Friday, February 4, 2011

Missing My Dad

I didn't realize until after I had written last that it was actually the 9 month anniversary of Fred's accident. It was nice to have that day pass without it sending me into a tailspin. There are other anniversaries this week. Last Sunday, Fred and I had the 11th anniversary of our first date. As one friend put it, that one is almost more important than our wedding anniversary because that is the day our lives truly changed forever.

Right now I have a more difficult anniversary to experience. Sometime between the fourth and fifth of February, my dad killed himself four years ago. As each year has passed, it gets a little easier, but it is still a sad time for me. I was pregnant when he died, and one of the hardest things for me is he and me daughter never met each other. He never got to experience being a grandfather. He was so excited when I had told him I was pregnant on Thanksgiving day, but he soon when into a downward spiral of depression and was too proud to ask for help or let his family know how much he was hurting.

It's hard to not look back and wonder if I could have done anything to save him. Of all the times in my life that I look back and wish I had or hadn't done something, this is the one time I wish I could change. I struggled with my relationship with my dad for a lot of my life. Quite often, he was never the father I wanted him to be, but I would rather have our imperfect relationship back than have him be gone too soon. Life is short to begin with, so don't end it too soon and don't throw away time by holding grudges and not taking time with family and those that you love.

I know he loved me and my brother, but he just got lost in a fog of depression, debt and feeling like everything was going wrong in the world. He had reached out to his sister, my wonderful Aunt Pat, for financial help in his final month, and she helped him without question. In his final week, she told myself and my brother that she was worried about him. Both of us called him, and I pretended like she hadn't told me anything. I knew he was struggling to find work and was trying to stay positive for him. To be honest, at the time, I was mad at him because he was being stubborn and was trying to find one specific job when he was really desperate for any sort of income.

This is coming from a very stubborn person that does not like to ask for help, but please don't be too proud in your life to see what really matters. We all experience pains and ups and downs. Don't forget the beauty in life and remember to have some shred of faith, even in the toughest times.

I'll always miss my dad, even on the day he would have been 120 years old. I will always be brought to tears special father/daughter moments, and I will always cherish the special moments we had together. I'll leave you with one of those memories, and thanks for letting me be sad right now.

My dad and I were waiting in the basement of my mom's house to walk down the isle so I could marry Fred. I was emotional and nervous, and my dad started telling me silly jokes. He was about to walk his only daughter down the isle and was trying to make me laugh. Then when we started walking down the isle and the piano player started playing, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, he said - oh, I love this song and started humming along with a huge smile on his face.

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