Tag Archives: dad

Those Normal Things

If I am thankful of one thing it is that my dad died right before spring break, so I had week to catch up on all the shit I missed the week before that I wasn’t in the classroom. Did it go smoothly? No. But it went and here I am in the last 48 hours of freedom before I have to pretend everything is okay again. Actually, I don’t know why I feel like that is what I need to do. I don’t have to be okay. I need to keep it together for my own sanity, but in the long run I don’t have to be okay. One day I imagine that I will be fine with him not being around, but this week and last week have been surreal. I keep waiting for it to hit me.

Yes, I avoided doing things this past week. I tried to make sure I left the house daily, but that only worked for the first few days. I bought groceries. I went to Lowes and got some stuff to plant. I’ve been going to the gym daily (but I don’t have to leave the complex to do that) and yesterday I did laundry and cleaned. I’m not just sitting around, but I’m not very driven to go out. I was invited to a birthday party yesterday, but I didn’t go. Zack wanted to take me to a movie, but I didn’t want to go. Why am I keeping myself locked up? Because I can control this area and myself. That’s all. I know I can’t control the world, and that’s not something I try to do anyway, but I needed to get a handle on myself.

Today I go back to the yoga classroom to take my spot as the teacher. I’m afraid to go and do things, but I have to remember to just be my authentic self. I don’t have to be okay for this class. I’m going over to Zack’s buddy’s house tonight, because I promised I would, and I need to get out. Going from zero things in a day to two things where I have to leave is nuts! But Monday I will have to go to work. I will have to talk to people and answer questions (I think this is the reason I don’t go out, because I don’t want to answer questions or tell people how it happened). I have a lot of other things to handle on Monday too. Back to busy organized Deirdre. Besides, I’m putting some things into play for my future. I have a lot of things to work on to make sure they go smoothly. Deadlines approach quickly, thus I have a lot of things to work on. All while still taking time for myself. My birthday is coming very quickly. I have a lot to do.

Honestly, I have nothing real to say. I’m just babbling. I’m ready to feel normal again. Not sure that will ever happen, so I may have to give up that dream, but in the grand scheme of things I would really like to. My dad would want me to go on living and thriving and making a place in this world for myself. He was always so proud of me and thought the path I am on in life to be interesting and unique.

I also want to take a minute and publicly thank Zack for being such a solid rock for me the past two weeks. He dropped everything to go meet a family he had only heard of, in a very awkward time in our lives. He made sure that I was okay constantly. He held my hand and me as I cried. He helped me reason through things I had to handle. He listened as I practiced my eulogy. He bought me ice cream, even when I really didn’t need to eat ice cream. He’s put up with my not wanting to leave the house. I am eternally thankful for him being around. It breaks my heart that he never met my dad, because they would have loved each other. They are quite similar in their love for history and a good debate. Dad was looking forward to meeting Zack over my birthday weekend when we planned to come up and visit for Easter.

I don’t know if you ever get over the heart break of losing a parent. I know my dad suffered with the death of his father daily. I never understood it. I never wanted to understand it, but I do. I can’t see his fucking face anymore. What happens when I can’t hear his voice in my head anymore? I know it is all part of a process. And I know it will be a long process.

I see him everywhere. I hear the birds outside my window chirping to welcome the sun, and I think of him. I hear the ocean waves crashing and think of him. I see people excited to plant seeds and grow plants and I think of him and how much he loved to play in the dirt (when it didn’t hurt him too bad). Right now there is a single ray of sunshine breaking through the blinds. It is illuminating a single purple flower in a bouquet of flowers some friends of his sent to the funeral. I see him in that ray of sunshine and that purple flower. And then my eyes well with tears and I am happy and sad all at the same time. I know I have the strength to keep going, but somedays it seems almost impossible. I know it isn’t, and that is why I still make sure to do things daily (even if I don’t think I’m ready to do them) jut so that maybe by chance I can feel normal and do those normal things.

Must get ready for yoga. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

The times we had

I’ve been surrounded by people that love me for the past day and a couple hours. I lost my father late on Wednesday night. My daddy. And this is the first time I have been alone (everyone else is sleeping) since the moment he passed. My stomach hurts. I never knew I had this many tears, and this is the most surreal moment in my entire life. Yesterday, sitting around at my parents house he wasn’t there. He wasn’t just late to show up to hang out with all of us. He isn’t coming back. I am devastated in knowing this. When people die suddenly you’re stuck with that long list of things like I wish I would have called more. I wish I had gotten to speak to him one last time. I wish this or that and the other. And yes, I wish I had been the last person to talk to him on the phone. His brother Jim gets that honor. The last thing I talked to him about what financial stuff and how I had gotten my taxes filed. He asked me if I was getting any money back. That was our last conversation.

On Valentine’s Day he texted me to tell me he loved me so much and wish me a happy day. The weekend before I had some questions about adult things (money shit) and I called him to ask him because I swear to God he knew everything. Especially when it came to finances. My eyes always glazed over with that shit but I knew I could always talk to him about something I didn’t understand and he could break it down for me. I can hear his voice in my head as I type this. He never said he was going to shower, he always said he was going to get cleaned up. He would always call me “honey bunch.” And he always worried that he hadn’t been there enough for me when I was a kid. He worked hard to support us and create a life that he thought we deserved, and he was a success. I never felt unloved a day in my life. I never didn’t know that my dad didn’t love me. He ALWAYS told me. And if I had been gone, living in New York or Wilmington, and I would come visit he would hug me so tight. Fuck, he gave the best hugs and I would kill for one. Just one more. One more night sitting on the couch watching tv and answering Jeopardy questions together. Or just talking about politics and other bullshit.

My dad and I had so many fun times, just the two of us. A trip to Maryland to go to the wooden boat show. We met up with some uncles and cousins upon arrival, but the trip itself was awesome. That was the first time I think we got to know each other. Later on many moons later we took another road trip to NYC to take me back after having my tonsils removed. He drove during the day, because he couldn’t see in the dark, and at that point it was my responsibility. We listened to the Allman Brothers and he was shocked that I liked them. We talked about everything in those trips. Dreams. What we thought life was supposed to be and what we aimed to do. He was so proud of me for going to NYU, continuing his fathers legacy. His father, I never knew, but he is my Godfather. He died shortly after I was born. And I never understood how hard that was for my dad to deal with, until now.

The one thing that my father always made sure of is that his girls never went without. He had a shit load of health problems. Some stem from his life time of diabetes and complications from that. Others happened along the way. His body wasn’t as strong as it used to be. It wasn’t firing the way it should. But despite breaking his ankle or his arm he still made sure that everything was handled. Yesterday, sitting on the desk in the kitchen I saw a letter penned in his hand and it was everything. Everything in that letter was what my mom should do and needed to do in order to make things go smoothly after he died. He wrote it 4 years ago. He knew this day was coming, and honestly we all did, because of his health issues, however, we always hoped he would beat the odds and stay a little longer.

I am lucky that I didn’t lose him 24 years ago when I was a child. He went into renal failure then, and ended up getting a kidney transplant from his brother Arthur. Arthur, always been my uncle and will forever remain as such, gave me my dad for 24 more years. Because of his selfless act he prolonged the life of a dying man. And that kidney was fucking amazing. It never faltered. Never once. And I am eternally thankful for my uncle. I always loved how when Art would call dad would answer the phone Hello, Governor. And Art would always reply, Hello Doctor. I always thought it was the funniest thing. When Arthur called me last night, hearing his voice was so refreshing and it brought me back to earth for a minute. I know he is devastated after losing his brother, but I also know that he knows the pain of losing his father. And because of that, my soul is humbled.

I worry the most about my mom. I know she is a strong woman, but I worry about her. He never let her go without. Be it having a cup of water waiting for her with dinner when she got home from a long day or making sure the house was cleaned, even though he could never achieve her standard of clean–hell, none of us can. So, if you could find it in your heart to keep her in the light over the next few months as she finds her footing in this new era in life, I would appreciate it.

I know I am lucky. I am lucky because my dad told me every fucking day that he loved me and that he was proud of me. Not everyone can say that and my heart breaks for them. He was more than a father, he was a provider, my #1 cheerleader, my voice of reason, my financial adviser (even though I epically suck at this shit), my rock, my dad, my daddy. There was one day when I got scared when I was probably 5 years old. We went to the hardware store in N. Wilkesboro and something, God only knows what, scared me and I started crying. He lifted me up onto his shoulder and rocked me. He told that everything would be okay and that I should just let it all out. He never got upset. He always had a calming voice. He also held me on that same shoulder at my great grandmother’s funeral. I was so high up (also 5 years old) and I looked back on the people at that funeral celebrating her, and I felt so safe, so content because he wasn’t going to let me hurt.

Daddy, I look forward to the day when our energies are together again, somewhere out there in the ether. I will continue pushing myself toward bigger and better things and continue to make your proud. I will look after mom, Ginny, and Heather. I will make sure they know they are loved, just like you would have wanted. You are the best thing that ever happened to me in this life and I will love you until my last breath fades. I know you’re with me, hovering just beyond this realm where I can’t see you. But I feel you. I feel that big bear hug wrapping me up as tears stream down my face. I will forever be your honey bunch, your baby girl, and you will forever be my daddy.