Friday, December 28, 2007

End of December, end to a lot of things

Mom has had a really hard past few days. I am not sure if it is the let down after Christmas that has contributed to her bad days. She has been crying more than usual. I have been trying to give her more "alone" time because I need to go back to work. It it hard for me to do that to her, leave her alone like this, but I know she has to get used to time alone. The other day it was warm and spring like. I told her that maybe come spring we will be stronger. Me, I pretend that dad is in Florida with my grandma. Sometimes that works for me. Not always. But I have to play tricks on myself like that in order to stay strong.
So the year is ending in a few days. Who would have thought that it was going to end like this? Not me. But as one year ends another begins. Now instead of facing a new year with hope I mostly face it with fear. Fear of what the year holds. My new year's resolution is to find the hope and find the faith. Hold my hand. I may need you. Y

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to anyone who is out there.
And to my dad, thanks for everything. Everytime I see a bell I ring it so I know you have your wings. I love you.You are with me every moment.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Eve of Christmas Eve

I must confess that I am happy it is the Christmas season. People say to me it must be so hard having this happen at this time of year. No, it is comforting for it to be now. People are kinder. That will end soon enough and all will be back to the "norm". But for a few weeks people see the world through the eyes of a child and everything seems a little more gentle. I will be sorry to see the Christmas season end. The lights and bustle of the holiday have been a good distraction from reality. In a few days we will start a new year. And it will be a year like none I have known in my life. It will be my first year without my dad. That is scary and sad and horrible. It is new and I for one do not like change of any kind. I will pray for a change that we can live with.

Oh, in case I do not wander back here before Christmas I want to send you a wish. It is hard for me to write on here, but it is the one place I can put my tears. I do not know if I will write more in the next few days. I hope you understand. But~
For anyone who is reading this, I wish you a wonderful Christmas filled with love and family. Please hug those who are dear to you and tell them you love them. You will never regret that, trust me. If I could hug my daddy one more time it would mean the entire world to me. The last time my dad saw me was the night before he was supposed to come home from the hospital. I kissed him goodbye when I left. If only I had known that was the last time what would I have done? I do not regret kissing him goodbye. It was the last time, the last chance. Please be sure to tell the ones you love that you do indeed love them. You will never be sorry. I promise. Christmas blessings to you~

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Disappointment in me

Well, today stunk. About an hour before we were to leave for the lawyer, the moment we have been waiting for for weeks, I got sick. Mom says everything just caught up with me. I am not sure if that is true or not. But whatever hit me did not let me hit it back. I am so disappointed. I feel like I have let everyone down. I was so sick I had to go to bed. I will spare you the details, I can hear you thanking me for that, but I was in such pain and just too sick to get up. Whether it was stress and distress catching up to me or my terrible eating habits this month I am not sure. I just feel like I am falling apart. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I am sorry for letting everyone one down. Especially for letting dad down. I need to be able to stand up to anything. My wise Australian brother told me to just fall apart for as many days as I need to. I am not sure if I can afford to do that. But I can atleast take tonight to do that.
So now we will call the lawyer and schedule an appt when he is back in town Jan. 7. He has gone out of town for Christmas. In putting things in their proper place he probably would not have been able to devote any time to our cause anyway, but still I am sorry I let people down. Mom did not want to go without me.
On the positive side, Mom did call me when I was sleeping and asked me if I wanted her to pick up my son from school. So she and the dog did venture out on their own today for the first time. I am proud of her for that. It may be a small step but all journeys start with a single step. Good job!

The Devil is in the Details

Today mom is having a hard day. I know they are all hard, but some are harder. She called me this morning crying and saying she was scared. I never know what to do. I went down there of course, but what do you say? What do you do? I keep remembering that God is in the silence, so I hug her and I just sit. Is there something else I should be doing? Am I doing enough?
I have taken off of work for weeks. I had the time and was lucky enough to have a boss with compassion and an HR director with the same. That has been a huge comfort to me to not have to defend my actions, but rather have people who care about me. Really care, not fake "words".
I had questioned my taking off until yesterday when mom looked at me in the car and said, "I am glad you are here." Then this morning. So I know I have made the right choice in staying home. When the new year comes we will just have to take it one day at a time.
Today we have an appointment with a lawyer. We do not know what to expect. It will be a relief to hand the details over to someone else and maybe finally get them out of our heads. That can mess with your whole life, living the details over and over and over again. Hopefully this will put an end to some of those episodes, I know not all of them, but some of them maybe.
Today will be so very hard. If anyone is out there reading this, extra prayers today would be really welcome. It will be hard to sit down and tell it all out loud. But it must be done. Maybe we should have asked someone to go with us. I guess that might have been a good idea. A little late in the good idea department though. We will be brave.

Take a deep breath girl, this is one more heartbreaking hurdle but you can do it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Not All Days Are Bad....But They Aren't Good Either

Today is Tuesday. Nothing too special about today. I somehow just can't get myself up and going today. I did not see mom much yesterday because, I am ashamed to say, I did not have the strength. It takes the air out of me to be with her sometimes. I think there are times I look at her and think she could burst into a cloud of dust and blow away. She is still suffering so. I think my defense tactic is to pretend it is all a nightmare. The times when the reality hits me is too much. I want to just stay in bed and pretend that the world is the same as it was before dad entered the hospital. That he is still down the street sitting on the couch reading the paper. I look out my back window down into his yard fully expecting to see him out puttering...those are the moments that hurt...when I realize I will never see him down there again.....

I am going to get moving now. Pick up my son from school at noon and take him and mom out for lunch. Put one foot in front of the other and go on for today. Maybe there will be a few minutes when I don't think about all that has happened and the horrible reality of what went wrong. I only ask for a few minutes of peace at a time. I don't even need a whole day right now. I would be happy with a few minutes. Stay strong.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Random thoughts on a snowy day

It is snowy and cloudy and I just have some random thoughts about some things that I have been meaning to post here.

The other night mom and I went to a dinner theatre where my son was performing. It was a take on the 12 Days of Christmas and it really was cute. The entire cast is just 3 guys, the restaurant was cozy and intimate the show is funny...we had a nice evening inspite of how gloomy we have been feeling....but there are some really important things that happened that night that I want to share.

Mom and I were seated at a table with 2 other family members of the cast.....the wife of one man and the mom of the girl that put it all and I were feeling sad with the loss of dad so recent and us seeing a performance of my son without dad...something that is really odd.

The following two things struck me as really important moments of the evening.

1. We got to know each other at the table a little bit....we told them about the course of the evening we found out that the one woman's sister has terminal ovarian cancer.....the other woman's brother was the first victim of the Washington DC sniper......we were all grieving in our own silent ways.....but yet we toasted the fact that we were out and trying to enjoy the holiday, we were surviving. It was good to share with others who know all about pain. But had we not talked and had just been sitting there....none of us would have known what was in the heart and mind of the others. You just never know.

2. The other thing that touched me was a young girl.... At the start of the night we had to write down our names and our favorite Christmas gift....there was going to be a drawing at the end of the was supposed to be a random draw out of a hat, but don't tell anyone... it was rigged that night....because this young girl of around 12 years old was there with her dad just the two of them and she had written on her paper what her best Christmas gift ever was ..."the powers that be" were so touched by what she had written that the "random" draw winning name was hers.

It brought tears to my eyes when they read what her favorite Christmas gift ever was.

Because that little girl realized what a perfect gift she had....she had written her best Christmas present ever was.
Dinner out with her amazing dad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Dad

Taking Care of Business

Yesterday I took mom to the bank to take care of some business....putting my name on accounts and making sure she had money in the bank. Losing a husband means losing some financial security as well. Instead of receiving 2 social security checks each month she will now receive only 1. She will get dad's because his was the larger of the 2 but how is this fair? How do you lose so much of your monthly income? You lose your husband and your sense of security in more ways than one. It just does not seem right to me. But then nothing seems right at the moment.
It was hard for mom to go in and tell the people at the bank that dad had died. But she did really good. She only cried a little bit.....but I know it was very, very hard for her.
After that we went to lunch and then home. That was about all we could take for the day. But it was something that needed to be taken care of so I am proud of mom for taking this big step.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I am my father's daughter....I LOVE Christmas movies just the way he did....I don't care how silly they are....I love them.....if it has Holiday or Christmas or Santa in the title I am there. I can sit all day long and watch one movie after the other.....I can watch 2 movies at once switching back and forth between them....I can watch one then watch the repeat of it that airs directly after it....I am a sucker for a holiday movie. When dad was in the hospital he and I both watched White Christmas both times it was on.....and could not wait for the new holiday movies to come so we could watch them. My dad was a softie....he could cry at anything....did you know that? Tough on the outside but all mushy inside.

I do not understand how in every single holiday the end there is ALWAYS a a love connection.....a engagement.....a happily ever after. What is up with that???? How about those of us without a relationship? Are we supposed to think our lives stink because it is Christmas and we are alone? Are we supposed to believe that we will wake up Christmas morning and fall in love with the millionaire who just happens to be delivering newspapers that day??? I am feeling a little bah humbug about this right now. It never really bothered me before. I guess maybe it is just because I am sad and not feeling much like there is a Christmas miracle out there...but I can't help but smile and cry with every Christmas movie I watch and wish my dad were here.......

Oh, well here it see I intended this to be my commentary on these movies and their unrealistic fairy tale endings but instead find myself sitting here crying and crying and in such terrible pain....see....that is how this thing just never know when it will hit go along feeling strong.....and then WHAM the ugly, horrible reality of it all hits you right in the soul. Well, that is just not fair. It is not fair at all. I miss him so much. Why can't life be like a Christmas movie? Why can't I wake up and find that this was just an awful dream?

Welcome to the Grand Illusion

"How are you doing?"
Such a simple question. We ask it several times a day to everyone we meet. Friends, strangers...."How are you doing?" We don't really want to hear the answer do we? We just wait for the standard reply of "Fine, How are you?" God forbid someone should really stop and tell us how they are really doing.......Well, Mom is having a bad day, I am wondering if I can hold my family together, we are all wondering how to take care of the car and house and how we are ever going to pay the bills. Sit down and let me tell you how I am doing..... My mom spent all day today crying....she is falling is so hard for her to be brave....she feels like they killed the man she has loved her entire life.....the man who said good morning to her for 54 years is cannot handle that one.......Okay, my son is trying to be brave when the only man he has ever known as a father was taken from him, his biggest fan will not see him in another show.....this 18 year old son of mine took the time to comb his gramps hair before he was taken off of a machine because my dad hated to have messy you want to hear how he is doing today? No you cannot handle that.....None of us can. And I cannot bear to tell you how I am would be too much for both of us.

This is my life right now.....people asking me how I am doing. It is a hard time for me. No one gives you lessons on how to behave when your life is changed. How you are going to feel...
I put on the brave face. Become the "Master of Illusion". Fine...I am fine. Okay, if I need something I will call you. Yep one day at a time, one minute at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time. See me smile? See me laugh? See me hold it all together? That is what we want to see isn't it? The magic act of smoke and mirrors. The grand illusion of someone getting on with their life. We both want to see someone who is fine....It is too scary to see someone falling welcome to my grand illusion where everything is fine.

I think of my loss and how heavy it is but then I remember I have dear friends who have lost children. I know I am suffering the loss of my beloved father...but the loss of a child? That is the unkindest cut of all. The mothers of these lost children are quietly spiritual, strong, kind. I am inspired by them to try to go on with grace. I lean heavily on them to try to learn how they woke up each morning and had the strength to go on. They have told me "Be gentle with yourself".

I want to thank those who keep emailing or calling or sending cards. Especially to my mom. It means so much. To just call to say hi can make her feel like she is not alone. Thank you for sitting with her and just letting her be. God is in the silence then too. She may not be fine now, she does not even pretend to be fine. But with time she will get there.

Day by day I am taking the steps to the new normal....I will tell you that I am fine....and in a way....maybe for one brief moment.....I will be telling you the truth,

But for now in answer to your question "How are you doing?" Well my answer to you is this, "I am being gentle with myself, thank you for asking."

Be kind~ Smokey's Daughter

Friday, December 7, 2007


I wake up in the mornings and try to remember....what was it I needed to remember this was something important...something that has changed my life...oh dad....

On Thursday, November 29, 2007 my father died. Well that is what the death certificate says anyway. We all know he died Monday. You can tell. No matter what machines and doctors try to make you believe, you know in your soul when someone you love is gone. Sitting in a room with someone you love hooked up to machines for no reason other than doctors like to try to play God is a very unsettling feeling. It is hard....No, I won't lie to you... it is not hard... it is impossible.

Welcome to my blog....can you feel the joy???

During the time my dad was in the hospital it helped me to get through it all by emailing updates to family and friends. It helped me to share with people I love just how hard it all was for us. I promised everyone I would stop emailing them now that there is nothing to update....but I thought this was the way for me to continue writing but not burden those who did not ask for me to bombard their emails with my words.

I won't go into the details of my dad's death (cardiac tamponade) because quite frankly if I have to tell it one more time I may just scream.....(Although that might be the memorial service I thought going outside for primal screaming would be a really good end to the service.)

Let's just say that I am 50 something and I am an only child who grew up ADORING my dad. I am now..that age I sort of mentioned... and I am a single mom with an only child....and a mom who after 54 years of being worshipped now finds herself alone. Where there once was 4 there are now 3. The head and the heart are missing from my little family...I am scared and sad....I am still a full blown daddy's girl and I am just trying to find my way.....