Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15th

In some sick way I look forward to this day. It gives me the opportunity to reflect and realize how proud my dad would be of my life. The life that Dan and I have built for ourselves is something to be proud of no matter how much we struggle or succeed; we built it by ourselves for ourselves and no matter what happens we should be proud. Sometimes that sentiment gets lost during the year and I’m sure it is like that for a lot of people. Sadly, it is today that it all comes back to me.

I’ve come a long way in the past 3 years. Everyone grieves differently. When my Dad passed away the next couple weeks were a complete blur. Trips to the airport to pickup and drop off family, visitors at the house, phone calls from friends, every night we were out surrounding ourselves with people we were close with. Then I found out I was pregnant with David and my full attention was diverted to pregnancy and getting things ready for a baby.  For the first year I never had the opportunity to think about the fact that my Dad was dead, gone, in heaven, and I would never see him again. The next year was bad. I took it hard, harder than I think anyone expected me to and I internalized a lot of it. In hindsight it probably made the process a lot tougher than it needed to be.

It wasn’t until last year, probably around this time, that I could think of him being gone without getting the mental image of his last day. Every time I saw an ambulance tears would come to my eyes and I could literally see him and remember the feeling of sitting in the room watching him. The fear I had running through the hospital only to open the door and hear the worst sound in the world. No matter how hard I tried to think of the good times I couldn’t get past the sights and sounds of that day.

This past year has been a lot better. The passing ambulance still makes me think of him but not necessarily a tearful one. I’m capable of talking about him without getting choked up, laugh at some of the dumb jokes he would tell and being able to imagine some of the funny things he would say in response to some stuff that goes on in my life.  More often it is ‘Ha! If Dad was here’ rather than ‘I can’t believe my Dad is gone’.

Each day gets better and one day I’m sure that I will be able to make it through September 15th without reliving every minute of that day 3 years ago. For now I’ll just remind myself that he would be proud of me and the life that Dan and I have built together. For now I’ll just remind myself that he was an awesome Dad and that I was lucky to have him while I did.

The Broken Chain
We knew that morning
that God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
in death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
you did not go alone;
For part of us went with you
the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide;
And though we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.
Our Family Chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same;
But as God calls us one by one
The Chain will link again.

RIP Dad 
10/1/44 - 9/15/09

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