24 November 2015

Auld Lang Syne....

Getting the store ready for Christmas this past week was nothing short of challenging.  First it just felt too early (as usual) and the weather was just too warm.  My heart was just not into it.  I was missing my dad.  A lot.  I'll be honest some days there were tears.  One (or more) mornings there was booze in my coffee (it's ok, I'm Irish!)Those closest to me know that a. I don't like to ask for assistance and b. I don't quickly share when I am hurting - I tend to withdraw and be quiet on my own.  I need to figure it out in my own head before I can verbalize it to anyone else.  I like to cry in the comfort of my own pillow or bathtub, all by myself.  I will write about it and then, once I have felt it all, then I will share that I was struggling.  What I have learned with each life "experience", it's that it is not about getting "over" anything but just getting through each day. Most of the really challenging things in life aren't things we ever rid ourselves of - they are what shapes us in to our redefined selves. It's not about ignoring the feelings - we HAVE to feel the feelings.  We have to take the moments as they come and just accept them for what they are. 

One of my friends made a comment to me
that she was amazed by my strength in all this and was amazed when i told her that I was actually struggling this week. My response to her remark was just simply that it wasn't about being strongI knew I had to feel the feelings and I was doing that. I am just not good at sharing that with others.  Also I'm not a wallower.  Too much damn positivity and optimism in me to wallow. I remember on my bad days through the divorce when I would allow myself a day to feel shitty and then it was time to find something positive again. That said, I don't ignore what happening either - you have to feel what you feel. And we all feel it in different ways.  We are going to have moments and memories - allow them to fill your heart up and sometimes allow the tears to over flow.  In recanting all this to my mother (along with giving her a sermon on letting go of her hatred towards my ex), she remarked that I really should have been a therapist.  I tend to agree.  (Any sugar daddies out there that want to fund that third run of education for me??)

We are all going to have times where we are mad as hell that our dad was taken too soon from us but then I realize that it's again, all about perspective.  I could be upset every day because I feel robbed but I choose otherwise.  I want to be happy for every moment that I got to share with him.  For the fact that we shared a great love that not all dads & daughters get to share. I want to continue to live my life fully because that is what he would want to happen.  To live is now to honour him.  He will be with us every Christmas going forward but just this time in spirit.  Our trees will never be meticulously lit now without him but they will be lit.  Someone new will have to skillfully wrap the presents and carve the turkey.  He'll be there just in the flicker of a candle and on the wings of a Robin sitting in the tree.  We will be warmed with all the memories of past Christmas' where Ron was there among us.  


So after all was said and done there was this moment closing up for the day and all the lights were out except for the lit trees and the last song playing on the radio was Auld Lang Syne.  And then, right there, it finally felt like Christmas
What is it about certain holiday songs? Auld Lang Syne and O Holy Night - instant heartswell, instant tears. It's in that moment where I truly felt so blessed for all those who helped me get ready for this week.  Friends who didn't judge my breakdown moments or my scrooge attitude.  My mom for being there to adorn the trees.  It sometimes truly does take a village to get through certain moments in time.  This first Christmas is going to be difficult but we will get through.  We will just feel the feelings and know that in spirit, he remains with us always.  xo xo 

18 November 2015

These two....

So much love in one photograph.  These two were buds! This is exactly how he spent his last day, just 1 month ago now.  It's hard to believe a month has already passed - it still doesn't quite feel real.  But for some reason today is a very tough day.  It's dismal and raining and I'm drowning in Christmas decorations at the store.  Everything feels kind of overwhelming today.  

Today is Davis' official first birthday.  At this exact time last year we were secretly sitting in the hospital waiting room for him to arrive.  I just remember that moment when they wheeled Rawna out and she was holding him like a tiny baby burrito.  There was so much love.  So much joy.  Both my parents were exstatic to become grandparents finally.  The minute I held him I whispered "I will love you forever" and I felt like my heart was about to burst.  Every smile.  Every time he reaches up to come to me.  Every time he snuggles his head on my shoulder.  I fall in love over and over and over.  If I never get to be a mother, my heart will be forever full with this little dude. 

It's a big difference what a year makes.  We have had so many happy moments together as a family, especially with this little nugget making us smile.  I just feels wrong today that he misses this but we have to hope that he's now his guardian angel and keeping him safe.  Today is just a hard day.  Today I miss my dad like I can't even explain. All I can do is just feel it.  There will be a jar of icing in my future this evening.  Just me and my spoon....


14 November 2015

always....


Missing you always but today ever so much.  So hard to believe that 7 years have already passed. I hope that you and Dad have found each other where ever you are and that you are causing some sort of mischief. I carry you with me always.  I carry your heart in my heartBoth of you. xo

11 November 2015

Strength


I only cried once at my father's visitation and it was very brief and quietFor the most part I consoled my friends who wept for me.  I thanked my father's associates and golf buddies for loving him.  I listened to people's memories of him and tried to file them away in my heart for later.  There was one moment though, when Alissia pressed this stone in my hand.  She reminded me that I gave it to her 9 years ago when she needed it most and I told her then that every time she held it, I would be there with her.  To be honest, I completely forgot about it - sometimes we don't know the magnitude of what we perceive to be something small and how it affects others.  She had driven 4 hours to come and give me this stone so I had something to hold when things overwhelmed me. I didn't cry because I was sad - I cried because I was reminded again of just how truly our lives were connected by love.  Holding this smooth piece of green beach stone, etched simply with the word STRENGTH, I broke for just a moment. 

That night as I wrote his eulogy I held it.  I put it under my pillow for dreams of strength to get through the next day.  I carried it to the podium with me to give my eulogy and for that first moment when my eyes covered over with tears I held it ever so tight.  It was reminiscent of the "Talk to me Goose" scene from Top Gun but in my head I simply just asked my Dad to stand there with me.  To be my strength.  Lord knows I didn't make it through that whole speech without a few tears but I made it strong for the rest of the service   I held on to that stone for dear life up there and I've held it a lot this week.  I don't feel strong this week

I don't know - maybe I feel guilty for not breaking more.  Maybe I'm in denial and trying to somehow dredge these feelings to the surface.  Death feels like it's everywhere around me and yet I haven't cried.  We had such a great day with Peggy on Sunday but then there was the moment at the end of the night when we were standing on my porch waiting for her car and she just fell into my arms.  Holding someone as she cries "I don't want to die" may be one of the most heartbreaking things.  "I'm not ready.  I don't want to die yet." These words keep haunting me this week.  It took every ounce of strength I had left not to break - to hold her and soothe her and tell her she wasn't going anywhere even though I have no clue.  She made me promise to give her eulogy and make people laugh not cry. 
I've been thinking of this stone a lot and remembering friends I've lost so far in my life and trying to remember the lessons they've taught me.  Their strength & love of life is my encouragement to be a better human

Part of me is feeling overwhelmed by this weekend and trying to think of how I can make it better for everyone so it's not as sad.
Saturday marks 7 years of Iain's passing which still doesn't quite seem real.  I still remember Dad's voice on the phone that day when he called to tell me and not even being able to comprehend those words. The first "first" is this weekend - Davis' First Birthday and Dad should be there.  Dad would have ate this up and loved every minute of this party! Missing both of them so much this week, I can only hope that the two of them are up in heaven somewhere causing trouble.  My brother and my dad - reunited again at last.  Smile down on us this weekend. 

06 November 2015

How do you say I Love You?


So John Tesh must have been having the same conversation as me this week because he just posted this picture on his Facebook!  (And no I don't follow him online but the girlfriend with whom I was having this conversation does and sent me the link.)

I know that I am a very outwardly lovey person and people in my life have come to accept that. After 9/11 I have the worst travel anxiety and so say I Love You whenever I say goodbye. 
Anyone who has taken a trip with me knows that I don't care who is sharing a bed with me, I'm going to cuddle you! My bestie Mary has suffered many a night with me snuggled up beside her!  I will tell you when you are in my heart.  But that said, as much as I tend to show my love for others, I have a hard time receiving loud displays of love back. I don't want you to shout I Love You from the rooftops - I want you to quietly whisper it in my ear.  I don't want a giant diamond ring, I'd cherish a nice simple band. I don't like big public displays of affection - just hold my hand or put yours on the small of my back.  I am great at taking care of others but when it comes to me, I tend to just retreat and work through it on my own.  I have a tendency to either feed you or make you laugh and to be honest usually a bit of both.

Someone in my life buries their mother today.  Eight years ago today it was Chelsea's Dad.  Seven years ago today it was Jessica's mom.  Tomorrow will already be three weeks since Dad passed.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that this is real life; that in our thirties we are burying parents.  I know we all grieve in our own way but I am comforted knowing I can ask if it's ok to feel the way that I do.  My text to Jessica earlier this week was pretty much "Am I a heartless bitch or can I really feel this at peace with things?" Her reply was simply "You can feel anyway you want. I love you."  
I'm learning that it's important to recognize that we each love or even grieve things differently.  There should be no judgement in either.  

So back to John Tesh and I seeing eye to eye.... I actually had this same conversation with a couple of people in the last week or so which I find interesting.   I think it's important to recognize that we all emote or care in different ways.  Knowing this is an integral part of relationships because as we do get older and more set in our ways, the way we love is essentially going to be pretty set. In finding a new partner or even as we make new friends, we have to be open to learning how they emote. I first learned this lesson from my maternal grandmother and it was something I said in her eulogy.  She wasn't your traditional lovey grandma.  She was tough and she didn't say I love you.  I can probably tell you two times that I actually remember her saying those actual words to me but never in my life did I doubt that she loved me fiercely.  My Nana said "I Love You" in with the words "Did you eat?" and she said "I miss You" when she complained about you skipping a day visiting.  This was not always easy for my mom and her siblings to see.  


So maybe this is today's lesson - let's try to look at things with an open mind and an open heart.  Recognize all the little things that show when someone cares. 
Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to see when people are speaking from their heart - our words just aren't always the same.