Gone too long.
Loved so much.
You know those days you want capture in your mind and embed on your heart?
Today has been one of those.
It started with new workout clothes.
And a heart pounding, body beating workout. I was so sweaty when I was done, my hair was sweating.
Then, reaching a big fat milestone in my fundraising for postpartum progress. And surpassing it. (THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!)
Next, I hid in my bathroom to call into a internet radio program where the host had sought me out and asked me to share my story. I did. And I hate the sound of my voice when it is recorded, but the information in the program is solid and I am proud to have been part of it.
(I will put the link under the Facebook postings–I can’t get it to embed properly in this post)
Finally, I went on a bike ride with my family. The last time I went on a noteworthy bike ride was 10 years ago when hubby and I rode around Mackinaw Island just before he proposed. Bike riding has never been my strong suit. We shall never mention how old I was before I could ride without training wheels. And even after, my face kissed the pavement, my knees donated skin, way to often. So, you get the point. Hubby and I rode some before getting married and a decent amount shortly after, but then I spent like 100 years pregnant and totally lost all skills. I tried again last year and was MISERABLE. My butt hurt, my legs hurt, my arms hurt, my brain hurt, and my pride hurt. I told myself I would never get on my bike again.
Well, I have these three little girls. They love to ride their bikes. Caitlyn has far surpassed my skills and Sue is right behind her. They have been asking and begging me to ride my bike with them. Tonight, I sucked it up and said I might go with them. Hubby got my bike out. I muttered to myself, “what am I doing? Why am I getting on a bike instead of sitting on my butt in the house watching blood and mayhem shows (CSI Miami) on TV while little eyes are gone.” But it was too stinkin’ late. I had opened my big, fat mouth.
I got on the bike. I made it like two feet and my legs were ON FIRE. I wanted to quit, but that whole setting a good example for your kids and not giving up stopped me. I tried for another 6 feet. It was so horrible hubby said it would be okay if I just walked while they rode. But there was that stupid pride…I WILL set a good example even though it may very well kill me. But, I got the hang of it…and I made it a mile. And kind of want to go again tomorrow.
Today, is a day I hope to remember forever. Thank you to all of you for being part of it.
There is a country song that will forever be in my heart. I remember hearing it several times in 2003 and 2004. I liked it. It was nice. But it was going to become very important to me after an unpleasant surprise.
The dad who raised me wasn’t at my wedding. He was taken from us 4 months before in a car accident. My heart grieved deeply knowing he would never see my wedding ring, he would never see my dress, he would never be at my wedding. I grieved over and over.
Well, I don’t know if you grieve in one long ribbon of ups and downs, or in a series for hiccups, bringing you right back to the pain. Whichever way it is, it hurt. Beyond words. True agony because he wouldn’t be at my wedding.
Our wedding day was a slightly overcast day in late October. There were still some color clinging to the trees and there was an amazing man waiting to take my hand.
My daddy wasn’t there. But this song was:
“Holes In The Floor Of Heaven”
By Steve Wariner Found on AZLyrics
I thought about the song, hoped, as I had many times, that my daddy could see me from heaven on my wedding.
We came out of the church, awash in bubbles and claps. But my daddy wasn’t there…until, yes, it started to rain. Not hard, not long, just enough to tell me there are “Holes In the Floor of Heaven.” Those few minutes of rain completed my wedding day. I was blessed to have the moment I needed to know my daddy was there, watching.
Today I sit at 9 Father’s Days without my daddy. He wasn’t much for holidays, but that doesn’t make my heart ignore them. It is heavy today with missing him, but so full with my hubby and our girls. So blessed to see love and fun continuing. So blessed to have married a man with many similarities to my dad. It is good. Life is good. As we all know, life is not always easy, and today is one of those days, but I’ll wrap my arms around my hubby and my girls and rejoice in who is here with me.
Much love to all who are experiencing their first Father’s Day without their dad and to those who have celebrated decades of Father’s Days without their loved one. May today bring you comfort and moments of joy.
There you go bumping through life, and all the sudden, you realize a big ‘ole memory is being made.
My Caitlyn and her friend started a Rainbow Loom bracelet business. They have business cards, keep tally of what the sell to whom and split their money 50/50.
I love watching her learn, find projects, tackle them and make amazing progress.
She found out earlier this week that another homeschool co-op has a rainbow loom class. She is in love. She wants me to teach a class so badly–particularly rainbow loom now–that she pulled out her tooth fairy and rainbow loom business money to see if she could buy me a loom so I could learn and teach.
We’ll see how that pans out.
In the meantime, Daddy was watching her get started on a bracelet he ordered, and began asking questions. She came alive as she started teaching him how to make a fishtail bracelet and explaining the difference between and c and an s clamp (FYI, c clamps are preferred in our household).
And I got pictures.
Watching my big girl teach her daddy how to do something she loves, and knowing he really cares? SWOON
This morning I donned an apron made by my Great Grandma H to make my Great Grandma Ks’ molasses cookie recipe that I remember my Grandma D making.
The cookies were in a jar in Grandma Ds’ kitchen on the long counter to the right of the door as you came in. Hers were big and round. I chose to make mine into Gingerbread men.
Grandma Ds’ kitchen was always warm and open to anyone. I loved going there. I miss going there.
This time of year always finds me wandering among my memories. We said Good Bye to Grandma a year ago this month and my dad, her son, would have turned 62 this year, tomorrow.
So amongst all the gaiety and fun of the season, I spend time, as many do, with memories of those we no longer hold close with our arms.
I remember Grandma H and the many Christmases we went there for brunch before heading to Grandma Ms for more Christmas. I remember the couple of years they convinced my dad to dress up as Santa Claus and come to my Grandma Hs’. I have no idea how they talked him into that, or how they got all that white make up out of his beard in time to get to Grandma Ms. I also remember wondering why every year there seemed to be a reason he had to run home to tend our wood stove fires and miss the visit from Santa.
I remember gathering at Grandma Ds for family Christmas a few days after the actual holiday. They had a finished basement with a family room in it. There were so many people, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. How I loved the years we got money to pick our own gifts. Talk about feeling grown up! Or the year I got the DELUXE Wheel of Fortune Game I had been desiring. That was Christmas JACKPOT.
Christmas at home was a little complicated. We didn’t have much money. My mom did a great job of yard saling (still does) for gifts, so I never felt want, but my dad felt bad he couldn’t buy us a bunch. It put him in a rather unpleasant mood. I wish he had understood it didn’t matter how much I was given, anything mattered.
Like the year he got me a Crystal Barbie, what girl didn’t swoon for her sparkly dress and purple eye shadow? Or the amazing year he forgave my debt for my car engine. Now that was a gift a girl can never forget. To him, it was a failure because he didn’t shop for me, to me, it was the weight of the world off my shoulders. And then there was one of the last gifts he ever bought me, a beautiful lamp. He had gotten me one years before that I cherished, but it got broken in my move to college. I was elated the day I unwrapped the new one. It sits, to this day, next to my bed. The WHOLE family knows not to touch that baby. I don’t need it in order to keep my dad close, but I dread anything happening to it.
These are just a few of the memories I live among during the holidays. I hold them close. I hold my loved ones closer, and pray those in eternity are watching down on us and sharing memories too.
Happy Birthday Daddy. Merry Christmas Grandmas and Grandpas.
We’ve been up since 5:30 this morning. Sue woke up sick. And thus ended our night. Daddy got up to help me, but I couldn’t settle back to sleep.
We were early risers today, but my daddy was always an early riser. Most of my growing up years he owned and operated a sawmill. He always said the best part of being your own boss was you could choose which 12 hours of the day you wanted to work. Most days he chose 12+ hours.
But every night he came in to watch the eleven o’clock news. He wanted to see the weather. Every night he would fall asleep at the commercial break just before the weather and wake up as soon as the report finished. Every.Night.
My daddy was a walking miracle. He really was.
He worked as a welder before he started the sawmill. One day at work, when I was five or six, he was run over by a hi-lo at work. It narrowly missed his head. Very narrowly. He had to have back surgery and as part of it they fused two discs together. He could not bend his back for a year following the surgery. And he followed the rules. He got very good at squatting down to do things. I remember so clearly his squatting down to pick strawberries in the patch we had along the fence. Seriously people, I can see it in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday.
I took my girls strawberry picking this year for the first time. We had a great time going out on a train ride, picking strawberries, having cider and donuts and playing on these huge wooden play structures. I wish my daddy could have seen it.
There is no end to the things I wish he could see. But most of all, I wish I could let go of the regret and guilt I have over the years I lost with my daddy. There were so many times I went up north to visit my mom and didn’t go to his place. There were so many holidays I should have called, but I didn’t know exactly what to say. I would give anything to do those lost years over.
But I can’t. So please forgive me as a few times a year I pour out my memories and regrets here, please forgive my attempts to salve my guilty conscience. I loved him so much, but I lost a few years. And now he’s gone. Nine years gone.
It’s a nice sunny day. I spent some time working on school studies with the girls and then we got invited to the park. We had a lot of fun.
The olders are now at a friends’ house playing while Patrice and I hang at home.
I heard the door open a few minutes ago and thought they had come home. But instead, Patrice came running in with a box. Apparently she is now accepting packages on my behalf. Turns out there were two boxes.
In it I found items from my grandparents. My dads’ parents. My dad died almost 9 years ago, his dad died almost 3 years ago and my grandma passed away this last Christmas.
And here was the last of the things I would receive from them. There were pictures dating back to when I was in second grade, my moms’ first Bible that she was given in 1971, news clippings about my parents and a myriad of lovely Christmas ornaments.
I am thrilled to have every bit of it. Can’t wait to show the contents to my hubby, but again, these are the last items I will receive connected to them or my dad. My grandparents won’t be in the house right around the corner from my dads’ grave. They’ll be lovingly buried next to him.
And for this I mourn.
Not only am I sad my grandparents are gone, but somehow their deaths make my dad feel even more gone.
He wasn’t at my wedding, but they were.
He didn’t meet Caitlyn, but they did.
He never held Cana, but they did.
He never had pictures of Patrice, but grandma did.
They are gone. My daddy is gone. My heart is weighed down.
A friend posted a very poignant reminder that this weekend is not about barbecues, and may I add, mattress sales, rather it is about remembering those who are no longer with us.
It is about remembering soldiers, and public safety workers who protect us.
It is about remembering family who is no longer here.
This long weekend, Tuesday actually, they will hold my grandma’s memorial service. Her soul went to heaven months ago, but now her body joins that of her husband of decades and her only born son, my dad.
All my love to those who will be there for the service and to grandma, grandpa and daddy.
The last week and a half has been full of too much death.
On a national level, Annette Funicello, Margaret Thatcher, those attacked by cowards at the Boston Marathon, George Beverly Shea, and on a personal level, a long-time bus driver from my growing up years and a long-time coworker from my previous job.
And this stirs up feelings of loss from my dad’s death almost 9 years ago. My sister posted a picture on facebook of our dad with her kids. It came up in my timeline today. I saw his amazing eyes amidst all his bushy hair and my heart stopped. And honestly, it doesn’t feel like it has restarted.
My dad died just after I got engaged to my husband. He didn’t see my wedding, he hasn’t met any of my girls. I have talked about him some. He’s known as my dead dad. Every time we make a chocolate cake, my dad’s favorite, Sue asks if it’s for my dead dad. I tell her no, except on a few special days, but I think from now on, the answer will be yes.
Here’s our latest creation daddy.
My aunt, my dad’s sister, once reminded me, the best tribute to my dad, and what he would want me to do, would be to live my life, and I have, but today, I pause, for him and for the many who have died recently and for those who loved them. May your memories bring you peace and healing.