Happy Father’s Day!

     What can I say about my dad? He is the most hardworking, loving and intelligent man I know. He would do anything in the world for me, my brother and my mom. He is a good man. Plain and simple. Of course, there are times when he drives us all nuts, but that’s part of his quintessential charm.
     Dad is the life of every party. When his blue eyes twinkle, God only knows what he’s thinking or what’s coming next. He is definitely not the most politically correct person you will ever meet, but he is one of the most entertaining. The songs he wrote for his coworkers’ retirement parties were legendary. He even had backup singers. And those backup singers accompanied me during the retirement song I wrote and performed for him.
     People who meet my mother for the first time usually start the conversation with, “We always wondered who could put up with him. Is he like that all the time?”
     She answers, “Yes, he is. We’ve been together for over fifty years. And I haven’t killed him yet.”
     However, there were times when we wondered if he was trying to kill us. His vacations were death-defying adventures. Seriously. If we didn’t come close to getting maimed or killed, it wasn’t a good vacation. He got several ideas from those nice people in National Geographic. That should paint you a better picture right there.
     Imagine if you will a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old and their parents, wearing regular sneakers, carrying no food or water, clinging to chains driven into the side of a cliff with railroad spikes, navigating narrow ledges to reach Havasu Falls at the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had heavy camera equipment around our necks. That crazy family was us. We have the pictures and video to prove it.
     Growing up, Dad was the cool dad. He rigged up a car stereo and 6×9 speakers in the garage, so we could listen to music outside. He would play oldies or rock, sometimes country. This was while the neighbor across the street was broadcasting Willie Nelson, or the soundtrack from Evita or the soundtrack from Les Mis.
     Don’t get me wrong, I love Evita and Les Mis now, but listening to those soundtracks as a child was depressing. So, thank God, Dad’s system was louder. To this day, he still cranks it up loud. Of course now that might be because his hearing isn’t what it used to be.
     When he would bring home a new car, the neighborhood boys would come over to “oooh” and “aaah” over it. They’d ask tons of questions that he was more than happy to answer. Then he’d spend the next two hours washing it.
     I think I volunteered him to be the DJ for my 8th grade ’50s/’60s sock hop. He lugged his record player, a slew of records, stereo system and speakers to the school. Everybody, including the teachers, had a blast. He even came up with a trivia game and handed out prizes.
     In high school, he took me to all of the Father/Daughter Dinner Dances. We danced energetically to the fast songs. And we serenaded each other as we danced to the slow songs. We were quite the pair!
     He was proud when I followed in his footsteps and went to GMI Engineering & Management Institute. (It was General Motors Institute when he went there.) I was mortified when I had to explain my Dad’s nickname for me to my college roommate. She answered the phone, and he thought it was me and greeted her, “Hi, Poozlet!”
     Yeah, don’t ask.
     On my wedding day, we were alone in the bride’s room waiting to walk down the aisle. I was nervous, and he was making jokes trying to calm my nerves. But then he got serious for a moment. He said, “I’m assuming your mother had the talk with you.”
     Oh dear God. Did he really just say that? I’m going to die now. Of embarrassment or something. I laughed. Mom and I had the talk when I was ten years old.
      “Yeah, Dad. We had the talk.”
      “Okay. Good.”
     I wonder what he would have done if I had said, “No.” I can only imagine!
     Mom and Dad came to stay with me when I had cancer. I remember waking up from surgery. Mom wore her usual cheerful caregiver smile. But Dad had what we now jokingly refer to as “Dad Face.”
     “Dad Face” is the look he gets when he wants to fix whatever is wrong, but is helpless to do so. Because ultimately, it is out of his control. It’s a very concerned, worried, loving look.
     Mom and I learned quickly that we had to assign him some tasks. That way he felt useful and accomplished something.
     When I was going through my divorce, “Dad Face” returned. Heck, for a while, Mom even had “Dad Face.” Actually, almost everyone I knew had “Dad Face.” Hard not to since I was sobbing at the drop of a hat.
     Anyway, now that Dad’s retired, he’s busier than ever. When he’s not out washing his cars or doing yardwork, he’s fishing. He frequently says, “A bad day of fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
     Mr. Catch and Release has said it enough times, we believe him. Plus, he does come back with some really interesting fish stories. However, it still boggles the mind. This is a man who is always in a rush and hates waiting in lines. Yet, he will spend hours, days and sometimes weeks fishing. Sometimes on the shore or in a boat. Most of the time in waders standing chest deep in a stream.
     Fly fishing is his favorite type of fishing. Although he sometimes uses corn. Niblets to be precise. From a can. Apparently, it works. He’s catching a lot of fish with niblets. Who knew? Niblets!
     And when he’s not fishing, he’s planning meals. Breakfast with his brothers, Old Farts luncheons (his words, not mine), and dinners with everyone else my parents know. Their social calendar is booked out for weeks. They are popular people. Well, I guess with him you do get a meal and a comedy act.
     Most of all, my Dad wants me to be happy and feel loved. I consider myself very lucky, blessed, happy and loved because I have him for a Dad. And no matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Advertisements

Cast Spotlight: Suzanne Purewal

SuzanneToday, I get to shine the Listen To Your Mother spotlight on myself! My piece is about Mom and me. Some lines are so funny, I can hardly contain my laughter. So, I guarantee you will laugh out loud. I just hope I can keep it together during my performances!

I reveal several things in my interview with event organizers that I have never discussed before. So, if you want to learn more about me, click on this link!
http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/04/17/cast-spotlight-suzanne-purewal/

Buy your tickets today! They’re going fast, and you don’t want to miss out!
https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

Introducing…Amparo de la Peña!

Amparo_Headshot.jpg-300x254     Amparo de la Peña is the first cast member to be featured for this year’s Listen To Your Mother Indianapolis show! There will be two performances this year. They are on Sunday, April 27th, at 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., at the Indiana Historical Society.
     Although I can not reveal the subject of Amparo’s piece, I can tell you, I related to it personally. I guarantee many of you will too. I am looking forward to sharing a stage with her.
     Here is her interview with event organizers. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/2014/03/30/cast-spotlight-amparo-de-la-pena/

     Tickets are currently available for both shows for $16. But ticket prices will go up on April 15th to $20, so get your tickets now! https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

See Me Perform Live On Stage!

     Yes, friends, I will be performing live! I am thrilled to be part of the cast of “Listen To Your Mother!” What is “Listen To Your Mother?” Well, click here to see what it is all about. http://listentoyourmothershow.com/indianapolis/
     As you can see from their website, I will be reading my own original work on stage, along with thirteen other creative women.
     There are two shows on Sunday, April 27th. For show times, tickets and more details, click here:  https://tickets.indianahistory.org/Info.aspx?EventID=1

     Ticket prices go up after April 14th, so get your tickets now! Hope to see you there!

World Cancer Day

CourageToday is World Cancer Day. And I am pleased to announce that I am 12 ½ years cancer free. When people asked me today how many years I have been cancer free, I’ve been rounding up to 13 years. That is what I posted on my Facebook Page. But for this blog post, I decided not to round. Perhaps because I need to express “the half.”

When we were children, we always gave our ages in halves. Back then, those milestones were important. As adults, we round. Sometimes we round up, other times, as with our ages, we round down. Of course some adults pretend to forget their ages, and others refuse to acknowledge them entirely. However, I just realized at this very moment, “the half” is important again.

It’s funny how something as basic as time becomes so critical, especially when one does not have much of it left. Or the perception of living on borrowed time comes into play.

I am one of the lucky ones. My cancer was caught early. The tumor was removed, albeit in multiple surgeries, but nevertheless, it was cut out of me. The radiation treatment afterward was otherworldly. In my opinion, the treatment and subsequent side effects were worse than the cancer. But I, like so many others, persevered. I moved forward, slowly but surely.

The scar left much deeper wounds than I anticipated. Due to the multiple surgeries, the incision did not heal properly. Even scar revision surgery did not work. For quite some time, all I saw when I looked into the mirror was that scar. I felt ugly and broken, exhausted mentally and physically.

People made unbelievable comments about my scar. “Frankenstein” came up frequently. One of the commonly used phrases was, “Well, it’s not that bad.” Never once did I ask anyone how bad my scar looked. So, the unsolicited comments made the situation worse. My brother thought their comments were as ridiculous as I did. He decided to mock them. He would joke, “Oh, it’s such a pretty scar!”

I have to say he made me laugh every time he said it. Thank you, Timmy.

Humor is how my family deals with adversity. And it helps. Tremendously. And it keeps everyone in the hospital wondering what we’re up to in our hospital room. And when the nurses and the rest of the staff started laughing, it would carry into other patients’ rooms. Laughter is contagious. And it is good for the soul. And that’s not just a line I’m trying to feed you. It works, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through those dark days without my loved ones and the laughter and mayhem they created. I can not thank my family and friends enough for their love and support, and the seemingly endless stream of “Get Well” chocolate.

Today, I am praying for each and every one of you who has been touched by cancer. I hope that you feel the love, peace, happiness and understanding that I am sending your way. All I ask in return is that you celebrate a part of each day with a little laughter, whether it is for a half an hour or a half a day. Because halves do count.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Worst Pick Up Lines Ever

     My girlfriends and I love going out for dinner, drinks and dancing. We enjoy drama-free nights out with the girls. However, inevitably, we are approached by less-than-desirable men looking for a good time. Here are the worst lines we have heard recently.

20130406_13133910. My buddy and I noticed you from across the bar. I really love your spangly bracelets.
     Sure, it was my spangly bracelets that caught his attention. Not. I was wearing an outfit similar to one I wore for my professional photo shoot. So I had the romantic vibe going, including soft waves in my hair, flawless makeup and a hint of cleavage. Needless to say, after we stopped laughing, we sent him on his merry way. However, I gave him points for effort and creativity!

9. I think we would make beautiful music together.
     Not really a bad line, in and of itself. I gave him points for creativity. But when a guy old enough to be your father, wearing a zoot suit, delivers it, it is just creepy.
     “No, thank you. You’re not my type.”
     “What’s your type?”
     I wanted to say, “Someone who’s not my father’s age.” Instead, I rattled off a list.
     “I don’t like what’s on your list.”
     “You don’t have to. It’s my list.”
     “There are a lot of things missing from your list.” And then, he proceeded to tell me the attributes that should have been on my list.
     I reiterated that I was not interested, but he would not leave. However, within moments, I was saved. He had signed up to sing karaoke, and he was up. Thank you, God!

8. How’d you get that scar on your neck? Did you have a tracheotomy?
     What a jerk!
     “No, I had cancer. Great way to start and end a first conversation.”

white black jeans7. Nice jeans.
     Attention ladies! This is a “politically correct” way for a guy to tell you that you have a nice ass. Apparently, it has replaced the wolf whistle and other direct commentary that could be construed as sexual harassment. I did not bother to acknowledge his presence. But, to tell the truth, they were nice jeans. Actually, they were my favorite jeans, found at White House | Black Market. http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com

6. My friend and I have a bet going. Are those real?
     Seriously?
     “Yes, my eyes are this color. I’m not wearing colored contacts.”
     “That’s not what I meant.”
     “I know. But that’s the only answer you’re getting.”

5. You’re hot. I’m hot. Let’s f***.

     Are you kidding me???
     “Oh hell, no!” Picture me rolling my eyes and shaking my head in total and absolute disgust.

drink - Copy4. What are you drinking?
     Okay, the question is not the problem here, it was the conversation that followed that did him in.
     “Ginger ale with cranberry juice.”
     He laughed and replied, “I want to buy you a real drink. Order something strong.”
     “Nope. This is what I’m drinking. I already had my one alcoholic drink for the evening. I’m the designated driver.”
     “That’s ridiculous.”
     “No.”
     “Come on. I want to talk to you.”
     “And you can’t talk to me unless I’m drinking alcohol? That’s pretty pathetic.”
     “It levels the playing field.”
     “I’m not interested in playing games. Go away, and grow up.”

3. You girls are gorgeous. Have you ever considered doing porn?
     This guy approached us from behind and put one arm around each of us. We immediately pulled away and told him to get away from us. Eeeewwwww! No matter how hard we tried, no amount of antibacterial wipes could make us feel clean after that.

2. I’m a single dad with four kids under the age of five. I’m looking for somebody to raise them for me.
     Well, good luck with that!
     While we were laughing, he explained he liked to cruise around on his motorcycle. He was searching for someone to raise his kids for him, so he can gallivant around the country. We suggested he hire a nanny.

1. I loved 50 Shades of Grey. How about you?
     “Hated it.”
     “How could you hate it? It was fantastic.”
     “The plot was ridiculous. It was poorly written and 200 pages too long.”
     “Come back to my place, and I’ll convince you otherwise.”
     “I can’t say ‘no’ strongly enough.”
     “I’ll have you saying ‘yes’ and begging for more.”
     “Not in your wildest dreams.”
     “I guarantee to make your wildest dreams come true.”
     “Really?”
     “Yes.”
     “My wildest dream is for you to leave us alone.”
     And with that, he called me the “B” word and left. Gee, if only all of my dreams were that easy to fulfill! 

     Despite dealing with unwelcome advances, my girlfriends and I will continue to go out and enjoy each other’s company. And, if nothing else, we will end up with some really interesting stories to share!

Copyright © 2013 Suzanne Purewal

Dare to Dream

indiegogo_picture 2My “Dare to Dream” Campaign on Indiegogo is live!

To read more about this cause and the perks you can get for contributing, please click on this link:  http://igg.me/p/296653 

My Mission
is to serve as an advocate for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, as well as those who have experienced personal loss or trauma; to provide a forum using printed and social media to communicate their struggles and triumphs; to provide hope and resources to others facing similar challenges.
 
My Goal is to encourage and empower women and men to overcome the adversity in their lives and to channel that adversity into pursuing their true passions.
 
You might be struggling to pursue your own passion. With that in mind, I will select six donors to be featured on this blog. If you wish to be considered as a featured guest blogger, please send me an email at: purewalpublishing@gmail.com and tell me about your passion.
 
I can not do this alone!
 
I ask that you please share and support my campaign with your circle of friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
 
One small act of kindness really can make a big difference!