In September, it will have been one year since my Dad lost his battle to cancer. It is true that the feelings, pain, anger, and anguish go away the farther along you go in life. During that stretch when he was diagnosed back in December 2011 up until last September things got crazy. My dad, fighting for his own life was helping to take care of his mother while she was in the last stages of alzheimers. She died 5 months before my Dad did. Another family member was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor a couple months later. He would go on to leave this world a few months ago.
My Mom and Dad during our last Christmas all together.
I bring this up not because I want people to feel sorry for me. Things have been relatively quiet for a while now but there have been plenty of times where I needed my father’s guidance. Him and I didn’t always see eye to eye. He didn’t like me listening to rap as a teenager, or having facial hair, and he was always weary of me going into broadcasting. He would tell me constantly, “many want in, but few are chosen.” Now, he may have had a point. It’s a very competitive field and not everybody has success. If only he could have been around to see my growth just from ONE year! Two weeks after he passed away, I had auditioned to be a news anchor for Central Michigan University’s News Central 34 and had won a spot. Something I’m sure he would have been proud of. But it wasn’t just that semester where I grew.
Since late May, I have been struggling finding out just how to be a reporter. Brandie, the coordinator, gave me the opportunity to learn and get a ton of hands-on experience. Rarely was it ever easy. Even though I had my doubts about my personal performance and just how much I could handle HOMTV, I stuck with it. It ended up paying off.
When Dad was diagnosed with cancer, I asked him if I should take the semester off from college and stay home to help Mom. He whole-heartedly disagreed with that decision and told me, “Joe, you have to go to school, you just have to do it.” His biggest goal for me was to graduate from college. I will be entering my last year as an undergrad in just a few days. I’m dedicating this year, not only to taking what I’ve learned from HOMTV and applying it to the opportunities that I will be presented with at CMU, but also for my Dad. I know that when I walk down to grab my diploma, the happiest person in the world won’t be in the audience.
It was a pleasure working with everybody over the summer at HOMTV. There were alot of tough, grinding moments, but in the end I made friendships. If anyone is in Mount Pleasant and notices some dude, carrying a tripod, camera, light, and whatever else first ask him “What in the world did you get yourself into?” but then say Hi, because it’s probably me.