birthdays, Blog, Family, father

I Will Never Get Over Losing My Dad

Day 215

DaddyToday would be my father’s 92nd birthday. At midnight last night, he would have been sitting on the side of the bed singing “Happy Birthday to Me”. He never lost his childhood spirit and that is something I try to emulate.

My Dad could be a tough cookie. He had his rowdy days, he wasn’t always a good husband and according to my siblings, he was not always a good father. I realize all of that about him, but he was my dad and I loved him more than I can adequately express.

He had such a tender and sentimental side, yet he could be so harsh at times. I only remember three times in my life I was at odds with him. We did not always see eye-to-eye, yet in the worst times of my life, he was there for me. He did not judge me or say I told you so although he well could have. He just loved me and helped me find my way.

On his birthday, I think I miss him a lot more than other days. He was such a kid at heart. I miss our chats and our birthday calls and wish so much I could talk to him again. Losing my mom at 19 was so hard and if my dad and I had allowed time or space or disagreements to come between us, I think my life may have taken an unhealthy turn.

DadI will never get over losing my dad. I do not live in grief any longer but the missing never goes away. The longing for that one last hug is an ache I will always carry. But on this day, I cannot be sad. I can only smile and think about how much he loved his birthday and how much we loved each other.

He would be ecstatic to see my six grandchildren (and six of his great-grandchildren.) He has been such a role model for me in what it means to be a grandmother. My children adored him because he always made them feel special and he always had time for them. He talked to them like they were people. He loved them no matter what.

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Dad, I miss you — especially today. I am so thankful for the relationship we had because I know many, many people who were not so fortunate. The love and respect I have for you has continued to grow even after your passing.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you always. I am living my life with joy and I hope you realized how very much your love would continue to shape the course of my life.

birthdays, Blog, loss, sister

My Sister’s Birthday

Day 137

67. That’s how old you would be today. We would have already talked but I know you would not be focused on your birthday. Not today. Your heart would be elsewhere.

My Sister

IMG_5631
One of my Favorite Pictures of You

Not all sisters get along which makes me even more thankful. Your love and support were all that kept me afloat during certain times of my life as I know my love and support were for you. That’s what sisters do.

I was determined to celebrate you today, to cheat grief out of a day. It’s hard. There would never have been enough days but I wanted more. We both did.

I think in some ways you tried to prepare me for a time without you but you did a shitty job with that.

I do celebrate the love and the memories — there were so many but why does it still feel they are lacking?

I can feel that I’m not doing well at celebrating. Grief is trying to win, but then so am I.

Ta-Da.

My Friend

This was a role you took seriously and you were damned good at it. There are many people who should take a page from your book.

Friendships are living and breathing relationships. Yes, you were my sister, but you were also always my friend.

With you, things were never one-sided. It was give-and-take. If you had not heard from me in an acceptable timeframe, you called me. Sometimes I would turn inward and close up, but you were not about to have any of that. I never had to cry alone — until now.

turtleSo many people don’t understand that two-lane highway of friendship. With you, it was a curvy country road. Sometimes there were no lines on the road and no road signs. That’s when you just felt your way. And sometimes you needed to cross the center line when I was about to fall off the cliff — oncoming traffic be damned. And when the road was just too difficult to maneuver, there was always a place to pull over and just be.

And if there was a turtle crossing that road, it must be rescued! I was the turtle more times than I like to admit.

Anger

There is still anger. There are things I am not over. It’s hard to know if you would have been right there with me or if you would be telling me to just let it go.

My daughter called this morning to see how I was doing. We talked about anger and unresolved thoughts. She suggested I call on Mr. Rogers. So here you go.

Video courtesy of YouTube

Moving Forward Without You

It’s almost been three years. It is not easy. I am thankful your voice is still clear in my mind.

I love you and I miss you. That will never change.

Happy Birthday, Sis. I hope somewhere, somehow and in some way you know your little sister is here still loving you and missing you just like always.

birthdays, blessings, Blog, Family, Home, memories, parents

Happy Birthday Mom

Day 37

Today would have been my mother’s 91st birthday. To imagine she could have lived to 91 is mind blowing. She would have met all her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. If she would have lived to 80 or 70 or 60 or even 50 would have been such a blessing. But that was not to be. I suffered a lot after losing her at such an early age, but I am forever thankful that she was my mom.

Memories

I, of course have wonderful memories of my mom. She was a no-nonsense, call them like she sees them kind of person. She was not much to give out lots of cuddles, but her love was relentless and without question. She believed a lot more in self-sufficiency and women being strong than she felt about the importance of coddling us. She grew up in a time that women had to fight for whatever independence they had and she was definitely a fighter.

Photos from the Past

A few years ago I found some old scratched up photos of my mother I had never seen. Photos of her before she married my Dad and of course before any us were born. I have a deep affection for this woman I never met but somehow always knew.

My mom played in a women’s basketball league when we were growing up. She worked for Raytheon and they sponsored the league. This would have been over 50 years ago, so she was definitely ahead of her time.

Today I sit looking and thinking about all she missed. I close my eyes and picture her rocking my children or my grandchildren. Then I remember that every time I rock or hold them, she is, too. And she’s whispering in my ear reminding me to be grateful for every little moment.

I miss you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

“I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day.”
Mitch Albom