happy birthday dad.

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Dad,

I love you and miss you so much.

They keep telling me that time will take care of the pain, and my heart will be less heavy with every day that passes. It’s only been 10 days. They are wrong. Everyday I miss you more than the day before, and need to talk to you. Everyday I have angry moments because it doesn’t feel fair. And still, everyday I am a little bit grateful that you no longer have to live in misery or pain, suffering to breathe. I feel both selfish and selfless, my heart goes back and forth, because I want you back, but it was best for you to go. You held on too long, in fact, for us. Up until that last moment, I suspect you held on for us.

Please keep sending me light. I am trying, but now is when I need it.

rose garden.

I took a little trip to the Rose Garden at Gage Park yesterday. Greg went to ride his bike, and I had some down time. The sun was out, and even though it wasn’t the best shooting conditions, my camera was along for the ride. It’s so calming how taking photos, harsh shadows or not, can clear my head and make me focus on things that take away all the stress. Taking photos distracts me.

I love the Rose Garden. It’s pretty and quiet, and I can roam, looking for pretties. Yesterday, I was chased by a bumblebee. I was warm in the sunshine, and I saw more battered roses than pristine ones. It must be due to the hail and rain we have had lately. Still, even in their weathered stage, they are pretty, petals or not.

Looking forward to small photo excursions like this.

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lately.

I have been trying to keep better track of things around here, and still my camera is sitting on my printer. Lonely ole camera. I certainly didn’t get much over the past few weeks. With Dad and hopefully moving sometime soon, it has been overwhelmingly crazy.

With the sun out more often, and the need to clear my head, I have a feeling it will be in my hand quite a bit from here on out.

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feeling heavy-hearted.

IMG_8481We are dealing. It hasn’t been easy because when something big happens normally, Dad is the one we ask for advice. This time, we are doing it for him. I have been trying to the strong, but yesterday, the day we laid him to rest, was a rough one for me. I cried and didn’t care who saw. I left a part of my heart at that cemetery.

I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to have to miss my dad.

And I do not like the house without him. I will be glad when we move and every single thing won’t remind me of him. I’m so sad when I see the emptiness that he left here for us. Sometimes I feel like I could just overflow with this ache that I have when I want to talk to him about something. And all I can think is “No, not my dad.”

I have heard people talk about losing a parent, but until you experience it, you have no idea. I never did. It’s a whole different feeling that I never knew existed. An achey numbness that at some point will probably wear off and leave me feeling thankful for the relationship we had, thankful for the two months when we knew “it” was coming. But right now, it’s something I can’t shake.

I always thought I was the tough one, but now I’m not so sure. It’s nothing you are ever prepared for.

for my dad.

HOMEMADE MEMORY

I remember the faded-in-the-summer-sun red Coleman cooler,
old and worn,
holding the smell of sour,
salt and pepper shakers, just in case,
a fork tucked wrapped inside napkins
and tucked between pamphlets of content
I cannot recall.

Dad would ramble in the house after work,
dusty and tired from spending the day staring
through the dirt-speckled glass of his Caterpillar blade,
yellow and rusty,
with Herrmann’s printed along its side.
Mom would have dinner waiting,
something made from scratch,
hot and flavorful,
and never appreciated enough.

I remember the entire house smelling
of a construction site during those evenings,
with roused dirt brought in on his boots
skimming through our nostrils while we watched tv,
lying on the cool hardwood floor.
Wheel of Fortune, wrestling, Urkel.

We would tire and saunter
off to our twin beds
in front of open windows,
hoping for some kind of breeze,

and that cooler would sit in the kitchen
next to the wallpapered wall patiently,
ready to be picked up and packed full
the next morning, to start all over again.

and june, it was.

march_17We lost our dad last night around 6:45pm, and even though it was hard, it went in one of the most peaceful ways I could have imagined it going.

The night before, around 12:30 am, he had had an “episode” where he got worked up, his heart rate spiked, he was sweating and freaking out. He cried. I called my sister and brothers, and we all were here clear up until he passed last night, along with the nieces and nephews and grandbabies. We sort of kept a vigil over him, making sure he wasn’t in any pain or anxiety, and my mom noticed his heart rate was dropping pretty rapidly. We all gathered around his bed, and as my sister-in-law finished The Lord’s Prayer, he passed away. And the sun came out from behind the clouds, the first time all day. It was surreal. It was something that you might not believe unless you had been here.

There was something bigger than us here last night.

He is at peace. He is in no more pain. And he made it to June, just like he said he would.

I love you Dad. May you rest in peace.