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giving a little back

3 April 2009 1,578 views 35 Comments

I've had this post in my head for a few years now. I've been delaying and putting it off because ultimately, it's really hard to write. I'm sure it will be cathartic once it's out there, but for now the words don't flow easily.

10 years ago, January, my dad died of a brain tumour. It's one of those things that sort of snuck up on us and seemed to happen really quickly. He was diagnosed in the Fall of 1997 and by January 1999, he was gone. I don't talk about it much because really, what can you say. It sucks, but it happened and ultimately you have to grieve and just keep moving forward. I carry with me the things that he taught me and think about him often. My love of photography, cats and the skills to build a kitchen on my own are just some of those things. He wasn't here to see me buy my first house, or meet the man I married, but I carry his strength and corny jokes with me wherever I go.

Dad on the boat

While he was sick, and for a long time afterwards, my Mum got a lot of support from the folks involved with the National Brain Tumor Foundation. It was the first email list she'd ever joined and was her first connection with the friendship and help you can get from strangers on the internet. (Which may be why she doesn't think it weird that I met a lot of my friends online.)

mum & dad 1st date

To mark this 10th anniversary (April was his birthday month,) I wanted to do some special and give back a little. I struggled with how to go about it in a way that makes sense and allows my friends to get involved. I had a few ideas in mind that I'll put in play eventually, but for this year, I'm going to donate 10% of all the April sales of the Splityarn shop to the National Brain Tumor Society. Hopefully the donation will help another family like mine get some support when they need it.

On that note, this isn't exactly the happiest of shop updates, but there it is. The newest set of boxbags are up and there will be more to come. If you're not so much interested in buying anything and would rather just donate a few bucks, I'd love it if you did it in Bob Benna's name. Thanks for letting me fumble through this y'all, it means a lot to me.


  • Bertha said:

    Oh gosh, I am so sorry Caro. I had no idea.

  • meg said:

    aw, this is really great, caro. your dad sounds like he was a pretty amazing guy. i still get such a kick out of the story about his brother and him rearranging things when it was their week to run the biz. no doubt your dad raised a fabulous gal!

  • maryse said:

    it’s a lovely tribute and i just love the photo of your mum and dad.

  • Jocelyn said:

    What a really lovely thing to do! Go Caro!

  • Carrie said:

    These pictures are great – he looks and sounds like a really amazing person, and your fabulous smile looks a lot like his. you are doing an awesome thing! and thanks for sharing this with us.

  • beverly said:

    What a touching tribute.

  • LEO said:

    Shoot Caro, I’m really sorry to hear about your dad. This is a really lovely thing for you to do.

  • Brenda said:

    beautiful tribute, caro. {{{hugs}}}

  • nancy said:

    YOU are a tribute to your dad, I’m sure of it.

  • Erin said:

    Oh, Caro, I’m so sorry. The pictures are so great- I’m glad you shared them.

  • Maritza said:

    Such a moving post and lovely tribute to your dad. *huge hugs* And what you are doing is awesome.

  • elisa said:

    What a lovely tribute, Caro. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your dad with us. You are the amazing legacy of a great man.

  • grumperina said:

    Perhaps not the happiest, but very meaningful! This is a wonderful way to remember your father!

  • Vanessa said:

    What a touching and lovely tribute. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jen said:

    Oh, Caro. What a lovely, lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing. I am actually reading this post after I snagged a couple of your box bags from the update, and am even more glad now that I know some of the proceeds are going towards such a great cause.

  • Veronique said:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I work in a brain cancer research lab, so I know first hand that these donations really help!

  • mai said:

    i love the photos that you shared with us. that photo of your dad on the boat is a great one because he looks so genuinely happy. what a truly touching post; thank you so much for sharing your story with us. happy birthday to your dad.

  • Kirsten said:

    This is a wonderful tribute to your father Caro! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Love the photos.

  • Whistlepea said:

    Aw, you’re parents were so handsome together. Such a sweet idea.

  • Ashley said:

    A huge hug for you. That last pic is so wonderful–what a sharp pair, the two of them.

  • janna said:

    Caro, your dad sounds like a great guy and it’s great of you, too, to do this in his memory.

  • Anna said:

    Hey – I’ve been there. Dad to a brain tumor in 2005. I’m so sorry & I’m off to buy a bag. (My blog is rather abandoned but here’s my one year anniversary post: http://kniticity.blogspot.com/2006/08/one-year-ago-today.html )

  • anne said:

    This is a wonderful tribute to your dad. Both my grandfathers died of brain cancer, so this hits close to home for me. I hope you have great sales and raise tons of money for a great cause!

  • Carole said:

    This is a fantastic way to honor your dad. I love the memories you shared.

  • Melissa said:

    This is such a lovely way to remember your dad. I hope you raise lots of money this month!

  • Heather said:

    Oh I just love that picture of your parents in the sedan. And I hope to be able to have your perspective and strength when my dad passes away.

  • melissa said:

    I’m so sorry about your Dad. I know it has probably become easier to deal with the loss over time, but it’s always sad when someone leaves us too soon . I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing this in his memory.

  • Keana said:

    what a lovely idea….and such a nice way to pay tribute.

  • gleek said:

    hugs to you caro! my husband, KP, lost his mother to a brain tumor when he was 16. even 16 years later, it’s still hard to talk about his mom but it definitely helps the hurt. your dad sounds like a loving and caring guy. this is a great way to remember him.

  • Susanne said:

    I think this is awesome. My father just died (April 3) of cancer. I kind of wish in some ways I was at the 10 year mark so that this hurt would be less fresh. I guess it never gets easier in some ways, though – like when you meet the person you want to marry. I’m heading to the shop RIGHT NOW. Thanks for such a wonderful blog.

  • Joe Doyle said:

    An amazing idea, Caro. You’re the bee’s knees for sure.

  • diana said:

    I have a lump in my throat. Thanks for sharing this Caro.

  • claudia said:

    Sadly, we share this experience. My dad died of a brain tumor in February 1997, about six months after diagnosis. One of the first charity bike rides I ever did was for the Brain Tumor Society.
    I’m sorry for your loss. This is a great idea!

  • Leslie said:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and these wonderful photos. Hugs to you!

  • Danielle said:

    Oh, Caro, what a sweet tribute to your dad. This reminds me of why I work so hard to raise money to support cancer researchers and neuroscientists. I hope that some day, we reach the point when nobody has to write these kinds of posts.

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