January seems to be turning into a month of reflection for me, for more than the usual, Happy New year feels… yes this is a new year, a new beginning and I do get those renewed feelings, don’t get me wrong. But mostly for me this is the month that we lost my Father, 2 years ago. January is becoming a time for me to regroup and strengthen for this upcoming year, to steady myself for what may be in our future, to recenter my dedication to gratitude, gratitude over all else, my life line. I didn’t think my regrouping would be tested so quickly this year, this past week I learned that my beautiful cousin, Edith has passed away at the very young age of 47, she was so beautiful and one of the kindest souls I have ever met, our family is yet again thrown into grieving and gratitude, we are so blessed to have each other in this difficult time but mostly we are so blessed to have known her and to have been loved by her, because she adored her family so very much.
Her passing has thrown me into a bit of tailspin, the tailspin of life… it’s also brought me back, with some real work, to my resolve to always try to find the reason I should be grateful in all situations. This post is very therapeutic for me, a thank-you to my Dad…
It’s been 2 years today since you left us Dad… 2 fast and very blurry years.
Within that time we buried Mom beside you, exactly 6 months after you passed. Her heart was so broken without you… loosing you both left such an ache, it’s hard to put into words. Stronger than that all consuming ache though is my will and desire to survive this world as you both would have wanted me to… you both warned me that life would not be easy, especially when those that you adore leave this world. You both taught me that to live, to actually live will take great strength, gratitude and love. Mom’s stories of when her own Mother passed and loosing her Grandmother gave me a hint at how long and how very deep that sense of loss holds on… simply forever. I don’t think I will ever be “over” my grieving for you and Mom, my pillars of strength, my biggest fans, where I felt such unconditional love and complete acceptance, I can’t ever see an end.
Dad you were of course this little girl’s very first hero, there was nothing you could not fix or figure out and you gave me that desire to fix it, to do it and learn it myself. There were no sayings you did not know, no words that stumped you and you were the King of one liners that made everyone in the room burst out laughing. One of my favourite memories of you… on a summer evening you were freezing cold (so frail) and dressed in your Grandson, Michael’s hoodie, you had on gloves and Bud’s winter woolen hat that sported a Mohawk… there was a break in the conversation and you blurted out… “I like Katy Perry.” we all whipped our heads around to look at you… what is he saying? Then you looked at all of us and very proudly sang, “I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chap stick”. My goodness, that moment was so hilarious, still after all this time I giggle at that precious memory. All of us burst out laughing, I don’t know if you expected that… but we laughed until it hurt and tears streamed down our faces!
There are so many moments that I could write about… so many times you made me laugh, so many moments that you inspired me and countless times you made my heart swell. But my mind often goes back to the last visit we had, you were not feeling good at all and you were so weak. I wanted to shut the world away from you and take care of you, time and the world actually were making me so angry… I knew. I knew that this was going to be our last visit. I really saw how hard Mom worked to keep you healthy… I felt helpless but I tried to ease some of her hardships and did what I know how to do… I organized her whole kitchen. Little did I know that my coping mechanism in organizing would be so cherished by you two. After 3 days of completely destroying her kitchen (she had real fear in her eyes) I put everything back together… the way you looked at me Dad, right in my eyes, the sincere way you thanked me, with so much love and gratitude… “thank-you for doing that for your Mother”, you knew too that this was our last time seeing each other. I left Newfoundland and made my way back to Ontario, I knew… it was a horrible trip home, I felt so alone and helpless. I was home for less that 3 days and Mom called, you went to the hospital by ambulance, she was on her way with Uncle Bob to go see you. With my heart in my throat the phone rang… I knew.
Even though 2 years has passed it still hurts like it was yesterday, but I know that you and Mom would not appreciate it if I were to just give up and not live the daylights out of this life that I have! I plan on using this one life to the best of my ability, we all have to say goodbye to cherished loved ones, gone way too soon, that is the one sure thing of this lifetime. Sometimes it has been a journey of great sadness and hurt, trying to find the gratitude in everything is a HUGE job, but it is the only thing I can do to honor those I love and it is the only thing that gives me comfort, I know you get it Dad, because it’s you that showed me that. I was blessed to have both you and Mom for as long as I did, what a gift! Thank-you!
So much love Dad, I miss you terribly and completely!