Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas without you. . .

So Christmas morning was spent watching the excitement in my daughters eyes as they found their stockings filled with goodies and as they walked down the stairs to a tree with gifts just for them. I could not help while watching them open each gift anticipating what could be in there and then even if it was just socks they still smiled and said thank you, just like me growing up I never took anything for granted I always knew I would be given what I needed and yet a few special gifts that I really wanted! While the day was filled with laughter, I still thought about my dad, I thought about how we would finish our Christmas here and then we would head to my parents where we would gather around their tree, crowded as it was but yet I think that is exactly how he liked it he always sat in his chair taking it all in watching as everyone opened gifts and how he would open his and try and guess what it was and sometimes he was right, I missed him not crying over a sentimental gift or the squeal of delight from his granddaughters, I missed looking over in his chair and seeing him just taking it all in. I thought as we entered Christmas that I would dread it I would hate not having him their and I did I hated not having all the little things I listed above happening, I missed it all, his ham dinner he would cook, his pomegranates that he would peal and share with my girls, his laughter, his Merry Christmas hug and his I Love You! I want this all back but I cant have it not one thing, I guess we can still cram into the living room and smile and laugh like he would love us too, yes I want to do the things that he would had loved, yes that would put a smile on his face, that's what I want if I cant have him at Christmas then those are the things I think we should have to honor him. So Merry Christmas Dad and ya know dad you would had loved the trick we played on mom this year! I did it cause I knew you would had enjoyed every moment and look dad, look at her face! She is happy and smiling just like you would had wanted.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It will always be your day

Christmas Eve has always meant something more in our family than just the day before Santa comes. Christmas Eve is also my Dad's Birthday. Something we both shared December Birthdays. He could relate to birthdays being caught up in the Christmas Season maybe his more than mine but none the less it was still something we shared.
Today as I sat alone I missed calling him up to have his granddaughters call and sing to him, knowing well enough that on the other end of the phone he had tears streaming down his face. I missed going to his favorite restaurant to get him that gift cert, so he could enjoy coffee and a breakfast or two on us and just sit and mingle with his cronies.But not this year, instead I found myself avoiding calling my mom afraid that she would pick up the phone in tears, so instead our day was filled with cookie making and preparing for Christmas, with one very special tradition that we plan on doing every year.
I was asked by a friend of mine what I had planned on doing to remember my dad through the Holiday's well thinking it would be sending some balloons in the air and visiting the cemetery, she gave me an idea about luminary bags, I loved it and I'm so thankful that she gave me that idea. So on Christmas Eve afternoon the girls and I created our own luminary bags to honor my dad. We plan on saving these and will create new ones next year and add them to the ones from the years past. So we lit these on Christmas Eve, and I look forward to this tradition every year. Happy 71st Birthday I hope your day was filled with fun, laughter and all your favorite foods.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Still hurts, so much!

Today we attended a Celebration of Life for my husbands bosses wife Toni. A wonderful kind hearted woman that I had, the pleasure of getting to know. Matt works for a wonderful "family" business so it was like losing a friend.
Well as I sat and listened to stories and memories I was taken back to my dads services, I could echo the words that I said in my speech, I could recall each tear for those stumbled down my cheeks as well today. I could feel their heartache and realized still how fresh and deep mine was. We are approaching a year, people say time heals, no im sorry I don't believe that, cause I hurt and today I hurt a lot. While I loved to listen to memories of Toni, I was sad that her husband, and her children, and grandchildren, move on in life without her. They share the pain, the tears, and the ups and downs that grief causes. I tried to control my tears and think of wonderful Toni but I could only do that for so long and I refected on my own loss, then the song, " To Where You Are" by Josh Groban played. My head and heart was flooded with memories of my dad as I listened to the words of the song. I was over taken with tears. It was then that I realized how how it still hurts!

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear
Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are
Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave
Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are
I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Found some comfort in a simple stroke

Today I celebrated my 35th Birthday for the 5th year! It was the usual day, cleaning, laundry, dance same routine. My FB page was flooded with Birthday Wishes, that always makes me smile! I had this crazy idea to go to Muse Paintbar a place where you create your own themed canvas, well I recall about two weeks ago looking through the website and their calendar of art, well it just happened to have a snow scene with a single Cardinal. . . . It was a must have I looked at it as a sign and I was going to create it. So after a call out for others to join me I was elated to have really my closest friends and mom join me. Letting your creativity flow is good for the mind and the sole, as I took a hold of the paintbrush and made the first stroke across the page I could feel an energy, I then anticipated each step, the final step was the cardinal, oh Geesh the focal point of the whole piece, well mine is a chunky healthy looking fellow that is peering out along the mountains. This represents my dad, a strong creature looking along the mountains to the valley over seeing the world from above. Their is something about this artwork that brings me comfort, brings me to tears, but yet puts a smile on my face. Was it the adventure, was it creating it, was it the laughter that we all shared as we compared ours or was it the simple fact that I brought to life my dad in the single stroke of a paintbrush. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A celebration but wanting more

well the big day is tomorrow, we'll big for me! It's my 35th birthday yes, that's correct 35, for what will be the 5th year! Now a lot of people look at me with a dumb look no your not 35 your 40 ugh NOPE I'm 35. It was 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Lauren and my OBGYN told me that on my birthday I would be considered extended maternal fetal age, "What does that mean" it meant that turning 35 while pregnant puts me in a whole different category while pregnant. I looked as it as oh god now I'm comsidered old, so that's where the no I'm 35 comes in, it was a huge joke with me and my dad, he thought it was funny and it was part of a running joke with him and I. So yeah I'm not 40 I'm 35!
Well on Friday my husband planned a surprise for me ok (shhh) he's not very good at planning surprises I figured it out but it's all good the thought is what counted! I was blessed in so many ways to see all my closest friends, it made me feel loved something you don't always see or feel, you know its there but sometimes you don't see it or feel it! I felt it and it felt good. Wow how did I get so lucky to have these people in my life. They all know me so well knowing my favorite things and yet still knowing my struggle well I dont think everyone sees the struggle I face some days of not having my dad. I totally felt his absence, I totally missed his laughter, I totally missed him, Mariel made a slide show at my party to show a lot of my life high lights, my childhood, my marriage, the birth of my children, my achievements, it was a great trip down memory lane but yet I could not help but not hold back tears seeing my dad, my brother and my gram, oh how they have played such important roles in my life, my brother having lost him at such a young age I learned to appreciate life and take it all in at just 15 years old, my gram taught me how much family means she taught me that their is no greater gift than family and friends, my dad well he has taught me love, humor, being a parent and to stand my ground and not be afraid to speak up. I'm going into celebrating events without him, achievements still yet to be discovered and yet it still leaves me at the end of the day wanting more!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Adding to tradition now.

Our tree cutting tradition continued today, as we bundled up and loaded up in my dads truck, yes my dads big truck, his truck, the truck he wanted so bad that the day he saw it he bought it, we Matt and I were actually with him the day he bought it. Well it has taken up residency at our house since the Summer. It nice to look outside and see it, makes me smile and sometimes my heart skips a beat thinking he is here to visit then the fast reality sets in. Well today I loaded my family into the truck and I smiled, it was as if he was a part of our day today. The miles we road in that truck, the trips camping we took in that truck, it all flooded back to me. Hearing the laughter from the back seat I know my dad would had been smiling and laughing along. It was nice to load our fresh cut tree into the back of my dads truck. I recalled growing up as one of my daughters asked why we just don't go in the woods to get it, I then told them about going into the woods as a little girl year after year not looking at the ground but high in the air for a tree, cause it was the top of the tree where the best tree was at. It always was big and I mean BIG, FULL and beautiful, I guess that's where I got my need for a big, full beautiful tree. So our tradition continues of cutting our own tree, and now it's brining it home in my dads truck that has been added to the tradition.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sometimes its just a conversation

Tonight while talking with my mom on the phone she paused to tell me a dream she had about my dad. She said when she saw him she noticed how thin and healthy looking he was and she told him how much she missed him and how much she loved him. She asked how he wa feeling and said his response was that he felt ok most days, she said as she continued to tell him about missing him and loving him she noticed a woman in the distance a woman with dark hair and then she woke up. Hmm she said it was so weird, she said it was so weird that she thought he has a woman lol. I was thinking after I hung up with her that maybe she was his protector or his leader as he visits us in our dreams, hmm I really dont know.
Its amazing how a conversation can take your mind on a wild adventure. It was nice to hear her talk of him even if it was just a dream, she told me she thinks of him 100's of times thoughout the day and Im sure she does cause I think of my dad EVERYDAY too. I wonder who else thinks of my dad, I wonder if people are still reminded of his gentle giving heart, his contagious laugh and that smile the smile that often people say that I have too.
I dont want people to forget about him, I want people to feel his presence when they need comfort or strength. I will do all I can do to keep his memory alive in our home and family, even if it is just in a conversation.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sometimes it's just in a song!

the song "You Raise Me Up" has always been one of my favorite songs. Whenever I hear it I shed a tear or two ok well more like a puddle. Weather it's hearing it on TV or radio or seeing a dancer interpret it in their own movement, the song now means so much to me! When I hear it I know who is lifting me up well who should be, but tonight I heard it differently I heard it, with a meaning of a dad and his little girl, here is my interpretation!
Now that I have my daddy as my angel above I have a diffrent reason to Beleive that he is the one who comes and sits with me when I am sad, worried and feel burdened with sometimes everyday life!
Ever since I was a little girl he my dad raised me up so that I could stand on the mountains to see the whole world,  he provided me outlets, and a listening ear to get over those stormy seas. He raised me up as I would cling to his back for a piggy back ride or my father daughter dance he held me as if to say I'm not letting you go forever! Yet he raised me to be all that I could be and more! Because he believed I could!
If you really listen to a song that has meant something to you, you look at it differently it means a diffrent thing. So wjen I hear this song the tears still flow, I still sing along knowing all the words and I feel the presence of my dad. Tonight I'm feeling comfort I heard this song and it made me cry yes, but it also made me feel protected!

When I am down and oh my soul so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

There is no life no life without it's hunger
Each restless heart beat so imperfectly
But when you come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes I think I glimpse eternity

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Not so Thanksgiving

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a nice day but not the nicest, but I am Thankful for who gathered with us on Thanksgiving. But yet in the back of my head I had my dad on my mind. The night before as I prepped food for the next day, I so wanted him there to eat the cranberry relish, the one dish I made that he looked forward to every year. I so wanted him making his scrumptious stuffing not me trying to make it just like his, cause it was not the same.
My phone calls to my mom asking about her prep work and listening to tears at one point that's not how I want thanksgiving. She was thinking that she was making his favorite mincemeat pie but no longer for him. It broke my heart in many ways it's true he will not eat his favorites with us, and she feels weak at times too as the process of grief rears its ugly head.
As we gathered around the table, my dads same place at the table was now Matt's seat, the one carving the turkey was no longer my dad, the bellowing laughter from my dad was not heard, his reviews of the food especially the cranberry relish was not given. I missed it all every detail about Thanksgiving with him every small one, every big one, every funny one, and every comment that would piss me off. Oh how I miss that, I guess all I have is memories of Thanksgivings past, from smelling the turkey cooking from my room at the wee hours of the morning, wanting to help by stirring or mixing, sampling the food and oh the smell of stuffing, his stuffing one day I will get it just right but until then I will hold onto the memory of how wonderful his was. Maybe next year the tears won't flow so easily and maybe I will master his stuffing recipe maybe, but YA know if I don't its ok cause it just means I'm still thinkimg of him. I love you dad and I'm Thankful for you being my dad.

Monday, November 24, 2014

It hits home

On Saturday I learned of some friends and the sudden passing of their dad. My heart broke and aches for them. As soon as I heard the sudden flood of emotions over took my life again, it opened up that wound that just does not seem to heal. I could so relate to the pain that they must be feeling. I wrote them a simple little note, I let them know that they will hurt, they will cry and they will be angry and to just let those feelings come out for that's one thing I have learned. To let it out and not be afraid to show emotion. It's weird how something like that takes you back to reliving the day that I lost my dad. I realize that I think of him everyday not just once or twice but so much more. I want to not be sad but I am I want to not just think about it but I do. It's like I'm back in a funk I can't get out of. The Holidays  are  fast approaching and I know that it's not going to be easy it's going to be dam right terrible. But ya know when you feel your alone in it all your not simply because it hits home for anyone who's lost a loved one.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Simple reminders of just how life is.

Today I was asked how I was going to handle the holidays. Well I first thought ok I think Thanksgiving will be easy cause well dad did not go last year cause he had an awful cold and did not want to give it to his newest granddaughter. Well ya know I'm
Sitting here re-thinking that answer in my head no it's not going to be easy cause last year I saw him, I brought him leftovers and one of his very favorite dishes that I make (really just for him and I) Cranberry Relish! He looked forward to that every year and I always looked forward to making it. Will I make it this year, yes will I double the batch no. But I know that I will make it and think of him. Getting his approval on how good it is. Now that's a simple reminder of one thing we always looked forward to critiquing.
Tonight I attended a fundraiser for a little girl who is dying, yes straight forward dying. Nothing the Drs can do, nothing her family can do but cherish the time they have with her. Ya know tonight as I sat and listened to songs of love, joy, hope, and faith, I was reminded of how simple the reminders in our lives are. Sit and listen to a song I mean really listen , tonight as a group of 8 people got up to sing to a family and a little girl whom some had never even met, I sang along I heard the words and felt the comfort, the comfort that these people were bringing  to the family and a large group of strangers , it was that simple it was a simple song that reminded me how precious life is how previous memories are, how previous keeping memories alive are. A simple song in life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One on one time I won't ever forget!

I recall this day now quite often, it was a day actually a morning just him and I spent, no grandchildren tagging along just Father and Daughter, for once I was doing something for him rather than the other way around! It was his routine colonoscopy, I know not fun stuff but it was the drive, it was the chit chat that just him and I shared on the way to his appointment, we talked about things that we both agreed on, strong agreements. We laughter and he asked about that random noise in my car ( he always did that always noticed a weird clang or humm) I remember just chucking out loud about it. He talked about his grand daughters dance oh how he adored them. I remember waiting for him to get done and I got to go in while I waited for them to dismiss him, he was his jolly self, teasing the nurses and joking about the situation for a I think that was how he just made uncomfortable situations better. Well when it was time to leave we enjoyed the ride home, again talking and talking.
I'm so thankful for this time, I'm so grateful for the conversations we shared, I realized that we were so much a like, in so many ways I know where my strong attitude comes from, I know where my sensitive side comes from. That day the conversations make me smile as I write this. He so just had it all figured out. Something rings in my ears ahhh yes the dr telling him he was set for another 10 years. Dam how I wish that in 10 years I would be looking forward to picking him up to bring him to his appointment, but nope all I have is this reminder of the date 1 year ago. I have the conversations etched in my mind and that's all I will have 10 years from now about this.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Only in my dreams. . . .

So I have often had people ask me if I dream of my dad, well I always answer "well he is there in them sometimes" and they always say well that means he is coming to visit you. Hmm well he may had been there but there was no interaction, well the dream I had today was quite diffrent QUITE diffrent.
So there was a major snowstorm in Buxton and I was on my way to my moms house and as I was about a half a mile away I met up with Chad (the funeral director) that did my dads services, he needed a ride so he left his car on this road cause there was no way we could get through and I took him to a local store well then we heard a crash and we were thinkinking that it was his car that got hit  so we went back and could not find his car, yeah I know weird well then he went on his way and I looked down the street and there was no snow but like a flood in the neighbors yard and the road was over grown in ferns. Well I look to where my parents house is down the road and the 5th wheel camper was pulling away so I ran down the road and went into the house, I went outside and then appeared my dad, in this weird looking car,like a cross between a towncar and a casket, I opened the top and said to my brother oh my there is no room in it,its the size of a casket. but it had seat space like a car, and there was a camper in the yard, it was a cross betweeen the 5th wheel and the old one that we use to have, as I opened the door my dad was like what do you think I said "well we should go camping he said who like all of us I was like yeah like the old days, I remeber seeing my dad sitting there and I was thinking wow he looks great, he looks thinner, and he had this patchwork type shirt on like he always use to wear but a little hipper. He was wearing not his wedding band (which would make sence cause my mom has it around her neck) but another type of gold ring as I tried to get a better look at it I realized it could had been his masonic ring one that I was hoping to get. I told him about my recent 10 K I ran and how I shaved minutes off my time from last year he was very proud, then we all loaded into this car. As we rode through these roads we live in now Buxton for example the roads were very high tech and futuristic, it was crazy I recall in my dream trying to take it all in ALL of it not sure when it was going to end.
It was a werid dream for sure but the details were so real, his look, his voice so strange. I felt diffrent after I woke up and diffrent I mean by past dreams he was there and not really said anything he was there but that was it, in this dream he was there talking, it felt so real.
So maybe in my dream today he came to see me, maybe he came to comfort me, maybe he came to let me know that he is OK that he is still living on and having fun enjoying things we always use to do, who knows, but to me it felt real.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As I lay in bed listening to rain bounce off the windows and the bright cored leaves on the trees, I'm reminded by the saying or maybe it's just a statement, "when it rains it's our loved ones tears from heaven." You know as a little girl after losing my brother I thought hmm that's kinda cool even though I figured it was impossible, well as I sit here and listen I don't want them to be tears, I want only happiness and life and love up there beyond the clouds. I want my dad to be smiling and laughing his contagious laugh. I want him happy and watching from above all that he is missing out on here. I just want the rain to be what shall wash my worry, and grief away. Yes that's it I want that! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm struggling with the new norm, cause its not normal to me, its far from it, VERY VERY VERY far from it. The holiday's are soon approaching, followed by my dads birthday. I'm dreading these days. This weekend we celebrated by niece's first birthday. It was happy times and it was wonderful to see family together but yet I could not help but see a huge hole in it. I missed my dad and his sarcastic input or the tears that I'm sure would had fallen from his eyes as he watched his 3rd granddaughter devour her cake. I missed his criticism on the cake i made that he would had made even though he meant nothing by it just was being funny, I missed his overall presence. It sucks I ain't gonna lie it sucks more than anyone could imagine. The pain I feel is still so deep and the tears are still as fresh as the day he left us. I love the holidays and I keep telling myself that I need to just continue with my love of the holidays and honor his through them, I ain't gonna hide my feelings and my true grief for I know these upcoming months maybe the hardest.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Comfort in a voice

As I was going through my phone just weeks after my dad left this world and went onto the next, I was deleting old voicemails and came across one, my heart sank as I heard his voice, immediately i felt sick and tears fell faster than the tissues could catch them. I did not delete it. So just yesterday I was once again going through my phone and this time I came to that same voice mail, I pushed play and simply braced myself for tears, but this time I smiled as I closed my eyes and pictured him like he was standing in front of me. I then played it again, this time on speaker phone and asked my 4 year old to listen, she did with an uncertain look on her face. I asked her " you know who that is" she looked at me puzzled not sure, paused and said "maybe daddy" I then replayed it and she smiled and said "oh it's grampa" I said yes he left that message a while ago, she said to me innocently "well let's call him back" I said "oh honey he's in heaven" she said "we could call great grammie too!" I thought as I looked at her face she was serious, I then looked at her and with tears slowly falling I said "I wish that heaven had a telephone so we could call and talk to them" Now how great would that be, I would call, maybe it would cost a lot but ya know It would be worth it, I could ask him questions, I could ask him how he was, how Chris, Great Grammie, My Uncles amd those others who left this world were! I would want to tell him I loved him, I would what to tell him what he's missed, I would what to let him know how much I miss him, but I would beg him to tell me the signs he leaves to let me know he's here. If only heaven had a telephone! If only!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I lost a piece of my heart. . . .

It was the wee hours of January 4th, the phone rang I looked at the number on caller id and I knew it was my parents, the voice cracking and breaking up on the other end was my mom, the words "dad died" "what I said" (even thought I heard her the first time) "Dad has died, he died in his sleep" I froze I did not cry I did not have a reaction. I guess that is what they call shock, as I tried to calm my mom on the other end of the phone, I asked did you call Michael, "No I did not" "you call him, " she begged so I made that call that no one ever wants to have to make, "My brother only lives a mile or so from my parents and I knew he could be there faster than I and within minutes he was there.
I recall sitting on the side of my bed not having any emotion and just kept saying why cant I cry why why, well shock was in full force.
I dreaded waking the girls to tell them and yet maybe Lauren would be too young to understand (even though I knew that my 4 year old was way smarter than that) Amber cried and I held her and I wish I could had given her reasons and or an explanation but I had none, NOTHING NOT ONE REASON. I could then tell that my heart was broken and I think I felt a piece break apart, hmm maybe my dad stopped and picked it up as he flew above the clouds to his new life, I really do not know.
The I wish, and the whys started to engulf my mouth every time I opened it. I hated to go to the house, I envisioned the night my brother was killed at 19 years old and I remember my dad getting me at the wee morning hours at my friends house to bring me home, the house was somber and sad, I did not want to witness that emptiness again but I knew I would, my parents home is suppose to be a place of laughter and fun not grief, and sadness. It SUCKED it SUCKED so bad having to open the door to a house that I would no longer see my dad at, a house that would no longer smell of his cooking, the house that would no longer hinder his loud voice and laughter, a house that I would never see my dad in EVER AGAIN!
I can say I lost a piece of my heart that night, a piece that was his. I ask myself will I ever get it back, will my heart ever heal, NO my broken heart will never heal, maybe its kinda like an open wound you know the one that takes forever to heal and just as it heals you bump it and it opens back up, Because ya know just when I think wow I'm having a good day, a tear falls from my eye and the wound opens back up. . . . .I lost a piece of my heart.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Refections come to life

A week ago I attended a healing through writing workshop, that opened my eyes to way of dealing with the grief that has engulfed my life after losing my dad in Janaury.  I have sat many times since January and tried to put into words on a piece of paper how I felt, but that paper would end up in a round ball of crmbles on the floor. After attending the workshop I was able to let the tears pour (and that they did) I was able to let the pen in my hand take me to a place in my head, heart and body and loose my self completely with how I felt at that very moment, many times watching the ink run as the tears would hit the page of a freshly written verse or line that recalled a feeling or memory.
I have decided to put my grief on paper in hopes that it will help me, but maybe someone will stubble along my blog and read and see that ya know they are not alone either.