Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Happy New Year

Ever since we lost Dad I've stopped counting January first as the start of a new year. I count my years starting on October ninth. Or maybe finishing would be more accurate. It's another year that I've made it through without him here. And this one was a doozer. I'm so glad it's over. I feel like this next one will be better. It HAS to be better. I just have to make it through the rest of today. And honestly, not counting the October ninth that we actually had to say goodbye to Dad, this one was by far and away the hardest. Actually, the pain seems almost worse now than it did then, because I know what it is to be without him now. I didn't know then. I didn't know what our lives would look like without him.

I thought all day about what I'd like to write today. I didn't come up with anything. I kept opening up the screen for a new post and staring at it, trying to find words to explain the pain of today, but I couldn't find them.

So I looked at some pictures and videos that I have saved in a file on my desktop. I love this picture. 

But there was no video in the file to go with it. I thought I remembered seeing a video of Dad and Sam together like this, but I didn't know where it was. So I pulled out my stack of backup DVD's and started watching till I found it... (It's long. And yes, I should never ever wear pants like that in public.)

It broke my heart when Dad told Sam he'd buy him a knife like that when he got older. Who will buy him a knife like that now? I will, I suppose, but it won't be the same.

And there it is. There is why it hurts so much to have lost him much too soon. Nothing is the same. Nothing is even close to the same. And that hurts. It hurts to lose a dad like mine. But for me, it hurts even worse to lose my kids' grampa. Because they have never lit up with anyone the same way they did with dad. Look at this video. Look at Sam's eyes. Listen to the way they say "Grampa".

And now they have no one like that. Yes, they have people who love them DEEPLY. But it's not the same and we all know it. Watching my dad love my kids was like nothing else I've ever experienced. Seeing them adore him so completely and seeing it reflected right back in his eyes... Nothing is the same as that. Nothing is the same at all. There is a big gaping hole and I'd love to tell you people that it's healing, but it's not. If anything this year has made the hole deeper, wider, bottomless. It seems bottomless.

I'm so glad this year is almost over. I hate saying that because I have wonderful children, and friends, and family who have filled this year, but they can't fill the hole. I've made it through another year with a huge hole inside me. That's how I feel.

And then, in the midst of overwhelming sadness, feeling like my heart is physically breaking, watching all the videos of all the things that aren't the same anymore... I came across this video that I've looked and looked for in the past, but never been able to find. Till tonight. When I really needed it. The folder was titled "Stupid Is As Stupid Does". There are about half an hour of video clips, but this one is my favourite.

Monday, October 08, 2012

It's Time

Three years ago today we spent our last full day with Dad. This was the last day he told us he loves us. A lot. This was the last time he told me, "Don't go there Becky" when he noticed me crying in the corner of his ICU room. This was the day I brought him the picture Ben had drawn of them fishing and he cried because he missed him so much. This was the day he couldn't take anymore and he told Mom and the doctors and nurses he was done with all the needles and treatments and machines. This was the day I begged him to stay, to come home with us, to fight. This was the day he promised to keep trying. For us. 

It haunts me a little, how much I asked of him that day, how much I was willing to let him suffer as long as it meant we could keep him. And it does comfort me that he was STILL willing to do that. He never chose to leave us. Through all of the pain, and sickness, and fear, and humiliation, he fought.

Which brings me to why I've chosen, for now, to make my blog private. You may have noticed that for a long time this blog has been silent. Part of that is because my blog was, from the very beginning, something I shared with my dad. And it hurt that he wasn't here to read it, to write his comments, to admire the pictures of the kids, to tease me and advise me. Another reason is that so much of my thoughts and feelings still revolve around losing him. I've mentioned that before... How I don't want people to think I'm wallowing. So, going private makes sense. This way I control who reads it, and I know that since you have gone through the effort to sign in to be able to read my thoughts, you are choosing to listen.

But the largest reason, for the last year, is that our family is struggling. REALLY struggling. Since about last year, Thanksgiving weekend, things have been HARD. How do I blog and leave out something so important? I can't do it. I've always thought censoring myself was lame. If I think it, feel it, believe it then I should write it. I am who I am, and I prefer people know the real me, not a censored me. But now... I can't find it in myself to put it all out there for even the people I can't get along with right now to read. I've struggled to decide if maybe that means I shouldn't write at all. You know, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all"? Or "If you can't say it to my face..."

The thing is I've said it to my mom's face. With no effect other than to widen the breach between us. And I don't know if it can ever be repaired, and I'm pretty sure that at this point I don't really care. Because in the end, she chose to leave us. Dad fought for so long, and so hard, and with so much courage to stay. And she just let us, my kids, me, all of us, go.

And I need to write about that, and all kinds of other things too. And not just write, but have people I care about listen, and write back. I miss it. I miss this space. And I miss you. 

So here we are. If you are here that means I trust you. I trust you to listen with compassion. I trust you to tell me the truth. I trust you to comment on cute pictures of my kids, and make fun of my mistakes the way Dad used to. I trust you to laugh with me and cry with me. I trust you to keep what I write here between this online family for now. Not because it's a big secret, but because I need a safe place to be my uncensored self and not worry too much about who's reading. 

Three years. Seems like three years shouldn't be able to make such a big difference.