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.
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.)
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.