Thursday, January 24, 2013

it's all about being okay

Yesterday was my first day back.  First day back in the real world.  I sat in class, took notes and tried not to zone out the entire time. 

A girl I know from previous classes came up to me and said, "How's it going?!  How was your Christmas break?!" do I even begin to answer that question? 

By the time I left school I had a meltdown in my car.  I then proceeded to pat myself on the back as I realized I only cried twice that day. 

And then it hit me.  I. Have. Changed. So. SO. Much.

Between all my closest friends in high school, they would be able to count on one hand how many times they saw me cry...during all 4 years.  So, here I am, super happy to only cry twice in a school day.  I take a deep breath.  And decide again to be "okay" with where & and who I am.

I read this quote the other day:
Life is all about being okay with plan "B" 

I guess this is plan "B."  Letting go of all the expectations I had for myself.  Being okay with being way more emotional than I used to be.  Being okay with the fact that I have zero motivation.  Being okay that I am not super happy and bubbly like I used to be.  Being okay that I'm not back to "normal" and it's been over a month.  Being okay with not being okay

Let's be honest, who wants to be the basket case in the room?  No one.  I for sure don't.  I loved having my junk together and knowing that I was fine.  But all that has changed.  I have changed.  And that has been one of the hardest things for me to come to terms with.  To accept the fact that I am not okay and that I need help.  What is it about us that wants to act like everything is just peachy...even when it isn't?  Why can't we be open, say we are a mess and that we need help?  What's the big deal?  We are all super messed up in our own ways.  So why don't we just be honest, ask for help, and support each other?  

I've learned a lot - more than I probably wanted to - and I am continuing to learn.  Accepting Plan "B" and the way it is shaping my life, figuring out how to navigate life again, humbling myself + asking for help, and relying on God to figure it all out for me.

God + His grace.
God + His embrace.
God + His love.
God + His son.
God + His mercy.
God + His patience.
God + His understanding.

= makes everything seem "okay."

Friday, January 11, 2013

one month

Sitting here watching the tiny snowflakes drift to the ground.  It's a cold, overcast day and I'm reminded of how we used to argue about this kind of weather.  I love it!  I think it's cozy, romantic and peaceful.  Dad would say it's miserable, cold, depressing and he hates it.

And there he is.  Consuming my thoughts again with what used to be.  I'm reminded of the days we would run together (rain or shine).  The times I would fall asleep with my head on his chest.  The long conversations that have shaped me into the person I am today.

The memories flood my mind and I feel it again.  That stab to my heart that I've become accustomed to in these last three weeks.  That feeling that takes my breath away.  That moment I remember I will never have that again.  That moment I'm reminded again that this is my life.  That this is real.  And he isn't here.

Saturday will mark one month since he died.  To say this past month has been the hardest time of my life would be a vast understatement.  There really are no words to describe it.  I have never felt so entirely consumed with sadness.  The man I loved, more than words can describe, is gone.  He is gone.  He is gone.  He is gone.  Sometimes that can't even sink in.  And, at other times, it sinks in and pulls me down with it.

Making myself get out of bed in the morning.  Forcing myself to eat - even if the thought of food made me feel nauseous.  Wanting nothing more than to wrap up in a blanket, get in the fetal position, and sleep for as long as I could.  The thought of talking to anyone seemed daunting.  The thought of logging into my email, let alone responding to one, was inconceivable.

People say that time will help.  Well, it does.  People say time will heal.  Well, I'm still waiting for that.  People say that gaping hole in my heart will never go away.  Well, crap.

What I've learned is this:
-God is all consuming.
-God can pull me out of my darkest times and give me rest.
-Family means more than most anything.
-I love God now, more than ever.
-I am allowed to feel however I feel - and it's okay when that changes 10,000x a day.

Yesterday I responded to three emails.  THREE!  I've been working out.  I don't have to force myself to eat - it comes naturally most of the time.  I respond to most text messages within the same day of receiving them.  And I even met someone for coffee the other day.

These are huge victories for me.  I am proud of them.  It may seem small and insignificant, but that is what I will hold onto.  I will be proud of the progress I have made.  I'm going to take my time and be patient with myself.  I'm going to be okay with telling people I don't want to hang out - I'm not to that victory yet.  I'm going to let myself stay in my PJs all day if that's what I need.  And it's all okay.  

For now, all I need is:
and encouragement (letters always help).

Other than that, I just need God to hide me away:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December 15

It was Saturday, December 15th.

I woke up with this song in my head.  I laid on my bed as I listened to it over and over:

The day before, dad's hospice nurse said he has taken a major turn for the worst.  She said lots of things but the two sentence I remember her saying was, "....He has maybe a few days at best.....I'm sorry you have to lose your dad at such a young age..."

We cleaned the house that day.  Preparing for my two brothers and their wives to come in town the next morning.  Pips (dad) was sleeping until around 4pm.

When he woke up that afternoon we knew it wasn't good.  Mom called us into the living room where his portable bed was set up.  She said to us, "I know he is trying to say something but I don't know what he's saying."  There he was: eyes wide, mouth moving with silent clues, hands twitching.  He was trying to say something but no words were coming.  All we could hear was the pain and panic etched across his face.

Hospice was called and they said a nurse would be out there soon.  In the meantime we tried to use whatever intuition we had, along with our knowledge of what Pips liked, to make him comfortable.  Looking into those eyes.  Those eyes that so desperately wanted to talk to me.  Those eyes that I have known so well since the day I took my first breath.  Those eyes that could communicate so much.

The following few hours were the worst of my life.  We sat there holding his hand.  Crying.  Telling him everything is going to be okay.  "Don't be scared, Pips, it's gonna be okay."  Waiting for the nurse.  Calling his siblings, putting them on speaker phone, and listening to them say their tearful goodbye.  Crying.  FaceTiming my brothers that would be boarding a flight in a few hours.  Crying, pacing.  Holding his hand.  Trying to give him something...anything that he might need or want.

An eternity.  It truly felt like an eternity.

Finally the nurse came.  She said his pulse was so weak that she couldn't find it.  She shooed us out of the room so she and mom could change him and re-adjust the way he was laying.  When we came back in she went through a list of signs we could possibly see before he passed.  I drifted in and out of listening as I looked between her concerned face and Pips slow, irregular breathing.  "...I would say he has maybe a few hours left, maybe a will see his breathing get irregular....he won't be able to swallow...give him this medicine under his tongue if this will hear a deep rattle in his throat..."

Upon leaving she told my mom it would be good if we spent time with him individually.  She said her quiet condolences and left.

Mom said we should take her advice.  All of us had already said what we wanted to say.  But we all agreed it wasn't a bad idea.  So Brady started.  He went in, talked, and came out.  Mom was next.  When she came out she said I should go in.

I sat next to him on his bed.  I held his hand the way I always did.  His hand was cold and clammy.  I talked to him the way we always would talk.  I told him how much I love him.  I talked to him about the things we used to do together.  I kissed his hand.  Kissed his forehead.  Then I told him I wanted to take a picture with him, even though I knew he probably wasn't wanting to.  Just a few pictures on my phone.  One smiling, one kissing his cheek.

I noticed his mouth needed to be wiped off, so I did what I usually did.  I grabbed a tissue, wiped it, and said, "There ya go.  All better."  And that was it.  His eyes got huge, he drew his last breath. And he was gone.

My heart started beating out of control.  I held my hand to his chest.  Waiting for a heart beat, waiting for it to raise and fall with each breath.  But there was nothing.  His eyes were no longer lit up.  Death seemed to cover his body.  And I knew it was no longer my dad laying there.

He was gone.  He was in heaven.  
He was in the glorious presence of The God Almighty.