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Posts Tagged ‘parent with cancer’

I know I promised a post yesterday. I am sorry I break promises. Life happens, yunno? But I am here today, even though I wish to be far from here. Not saying I don’t like it here. I do. I really do, but today is a special today. Today is my dad’s birthday. Even though I had hope he would live to see this day, I didn’t think he would. But he did. Barely. He is holding on by a thread. I wish I could be there today to celebrate, but with work and gas being the way it is… it is hard to go up there every week. I wish I could, but I was there last week… and it is getting close to the end of the month. But I hope he feels my love. I hope he understands that he is the most important person in the world to me. I celebrated (kind of) last week when I was up there with him. I baked him an apple pie that he slept through and never ate, but I talked to him. I told him all the things I had been dying to say. I told him how proud of him I am, for fighting and holding on for so long. I prayed for him and wished there was some way I could take his pain away. Why must he suffer? I hope today he found some relief on his birthday.  Not only has he survived another year, but it has almost been a year since he was first diagnosed with cancer. Has a year really almost gone by? In October, he first showed the symptoms. In the beginning of November, he was diagnosed.

A year. It flies by so fast.

Autumn is here and I know in a blink of an eye, it will be snowing. I know people will groan and sputter at that statement… but it is just the fact of life. But Fall is gorgeous. Trees have been starting to change since the end of August, but now it is becoming more frequent. More beautiful.

I also happen to be a huge fan of the flavors Fall brings with them. Apple. Maple. Pumpkin. Currently, I have made an Apple Pie. Caramel Apple Cupcakes (with homemade caramel that came out a lot harder than I wanted it too. Bad Caramel, but very tasty… just not for a frosting…). Pumpkin Cheesecake. And Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I love Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

Oh and the pumpkin cheesecake.

But I forgot to get pictures of the pumpkin cheesecake.

For some reason, cheesecake just happens to get eaten before pictures can be taken. I just do not know what is up with that.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are pretty easy. And delicious. And something about them… it is like a cookie and a cake had a wonderful pumpkiny baby. And it was good.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 Cups Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (or about half of a 15oz can) of pumpkin puree

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt on wax paper or in a medium bowl.

3. Beat butter until smooth, slowly add the granulated sugar. Push down the sides with a spatula. Add the brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin. Mix well.

4. Slowly add in the flour mixture while mixer is on low. Mix until altogether. Do not over beat.

5. Scoop the dough with a large spoon (about a tablespoon) and place on non-stick cookie sheets (spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper if you have to.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

7. Let cool on baking sheets for about 5-10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack. If you handle sooner, they have a tendency to break!

8 Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I raise my glass of milk to you. I love you, and I hope you can someday soon escape the horrible pain you are in.

This one is for you.

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Life is short. Life is precious. You plan and dream up this perfect life, way ahead of the game. way ahead of tomorrow… you think that there is enough time in the world. I can do that tomorrow. I can do that next summer. I can do that five years from now. Whatever it is, there is always something that we have put off. I know I am not the only one in the world who has felt this way. Who has said “Oh well. Tomorrow. I will do that tomorrow.” Some things are not that big deal (I just put off making a homemade pizza because I feel exhausted as my body adjusts to a new schedule). But other things, like telling someone you love them, cherish them… Doing that project that would totally make a loved one’s day… Why? Why do we wait? We just get so wrapped up in what is going on in our own mind that we believe we can deal with others tomorrow. The thing is… normally, you are not going to get any less busy. Something is always going to come up. If you think that way forever, something is always going to come between you and picking up the phone and calling your folks and saying “I love you.”

I’ve always tried not to have any regrets.  Believing everything happens for some sort of reason. Though you can imagine my complete shock with my dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer back in November 2010. My dad. My hero. The guy that never missed a day of work even if he was up all night with a migraine. The man that did yard work after working a 60+ hour week.  Who even after he “retired,” was still working. Nothing seemed like it would keep him down. He was going to be healthy until he was a 101. And here he is at 66, with cancer. With a cancer, that has taken away most of his life. That has left him in a hospital bed with an IV in his neck and finding it hard some days to even open his eyes. It is hard not to have some sort of regrets in this situation. I was still in college when he was diagnosed. I went to school hours away from home. I was living in an apartment with my fiance. I wasn’t spending time with my folks. I wasn’t as concerned as I should have been when he first started complaining how a strange feeling in his left leg. He claimed he just strained something doing too much work in the garage. Knowing Dad, this did not seem unlikely. I should have offered to do something more that weekend. Who cares about my wisdom teeth… getting those out was not deadly. But that is the one thought in my mind. I should have done more. Should have visited more. Should have played more cards games. Should have… Should have. But right now, those should haves do nothing but make me sad. Right now, I need to be grateful for the times I did have. The times I did visit. The times we sat around the fire. The times we played cards. The time he and my mom stacked the deck so I would finally feel good about my card playing abilities. And I am grateful… and thankful… and so proud of having a father who loves me and supports me. Some people are not so lucky.

But sometimes, I just cannot be so optimistic. Sometimes, I feel like crawling in a corner and hiding under a blanket and wishing my life away. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and eat an extremely bad but delicious brownie. I do not know what it is about chocolate, but for a brief moment, it helps me fight the darkness. It gives me a brief moment of calm. I created this brownie and I am going to enjoy it. Because life is meant to be enjoyed. Because life does not mean waiting for death. My dad would not want me sitting around feeling sorry for myself and everyone else.

So I baked. I baked because it helped clear my mind. I baked because I needed a pick-me-up. Because I needed to make something. Fix something. And know it would come out ok. Because I needed desperately something to go right. So I made these brownies. These delicious fudgy brownies. Perfect for brownie sundaes. Perfect for just munching on. Perfect for what I needed. And now when you are feeling like the world is against you, when you are feeling like you just cannot do anything right. Make these brownies. Let them help you clear your head and as you bite into the chocolatey bliss…let them give you a reason worth living.

Down-In-The-Dumps Brownie Bliss

1 Cup Butter, Melted

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9 pan.

2. In a small bowl or on wax paper, mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar and brown sugar with the melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer until well mixed. Slowly add in the vanilla extract.

4. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Mixing well after each egg.

5. Slowly add in the flour, cocoa powder and salt with the other ingredients. Have the mixer on low-speed.

6. Once mixed, add in the chocolate chips. Do not over-beat your batter.

7. Pour into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if it is done. If no batter comes out with the toothpick, it is done.

Enjoy. Tastes delicious with Ice Cream. Just sayin’.

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