The Saddest Anniversary - My Dad's Death
Friday marks 7 years since the loss of my Dad. I wish I could say that this time of year gets easier as time goes on, but it really doesn't. I push my feelings down deep inside and busy myself with house work or kids activities. I'm not really dealing with it, but this is the only way I know how. Growing up, we were raised to not really talk about our problems. Just sweep them under the rug and pretend they aren't there. This doesn't work too well for me, as I'm quite emotional and not so good at ignoring the problem. If I'm mad and ignoring a problem, it comes out in a very angry burst eventually, if I'm sad it comes out in several blubbering tear filled moments. With this grief, it comes in waves of panic attacks. I really probably should have Xanax for days like these. There will be moments, or even hours at a time, that I'm pretty sure I'm having a heart attack. There is no warning, it just hits and stays awhile. Sometimes when I'm alone, I cry, but I try to hide it from the kids. They know when I get sad, but they don't need to see this level of sobbing. My face is broken out like a teenager, which I can only assume is due to the stress.
The whole season is rough for me. For most people Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years is difficult, but for me it's the beginning of the summer. It starts with Memorial Day. That's the first time of the year that we go out to put flowers at his grave or wall really, since he's cremated. A couple weeks later is the anniversary of his death which, I've spent a lone with the kids for the last few years while Shawn was away for work. I usually have to keep it together and suffer on the inside because I don't have anyone to take over while I fall apart. This year he'll be here but the whole thing has become habit... who knows what will happen. Father's day is usually a few days to a week or so later. Father's day, usually is about Shawn and my father-in-law, but I do like to stop by at some point that weekend and leave my dad a card that I have written a nice message in. I like to think that he's watching me from heaven, and already knows what I have to say (I talk to him a lot on a normal day anyway... some people have imaginary friends, I have my dad) but it's nice to leave the card anyway. I'd like my loved ones to go out of their way to celebrate me in a sweet way from time to time when I'm gone, I'm sure he would too. Then a month later comes my birthday. My dad and I were really close and for some reason, birthdays were a big deal to my dad. He couldn't always remember people's birthdays so we had them all written on a calendar, but boy did he like to make us feel special. He liked to give gifts and would get so excited about it. He always knew what people would love and got the best gifts. He'd sing and do the whole 9 yards. I always felt special. Since he's passed, there was a year or two that I wasn't called, texted, or facebooked by a very close family member or two, my cake was pushed off until way late at night, to the point my husband went to wake everyone up to sing to me because they forgot and last year I was made to feel guilty about my choice of restaurant so I changed to accommodate others, I was asked to celebrate a different night to be more convenient to someone else (one of the people I changed the restaurant for) and also told that my own husband forgot my birthday by someone who was just trying to be funny or a jerk or something I don't know. My birthday has been a mess the last few years and I feel like if my dad were still here, it would be better. I know I sound silly, complaining about my birthday, but really its the bigger picture of who isn't there and should be.
My dad was such a great guy. He was funny. Really funny and just a good time to be around. I remember one day he was chasing my sister and I around the driveway and yard licking his lips and jokingly telling us he had to teach us how to kiss. He coached our softball teams, and was at almost every band performance I ever had, including high school football and basketball games. He would drive me hours to watch my boyfriend play football at away games he didn't want me driving to. He gave great advice when I needed him and was a great dad. I just wish I had more time with him. That's the funny thing about time, isn't it? There is never enough.
Our vice president Joe Biden lost his wife and daughter in a car wreck several years ago and recently lost a son to brain cancer. He was quoted saying "There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I'm telling you it will come." I agree with this for any loved one. The pain doesn't go away but it's not only sadness when I think of Dad anymore.
My sister and I got memorial tattoos.
And someday I will get the same tattoo he had. That is after my lower arm tattoo is finished.