Around Thanksgiving, when I finally was to get a moment to breathe from life as a graduate student, I found out that my father was in the hospital. He had been having a lot of trouble walking and was falling down a lot. I got a call from family to tell me he was in the hospital and that the doctors suspect that he might have cancer. Being a crazed, tired grad student who also works and is trying to be an artist and a business owner at the same time, I quickly tried to figure out what to do and was on a flight to Florida from Chicago before I knew it.
Right before I got on the plane on the evening I was set to go, I was told that it was cancer and that he started radiation treatments that day. I can’t begin to tell you the feeling of finding out something like that in the middle of the airport. There’s a small part of you that goes off. You feel nothing and everything at the same time. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t feel sadness. It was a weight that became a part of my body, as if a new organ sprouted in the middle of my core. I had something new in me, my own kind of growth that probably operates similarly to what was happening in my father’s body.
Being a writer, after calling my mother and probably hearing her shed more tears than I could possible feel, let alone shed at the moment, I opened up my notepad on my phone. I wrote this while staring at some girl’s stupid designer overnight bag: “He started chemo today at Chicago O'Hare airport. Next to gate K20 in front of a Kate Chopin bag. The Awakening of his daughter's ribcage starts on his spine, the lights flashing for take off ‘your emotion and sit back for the fight.’ ” Makes no sense and I still don’t know why I chose Kate Chopin and The Awakening as signifiers for anything in a line, but my brain was buzzing and only words could quiet it down for a moment, even if they didn’t make sense. But I do know that it was the beginning of waiting, choices, and struggle.
My father has Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma in his spine. He went through 14 rounds of radiation and is currently in remission as of the end of December. But his legs are not in great condition. He is still in the hospital as of March and is in physical therapy, trying to regain strength in his legs so he can walk again. He is improving, but it is a slow and painful process.
Staying in school and making my way through all of my projects (personal, professional, and educational) and commitments has been a struggle. I put off telling the other editors of Typoetic.us and after I told them, I put off this letter more because telling each person makes it more real. But I also realized that all the wonderful things I am doing will have been done in vain if I don’t carry on as well. I do these things for not only my own fulfillment, but to make my parents proud. If the worst is going to happen, I want to be able to make my dad proud.
I am proud of what Typoetic.us has been and will continue to be. As a lover of poetry, as an editor-in-chief, and as a member of the poetry community, I have a duty to continue to bring poetry to the greater world. For all of those waiting for answers to your submissions, we will get you answers around the end of March and will be combining issues to put out a slightly bigger issue by April. Once we answer all those submissions, we will open up submissions again. For those who have submitted to the mini zine Cloudy Cephalopod, we are going to consider your submissions for Typoetic.us and postpone putting out Cloudy Cephalopod until further notice.
I want to thank everyone for their patience, especially since you did not know why we were going past our 3-4 month response time. If you want to withdraw your submission, it is absolutely understandable. We all want our work to get out there to the world and we have to get it in front of people who will help us put it out there. I do hope that if you choose to withdraw your submission that you will submit to us again at a later time! I love reading all this work that comes in and when an issue is out, all is right in the world. I founded this magazine so that I can help share wonderful work like the ones that are sent in. Please don’t give up on us! We are going to have a beautiful new issue and we hope that you will be in it. I want to celebrate life and words. I have a whole bunch of ideas that can’t go to waste for the magazine. WE have a bunch of ideas! My editors have been nothing but supportive, even without hearing from me. I want to get this issue out for them as well as for you!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I do promise that you will be hearing from us very soon. I look forward to burying myself into all of your beautiful words. If nothing else, poetry heals whether we are writing or reading it. I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and most of all, for giving me something to heal with. My father has a long way to go, but doing stuff like this helps me be a stronger, better daughter and supporter for him. Not everyone is blessed to pursue a passion so I want to be able to make him proud by pursuing mine.
Thank you once again for your patience and understanding. Much love, peace, and good health to everyone!
and the Editors of Typoetic.us