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|Friday, March 24, 2017, 1:34:19 AM- Birthdays|
I stood in a card aisle looking for birthday card. Knowing it was the last one I was ever going to give him. I remembered pasts birthdays; his, mine, my siblings. I broke down as I picked up a card that said what I wanted to say, the lady at the checkout must have thought I was insane as I paid with tears in my eyes. How do you explain to a stranger that you are buying the last birthday card you will ever buy for your dad?
We ordered Chinese food for dinner, and we had a cake for him. He wasn't eating much, and he never got out of his bed. But we were there. His four children and 6 grandchildren. We surrounded him with our presence and our love. The children laughed and beat on the keys of the old piano. Us kids took turns giving him gifts he would barely use, if at all. It was happy and sad all at once.
A couple of weeks later he took a turn and they told us that he wouldn't be here for the holidays. I thought about the next birthday... not his, but my daughters. I wondered if he would make it that long. As the days went by, one by one, and his condition worsened and it got closer to her birthday, I started to panic. What if died on her birthday? It was a horrible, selfish thought. She’s a teenager. That is something that would live with her for always. I didn’t want that to happen. I didn’t know what to do. Do I wish that he dies sooner so it ends his discomfort and pain? Or do I wish for him to outlast her birthday so that we can keep him a little longer? Each time the thought crossed my mind, I felt guilt. I cried so hard thinking about it. I made myself ill. At first I didn’t dare voice my thoughts out loud. They felt so gross. So selfish. Finally, one day while speaking with my sister, I said it aloud. “I don’t want daddy to die on G’s birthday.” And I buried my head in my hands and sobbed. My sister reached out to hug me. She told me that it wasn’t selfish. That I was thinking like a mom and trying to protect G. And that Daddy wouldn’t want her to live with that as a memory.
I talked to G about her birthday, I told her that we would have to put off any kind of celebration until after Grampa went to Heaven. I told him it was almost her birthday, I didn’t think he could really register what I was saying, but when I kissed him goodbye the night before and told him that I wouldn’t be there the next night because I needed to be with G, I needed her to feel special, he smiled and whispered, “she is special.” We did our usual dinner out, and gave her gifts, but we waited to do the friend celebration until after. She was so wonderful and selfless. I am always proud to be her mom, but in those few weeks and through everything, she showed me how grown she truly was. Her birthday came and went, Daddy was still with us.
Four days later was when Daddy went to sleep for the last time. In the end it was peaceful and he was surrounded by his children. The grandchildren were off Trick or Treating with their daddies. I think there is a lesson in there somewhere.
|Saturday, March 11, 2017, 3:27:33 PM- Sometimes we have to accept who someone is...|
And love them anyway.
When I was a little girl I was adopted by the man my mom married. He gave me his name, two siblings, and as much love as he knew how for about 5 years.
When my parents split up, he moved on, actually he moved on first, that is why they split up. His new wife and new life did not have enough room for all of us. He became a part time dad. Not even every other weekend. More like, whenever he felt like it. His new wife liked to remind me that we shared no DNA. I was young. And although I already new the origins of my beginnings, it stung for someone to tell me that I wasn't his "real" daughter.
Those words were the only ones that would lead him to defend me. She could accuse me of "stealing" food, not taking proper care of myself, and of saying things I didn't say, and he would say nothing. He would let her send me to "my" room for hours. He would allow her to withhold meals from me for my alleged misbehaviors. She pretty much could say and do what she wanted towards me, and he would turn a blind eye. I was hurt.
I stopped visiting him. I stopped calling him "Daddy", I thought I would never forgive him.
Their marriage didn't last. I was both happy and sad. I was happy because I thought that meant I would get my Daddy back. I was sad because he was so crushed and attempted suicide while home alone with a younger sibling. It hurt to think that he would rather die without her than to live for his children. (Remember that... it will come back up later)
Years would pass and our relationship would have it's ups and downs. He got remarried and gave me another sibling. I got married, he walked me down the aisle, along with my step dad. My new husband I lived with Dad and his new wife for a little while.
My marriage didn't last. My husband was an asshole. End of that story.
Dad's new wife was the opposite of his last one. She was sweet and loving and so wonderful. We had a lot in common, after all, she was closer to my age than to his. By a lot. Dad had always been a bit of a recluse. He had social anxiety. It got worse as time went on. His new, younger wife couldn't live that life. That marriage didn't work out either. We continued to mend our relationship, always with me going to him. But I loved him, so I was willing to do that.
I got married a second time. Before my wedding dad said some things that crushed me. I don't want to share those things. But it was the biggest wrench ever thrown into our relationship. I stopped talking to him. I couldn't even believe how hurtful he could be without knowing it. For years I would only see him during holidays, I would hug him and tell him I loved him. I did. But the hurt was so big.
Dad got sick. We started to talk again and make moves forward in healing our relationship. I had no idea how sick he was. Neither did he. 15 months ago the Cancer rollercoaster showed up. It was a ride that sucked for all of us. We rallied. We all tried to go to the most important appointments. We made sure dad knew that whatever path he chose, we would walk with him. And if needed, we would carry him. He was told that the Chemo would make him wish for death. He said, "I don't care. I want to do it. I want to live to spend time with my grandchildren. I want to live for my children." 26 years earlier he had tried to end his life over a woman instead of choosing to live for his children... here we were a lifetime later and he was choosing us. He was choosing so much pain, so much discomfort, and so much fear for us. Some would say, "too little too late." But no. It wasn't. We loved him bigger, stronger, harder. We changed our lives to take care of him as the end got harder.
A couple weeks before my dad lost his bravest fight we had a conversation. He prompted it while I was feeding him chocolate pudding. The words he said to me will forever be mine alone. But they were healing words. They are the words I remember when I am feeling so broken and lost and reliving our ups and downs.
When I spoke at his funeral I shook. My heart felt like it was literally breaking into a thousand pieces. There are days that I still feel like I did that day. There are days that I will have a great day, and then the guilt that I am not deeply grieving will gut punch me.
"Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It's all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go."
If you've read this whole thing... thank you. If not, it's okay. It was for me. Not anyone else.
Edited to add: The quote at the end is not mine. I read it somewhere. The words are so true, so I chose to use them. I don't know their origin, or I would have credited the originator.
(sorry, being in school, I want to stress that I in no way intended to plagiarize someone else's words.)
|Thursday, March 9, 2017, 12:54:59 AM- Life moves so fast|
So here I sit, I should be doing homework, but I cannot concentrate. I find myself reliving my past here at NN. I have made so many wonderful friends, some of whom I talk to in other places. I am so happy to be back here. This place is more than naked people. I have found so many things here.
People to lift me up when I am feeling down.
I just want to thank you all for being incredible people.
Each day I think of my dad, sometimes there are still tears, but most of the time, I am able to think of happier times. One day I will write more about him and our relationship. I find it therapeutic, even if no one reads it.
I am happy to be back here. I have missed my friends.
|Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 3:00:09 PM- 13 months... And so much has happened|
It was a crazy rollercoaster year.
My dad was misdiagnosed. His cancer wasn't pancreatic... It was liver. He went through some chemo, and it helped, a little. But then it stopped working and he got sick. We spent a lot of time together, and I was there when he lost his battle in October. Its been 80 days since we said goodbye.
I'm still grieving. Every day.
But, I'm not wallowing. I'm seeing the good in each day. I'm spending time with those who love me. I'm working, going to school, and just staying busy.
|Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 12:08:47 AM- Not feeling Christmasy|
I already wasn't feeling it.
Then to find out 4 days before that my dad has Pancreatic Cancer?
Yeah, count me out of all Holiday cheer.
|Friday, September 11, 2015, 5:04:55 PM- Grrrr... The last blog...|
I tried to edit it, deleted instead.
There is NO cancer!!!! I'm all clear.
Thank you for all the love and best wishes.
The fear is easier to face when I know I'm not alone.
|Thursday, September 3, 2015, 11:08:37 AM- Not ready to do it again|
I had my yearly mammogram last week.
They want me back for more scans.
I'm trying to keep positive, but I'm terrified.
|Saturday, February 7, 2015, 4:12:14 AM- I miss her.|
it's been 9 months and 4 days.
I miss her when I'm driving all by myself.
I miss her when something good happens in my life and I can't call her.
I miss her when I can't sleep.
I miss her when I think of spring coming and her not being here.
I just miss her.
|Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:48:46 PM- just keep swimming|
When I start to feel overwhelmed with grief I just think about my daughters favorite movie from when she was a toddler. Finding Nemo. And one scene in particular... and I just keep swimming. Life is good. I have a job. A car. Healthy children and a man who loves me. Most days I smile a lot. But im still missing her a lot. It's been 88 days. They say time heals all wounds. But I wonder how MUCH time it'll take for this hurt to subside. I had almost 37 years of the most genuine, unconditional love that I've ever known. And after 88 days I still feel so lost.
So I just keep swimming so as not to drown in my grief.
|Thursday, May 22, 2014, 1:46:27 AM- I miss her.|
My Gramma died 19 days ago. My heart hurts every day. She was my favorite person in the world for my whole life. I was with her when she took her last breath.
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