I am my father’s daughter

When we first moved here, our son was six months old and our daughter had just turned three. We had the house unpacked, cleaned and organized within a week. That included the time we stayed in a hotel (four days) waiting for our moving truck to arrive, during which we’d take trips to the new house and paint, while our daughter “helped” (or just sat there and played with her brother, since our son couldn’t crawl or sit up very well yet).

I attributed a great deal of the speed to the fact that I had just had my thyroid removed, and was taking a replacement hormone. I felt… fast. Don’t know how else to describe it. Was still nursing our son, too, so I ate and ate and ate… I had so much energy.

I was wrong–it wasn’t the medication. It was me. I wanted our house to be settled. I wanted the state of transition to be over. I do not like states of transition. I need to move out of them as quickly as possible. I was motivated. Highly, freakishly motivated.

I say this, because for quite some time now, I’ve been… on fire.

In a good way: I’m planning and writing, cooking three square meals a day and cleaning even more, sharing and helping, working and playing, and laughing… I’m finding humor in things, things that, at another point in my life, wouldn’t have struck me as the least bit funny. I’m finding a bright side even in dark, deep places.

I’m in another state of transition. It’s been a long one, this particular state. I want things smooth and settled, easy and clear. And I can’t think of one thing that is particularly smooth, or settled, or easy or clear. Unless I touch it. Then, I’ve convinced myself, I can tame the chaos, make it all make sense.

Make it all happy and bright. Make it all hopeful and light.


It’s obnoxious, right? Especially today. You know. Today. A year ago, I recalled it. A new friend of mine is exhausted by all the reminding of that terrible day. There’s a threshold each of us reaches, a pain threshold that some of us reach faster than others because of individual life experiences and individual constitutions. Some losses are so great, reminding is utterly unnecessary. Sometimes, we’re already motivated.


My dad sent an email to the family today, indicating that he’d finished his book, and was looking for insight on a title. Let me state that again, for my own benefit: My dad wrote and finished his book, and asked a group of his family and closest friends, ‘what title do you think it needs?’ My dad is nearly 72. I am not surprised at his accomplishment (he’s a scientist, a philosophical one), but I am profoundly impressed. The book is on a topic that he is absolutely passionate about–so passionate that I’ve known his thoughts on this topic for the past 25 years or so, as he’ll share them with you if you’re sitting still in his presence for more than five minutes.

He started writing the book last year, when my mother was back home and recovering from her bone marrow transplant, the one that nearly killed her. My dad, he does not like states of transition… of uncertainty. He manages those near constant states by looking up, and over, to the brighter side of anything, by doing. Doing, and doing, and doing some more.

He is a motivated man.

The title of his book? I emailed him my suggestion. He responded: my suggestion mirrored his initial thought.

I am… on fire.

6 thoughts on “I am my father’s daughter

  1. Thanks for linking — I really appreciate it. I think if I were to describe my life in these terms, it would be as one of those kilns where the blacksmiths heat up metal. You know what I’m talking about? Basically I’m a mass of smoldering rocks that gets the job done most of the time, and every once in a while, when the air gets blown in and the wind is right, I flame up and look positively spectacular. But yeah, most days, I’m just heating up metal that gets smacked over and over with a hammer.

  2. Thank you so much for these inspirational blogs and comments. Lately, I have been anything but “on fire.” I have just been getting the minimum done around here. But I will take heart from your messages and try to get the fire lit under me again!

      1. There sure are. So I’m up early today, trying to get a number of things done. Still not feeling white hot, but a little warmer than yesterday morning.

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