September 22, 2011 § 3 Comments
This week, I’ve had this insane craving for peanut butter cups. I don’t eat them often, but there was something about this week that made it difficult for me to abstain. In fact, I did the exact opposite and devoured an entire package of peanut butter cups from Duane Reade. I was probably a horrific sight to see after the crime, but it just felt right. It felt like being a kid again — before I knew that eating a whole pack of candy was the wrong thing to do, before I knew anything really.
When I was young, there were these special nights when Papa came home from work with treats for my older sister, Dianne, and me. Ate Dianne usually got Crunch Bars or something of the like, but I always got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kats.
I never knew why Papa always got me peanut butter cups and Kit Kats. I don’t remember telling him that I favored the two types of chocolate, and, actually, I have always been pretty impartial. I’d eat anything. Nevertheless, Papa would come home with those treats in tow, each type seemingly chosen with one of his daughters in mind.
Maybe he wanted to be consistent. Maybe he saw how savagely I devoured them when he first gave the peanut butter cups to me, and he thought, “Well, that’s what Milna likes best!” Maybe that’s all the store had. Maybe it was random. Or, maybe he wanted to make it a tradition, something sweet for his daughters to remember him by.
It happens to be one of the few things I do remember so vividly about him. It makes me wonder about him. I wonder where he got them from. Was it from schoolkids selling candy for a fundraiser? Was there a store near his dealership in Jersey City? Did he stop by there every few days to pick up lotto tickets? And, while he was on line, did he throw the chocolates on the counter and add it to his bill? Did he think to himself, “While I’m at it, might as well? For the girls.” Did he even think in English?
I don’t know, and I wish I could ask him. It may not seem like any of this really matters, but there is so much I’d ask him if I could talk to him today. And it wouldn’t have to be deep. It wouldn’t have to be life-changing. I wouldn’t need to know if he was proud of me or what he’d do differently about his life.
I just want to know more about him.
As time passes, I feel that I forget more and more about my father. I knew him when I was too young to know anything, to appreciate anything, to savor anything. Sometimes, I think that I’m forgetting the sound of his voice. Like I’m losing what little I have left of him. And that’s frightening to me.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of another year in what’s been a lifetime of growing, learning, and living without my father. Perhaps that’s why my subconscious craved for a piece of my innocent past, a taste of what I once had.
A father who brought home peanut butter cups for his youngest daughter, the one he’d never really get to know too.
September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve made my decision. I’m going to “link” to medical school. What this means is that, instead of applying to dozens of medical schools next summer (and entering medical school in the Fall of 2013), I will be applying through a special program at my school. The deadline for my application is December 1 of this year (AH!), and I will apply to only one school. The admissions committee at Columbia’s Postbacc Premed Program will choose whether to nominate me for linkage. Upon nomination, the school of my choice will either accept me or reject me, and that acceptance is contingent upon getting a 34 on my MCAT next April or May. If all goes well, I’ll be a medical student somewhere in New York City — one year from now.
I just had to say that, to write that, to make that real. Life is about to get intense this semester, in a way that I have never known, and I’m still trying to get all the sand out of my apartment. This week has been the first week of hard work — the first of many endless days, but I have decided to stay true to this commitment to myself and to my future in service.
This is serious for me. Getting to the next step means I must succeed right now. A week ago, the thought of that seemed so intimidating to me that I could hardly keep the anxiety at bay. I’ve since regained my composure, but the gravity of it all remains clear to me.
I am going to work with all I’ve got, so if you don’t see me until next summer, I apologize. However, I do promise my dear girlfriends that, 5 years from now when I am a doctor, I will give you a life’s worth of antibiotic prescriptions for your many issues. Ride or die, ladies.
Ride or die.