Happy Birthday, Dad

The plan was to ignore today as much as possible – to shut off my brain and quiet my heart whenever the significance of today’s date began creeping in. But I don’t think that’s the healthy way to go. I’ve spent way too many months pushing away the sadness, ignoring the grief, and it’s just not going away.

Over the weekend I had a dream that I’ve had a thousand times before. The setting can be different, but the action is always the same – my mouth is full of this chewing gum that keeps growing and growing until I feel like I’m going to choke. I start pulling it out and throwing it away, but more keeps appearing. I’ve come to realize that the dream always happens when I avoid acknowledging things I’ve been feeling, things that I need to talk about. So maybe writing this all out will help at least a little bit…

Dad, I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say we miss you so much. This year has been the most difficult I’ve ever been through. You are everywhere and nowhere, and it hurts a lot. I spent the better part of the past year being sad and then angry and then sad again. I honestly feel like I got cheated out of a good relationship with you. We were finally at a good, stable point in our relationship. I was finally really letting you in, and then, next thing you know all of our lives were turned upside down.

I talk about you all the time. I have what feels like a billion stories to share with R. I didn’t even realize we had so many good memories to share. Whenever I visit K and M we have a lot of laughs about all of our years with you. Despite the divorces and other complications that came along with being your kids, we really were lucky to have you as our dad.

I just wish you could have stuck around a little longer. There are so many milestones coming up that you’re going to miss. K is getting married in September! How many times did we say we didn’t think that was going to happen? M is starting nursing school and is doing really great at his job. R and I are hoping to buy a house and maybe start a family soon(ish). I was really looking forward to you being a grandpa to my kids. I think that’s what hurts the most right now – knowing you’ll be missing so much.

I hope you’re in peace and enjoying it wherever you are today. I’d like to imagine you’re getting in a round of golf followed by a steak on the grill and a whiskey to top it all off.

As for me, I’m listening to the Eagles all day today, imagining you singing along. I love you, but I’m sorry, I still can’t listen to Jackson Brown or Neil Young – yuck! As you always said, “There’s no accounting for taste.”

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you so much.

Struggling But Still on Track

So it’s been pretty quiet around this blog lately. It’s been a very busy few months. Thankfully, work has somewhat quieted down, so I’m able to take a breath and reflect on a lot of things.

April was tough. I struggled with my hip issues again, which meant a big slow down on the exercise front and frequent chiropractor visits. I also struggled emotionally as the one year anniversary of the last time I saw my father approached. Just when I thought I had gotten through the worst of the grieving, it’s come back around and smacked me down again, and it’s not going to end any time soon. May 19th would have been my dad’s 62nd birthday. I’m already feeling the heaviness of the day. My dad, or the subject his death, has been showing up in my dreams pretty much every night for weeks. Last night I was just crying non-stop in my dreams. That doesn’t really set the tone for a good day, let me tell you. The most frustrating part is that I catch myself thinking that I should be over it by now and that if anyone has the right to still be grieving it’s my brother who was with him when he drowned. I keep thinking I should be stronger, less emotional. I feel guilty for feeling sad. It makes no sense and yet it’s what I’ve been feeling.

On top of all that, my mom is dealing with lots of health issues herself – all of which are caused by her diabetes. I really cannot deal with losing another parent any time soon, so I find that I’m keeping her at arm’s length and really distancing myself. I feel bad about it when I realize what I’m doing, but it seems to be my instinct right now. And I find myself feeling pretty angry with her because of all of the things that are happening most likely could have been prevented if she had just gone to seen an endocrinologist like I’ve been begging her to do for the past few years.

On the more positive side, though, I’ve still managed to lose a few more pounds despite the drop in Zumba workouts. My eating has been on track and I’ve been taking lots of walks with my husband, R. Last week we decided to try out a yoga and Pilates studio in our neighborhood. We have a three week unlimited membership which we’ve been enjoying so far.  It’s so nice to spend some work out time together. I can’t wait to try out the hot yoga class! Look for a report soon!