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.