that strangers are thinking of you and wishing the best for you... I hope you can feel all the anonymous care, concern, and support being sent your way.

Peachy

Oh, Amy. Oh, oh, fuck and shit and oh my god, Amy.

This is the worst part, until the next worst part. Take it one day, one minute, one second at a time, and remember the important part is to know you love each other, even when that's the ONLY thing you all know. Just like with Noah.

We're with you.

Heather/Cobblestoner

Throw eggs. Go buy unhappy eggs from unhappy chickens. Throw them until your arm aches, then throw with the wrong arm.

They throw amazingly well, they crack and ooze, they whip well too. It feels so good to BREAK something.

My heart aches for you and your family.

Beth

I agree with a previous comment... FUCK CANCER!

On that note, I've been through something similar. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with chronic leukemia, which later morphed into an aggressive form. If you want to talk any details, you now have my email address.

If you'd rather just know that more people are out there, holding your family in our thoughts and prayers - well then put me on that list.

schoolofmom

There's nothing wrong with you. This is the ride, and this is how you feel, and I'm so sorry there's nothing anyone can do to control it, because it sucks so bad. I'm sorry. I'm so so so sorry.

michele

I am so very sorry for what your father is going through and your family has to witness. When my family walked that terrifying road the one thing that we learned very early is that while they use big fancy words and things look all scientific-like, medicine is not a science. In science they are real answers, in this there are no answers, only hopes to be dashed. Sending prayers. Treasure this time with your Dad it is precious.

Celina

Praying for you and your family.

Hairy Farmer Family

Sorry, dear. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Brooke

I'm so horribly sorry. My grandfather had cancer of the larynx and did radiation treatment for a while, then stopped because the treatment was worse than the cancer--horrible, painful lesions in his mouth and throat, the inability to speak, the inability to eat. Still, I asked my mom why he didn't want to continue treatment and she looked at me and said, "Honey, there are things that are worse than dying."

I was stunned when she that. Now, I think it's true. And wise. And maybe even beautiful. But it is still pretty hard to believe. And it's the kind of choice nobody should have to make. Or watch their parent make. I'm really sorry that your family has to go through this.

bad penguin

I wish I could think of something more useful to say than I'm sorry. I'm sorry your dad is sick, I'm sorry the good news wasn't really good news, and just plain sorry you have to go through this.

Katie

I hate doctors and their ability to offer hope and strip it away seconds later. I'm crying with you. Cancer is an asshole and I hate it for you, for me and for everyone else it's ever affected. I'm so sorry, Amy.

Luisa

Grief makes people do all kinds of things. Nothing is wrong with you. Sending you hugs and a lot of love from this side of the world.

lisa

I am so sorry.I have been praying for your dad since his falls. Also I am in Philly so if there is something that I can do for them. PLEASE ask you have my email. address

Marianne

This is just heart-breaking. I'm so sorry for you and your family.

HIlary

Your post is beautiful and heartbreaking. I have no words. Just know that I am so sorry.

Springsteen fan

My tears are sploshing (that's even bigger than splashing) all over my desk at work. What a beautiful dad you have, and I'm so sorry for his, your and everyone's suffering. Just love each other hard, my cyber friend. Try to eke out some moments of pleasure for him in the time you have left--I highly recommend reviewing photos of your own beautiful kids, they cheer me to no end.

klcrab

So sorry about all of this. In my experience the no crying thing is a defense mechanism to protect yourself (kinda) from the incredible pain. Give your self permission to feel however you feel- do not be mad at yourself for being angry or for being tired of the fight, like you have compassion for them give yourself a bit too- ok?

amanda

I am so sorry. I know your hurt. I lost my dad 10 years ago - so hard. No words. Love to you and your family.

amanda

I am so sorry. I know your hurt. I lost my dad 10 years ago - so hard. No words. Love to you and your family.

MS

Amy (and family), I am so very sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis of your father and all the surrounding concerns. You are all in my thoughts.

The Diamond in the Window

I am so so sorry for you and your family. This may already have been said, but what I read in the New Yorker ( http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande) about aggressive chemo and all is that palliative care actually seems to help patients live longer—and to be able to enjoy their lives while they do. But mostly—I am so sorry.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

So very sorry Amy. Keeping you guys in my heart and my thoughts.

Lemon Gloria

I'm so very sorry. I hope for the best of all possibilities for all of you.

rkmama

There is no right way to handle a blow like this. Let your mind wrap itself around this terrible, awful no-good thing at its own pace and please keep writing.
It's hard at times like these but try to let all the love you have in your life in because in addition to your amazing family, the Internet loves you, Amy. We really do.

Liz

I'm aching for you. I can't imagine the pain and sadness that is throttling and shaking you right now. Your writing is powerful and strong and amazing. You are a force.

EB

Okay, first? FUCK CANCER.

Second? Kickboxing class. You. Go. Exhaust yourself physically. It will help.

Lindsey Ward

I am so very sorry. We just went through advanced cancer with my brother-in-law. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Emily

There are no words. I am so terribly sorry and wish I could hug your whole family. Thinking of the entire Corbett family.

c3south

You might not feel like it but you are very strong to share so much with so many of us! Any illness is so hard on family life in general esp. when it's a grim outlook. write, vent, cry and scream all you want!!
y'all are in my thoughts!
-c3south ;)*

e

i'm so sorry, amy.

catherino

Cancer is a fucking bitch. I learned that when my baby had it and in case it slipped my mind, I was reminded by 2 more times with my dad. I am desperately sorry for what you and your family are going through. This was a beautiful, raw, heart-breaking post and I thank you for sharing it.

Kate

I am so sorry too.

Kate

I am so sorry too.

gemma

Unexpected curve balls like that suck. But I don't think we ever find out just how strong we really are until we have to deal with the unexpected. My Dad always says 'keep batting' which I think means somehow you find it within yourself to cope with whatever sucky things life keeps pitching at you. Hugs.

Kate

I am so sorry too.

gemma

Unexpected curve balls like that suck. But I don't think we ever find out just how strong we really are until we have to deal with the unexpected. My Dad always says 'keep batting' which I think means somehow you find it within yourself to cope with whatever sucky things life keeps pitching at you. Hugs.

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