Everyone, meet My Dad. This is the same guy that texts me some variation of goodnight, I love you every. single. night. And to be careful driving when there is bad weather. And not to text and drive. He texts me all of the things that make me chuckle and roll my eyes just a little, but only a little because he loves me and he is so consistent with his love even though I’m an adult.
When I moved last summer, one of the things I was most excited about was the chance to live closer to My Dad. Because, see, I could eat with him, visit with him, and hang out with him so much more than ever before. I could watch him play his guitar on stage at church, he loves that. I could listen to him go on rants about the government and his job in law enforcement (he’s retired, but he helped out a little here and there). THESE THINGS EXCITED ME, they still excite me.
BUT. Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched My Dad’s health change. I’ve gone back and forth from concerned to heartbroken, and I’ve spent as much time crying as not. My sisters and I are on this big, massive mission to help Dad, to figure out what is going on with his brain and his nerves, and help make his life as great as possible. We want to take care of him WELL. We want him to be as happy as he can be. But I have to admit that watching this guy suffer and forget things and fall has broken my heart and my spirit over the past few weeks. I just love him so.
ANYWAY. I’m here on the blog right now because…I just can’t figure out how to make myself blog. What on earth am I supposed to say? I’ve read books and I have thoughts about them all, but my words aren’t important. My words aren’t important. When I am watching someone suffer, my words don’t feel that important. What I am reading feels a little bit less important than spending my time making his life easier, better, fuller.
Does this make any sense at all? Maybe not. Stick with me please, this helps.
I’m still reading BUT I’ve fallen asleep with my computer in my lap, I’ve fallen asleep holding my books. I admit that I’m having a harder time than normal finding a book that holds my attention. This is really abnormal for me.
I’ve done that thing where I’m surrounded by books, books everywhere around me, in my chair or on my bed. I flip through the first few pages, I read the first few paragraphs, nothing grabs me, nothing holds my attention. This is NOT a slight against any book at all, but everything has just taken a backseat to this big important elephant in the room of my life, the one where I’m trying to figure out how to take care of My Dad and so all I’m doing is thinking, thinking, thinking.
I want to read something that is HAPPY. I think I have a case of the sads. It’s so hard to watch someone that I love struggle with everything he does. It makes me sad, so sad. So I need to read something happy. But my mind is really cluttered with everything that is going on right now, and I can’t even think of a happy thing that I want to read. It’s really weird for me and maybe you guys can help? Feel free to recommend away, I’M TAKING HAPPY BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS.
Or maybe when we go through really tough emotional things, we need to read emotional stories because this is when the connection is stronger? I don’t know. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Do I need to read more emotional stories to make me FEEL things instead of a disconnect to everything, instead of just sitting around thinking all the time?
I trust you guys, my reading friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I still want to read, it’s something that I can always count on to lift my spirits. But I’m just not sure where to go on the shelves. I need direction. And some positive thoughts, prayers, and hugs. You guys are THE BEST for these things. The very best.
<333 Love you, girl!
How you are feeling? I think it's normal…I felt the same way when I watched my mom's health change during her battle with brain cancer. And same again with Will's dad with ALS. There's this sort of daze you are in in a way where your brain just can't focus on ALL THE THINGS it normally can. So, don't sweat it if you can't read or blog. Your brain space and your emotional space is being used elsewhere. That being said, I find that when I'm in these kinds of situations I need HAPPY books or really escapist books. And you know me…I like my books with the most possible emotional destruction possible. I tend to, IN THE MIDST of really serious stuff and emotionally draining stuff stick with the happy and then later when I'm a little stable I like to read emotional BIG STUFF.
I feel like you've read all the happy books I'd really recommend. Do you have access to Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda?? This book made me grin from ear to ear.
I'm thinking of you, lady xoxo. Always here to talk. Am so sorry you are going through this and your dad is so lucky he has such a loving and caring daughter to help him through this. <33333
YES, a daze. That's a perfect way to describe how I feel. I love that I've already read the happy stuff you'd recommend, love that we read similarly. I'll check out Simon right now, Jamie! Thank you so much. Thank you for everything. xo
My dad and I are super close, so reading about your relationship with your dad (especially the texts) made me smile like a fool. <3
I think it's completely normal to be unable to focus on reading or blogging when your mind and heart are elsewhere. That said, how do you feel about Middle Grade? I've discovered that the majority of my go-to comfort reads are books I loved from my childhood. A relatively new series (the final book came out last spring) is Christopher Healy's The League of Princes series. I think they're hilarious and smart and all around feel-good books.
Yes, I love this guy so much. He's super cool. (: Also, I LOVE Middle Grade! I read it all the time, actually, but I haven't read the Healy series. I'm going to open another screen and check it out right this minute. Thank you so much! Hilarious and feel-good is what I need. (:
Hi sweet friend,
Reading this gives me the sads because I don't like to see my friends with the sads. You know I'm here for you. I've had a rough reading month myself, so I'm currently not good for book recs, but I'm good for HUGS! And prayers, of course! Do you need coffee?? I can send you some. 🙂 I will!! <3 And don't worry about blogging, just take care of you and your family for now. We'll be here when you're ready.
I just love you. Thank you for being YOU. I've had a pot of coffee this morning, you know me so well. xo
Oh, girl, I'm so sorry to hear this. I am super close to my dad, so this definitely hits home for me. I am thinking of him and YOU and I hope things get better. I'm gonna recommend some happy books to you later on tonight on Twitter, okay? Don't let me forget! I need to look through my Goodreads shelves after work. 🙂
I'M SO LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RECS. I always love to see what you're reading and what you've loved. xo
Asheley, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your father! It's always tough seeing a loved one going through a hard time, particularly when it comes to battling a physical illness or condition, and I hope things get better for him soon. Honestly, all my book reading has been kind of intense/sad, except for one set of books – The Chocolate Thief & The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand, the first two books in that series. They're just fun to read, and will probably make you smile (and want sweets). Hope that helps!
Thank you Alexa, it IS hard. I've actually had The Chocolate Thief and The Chocolate Kiss on my mind over the past few days as I've talked with a couple of gals about them on Twitter! I love that you're also recommending because this means that it's just added insurance that I'll probably like them. I'm going to check them out right now. Thanks so much!
Oh I'm sorry 🙁 One of the roughest things in the world.
I always read when stressed and heartbroken and it helps. But…last year the man I dated almost six years was killed on Mother's day in a motorcycle accident. We had just broken up a little over a month before but it was still hard, as he had only moved out weeks before. I tried reading to help with the grief but couldn't either. Books really helped later – but not right away. Sometimes stress is too bad even for reading. We want to distract ourselves but sometimes we need to grieve and sleep more if we can before we can do that. You're in my prayers.
I'm so sorry to hear your father is struggling with his health. I've been keeping both of you in my thoughts and hoping he starts to feel better soon. I hope you're able to find some light-hearted things to read while this happens. I always love Lauren Morrill's books. Will be thinking of both of you!
Ashley, thanks so much for this heartfelt and honest post! I feel like I'm getting to know you more through posts such as these, and I appreciate that. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, and I'm sending you prayers and good wishes for him and your whole family! I hope you'll reach out to any of us if you need any encouragement along the way. I can tell you have such a joyful personality that I am sure your very presence in your dad's life is helping. And your positive words to him and the rest of your family are valuable!
I can totally understand about the reading dilemma though–I think I would recommend a happy, cozy classic, such as Anne of Green Gables or even Magic for Marigold. Room with a View is another short read that always makes me cheer up. It looks like you've already received some good book recs!
Love and hugs to you, dear! xoxo
Oh Asheley-thank you for much for sharing so vulnerably. Definitely sending prayers, hugs, and good vibes your way xoxo!