So. I haven’t posted in a really long time. It has been a very difficult summer for me. I lost my dad. I know this blog is meant to be about Bella’s life, but she lost her Pa Pa – so this loss is hers as well.
I never really thought about what it would be like to lose a parent. I always figured mine were invincible – and I knew that they would live to be crotchety old ninety something year olds. I’ve always viewed them as so YOUNG (and really I stilI do…) This has been a such a shock to my system, that I don’t think I’ve processed it, and already a couple of months have passed. I don’t think the loss of a parent is something that you can ever “get over”, as there will always be a void in your life that they once filled. I’ve always thought of my family as a constant…so many other aspects of life come and go and change with the wind or my whim. Dad will never see Bella grow to be a bratty teenager (and me get my payback). I will never be able to have him sit down and really explain how to be financially smart. I won’t get anymore free business advice, or a sympathetic ear for when I’m frustrated with something going on with my business. Bella won’t get to see what a smart and silly person her grandpa can be. I won’t have anyone to remind me to chill out over the hectic holidays. He won’t be there to remind me to call mom as much as I can. I wish that I had told him how much he meant to me, and how he was my safety net. Dad won’t get to meet my second child (if we ever decide to have one…) All of these thoughts make me so angry and bring tears to my eyes and swallow me in a bubble of sadness that I don’t really want to confront, so I often stay busy and don’t think about it.
I don’t really want to go into the details so much of the last few months, but they included hospital visits to see my dad at MD Anderson, Bella’s & my birthday, finding out my dad was on his deathbed, funeral planning, 3 weeks in Texas visiting with my mom, visiting friends in Simi Valley, Bella being sick for two months straight ending with a very bad infection causing high fevers for days, her first hives from being allergic to the antibiotic, and Jeremy being sick. While there was some good (visits/bdays, even a surprise party for me), there was alot of depressing stuff going on in there, and I don’t think I have the heart to write it all down in detail so I can remember it later. I would rather just remember the good stuff in my head.
So I think I’ll start with a good memory of my dad. It is one of those silly ones from childhood, but one that is so my dad or as my friend, Liz would say, “Mr. A”. After becoming a parent, I often thought about how Dad would work very hard, and then pay for these amazing vacations for us, and then often, us kids would be cranky or sick or even unappreciative of the fun my parents would try to have with us (like most kids are…thus the frustration that almost every parent faces). I feel like despite that, Dad was always laughing to himself a bit, enthusiastic about having a good time, keeping a positive outlook and eventually that would catch on (it is certainly evident in a home video from our Disney World trip that my mom and I watched while I was in TX)..On a family vacation to Phoenix with the Godwins, (where my sister was sick, I fell and hurt myself rollerskating down a ridiculous hill, and we were not overly thrilled with the “natural beauty” of a 5 hour drive through desert & canyons), we went to this great (for kids) restaurant. As an adult, I know now that they didn’t take us here for their enjoyment, but more to keep us happy and busy while they had a cocktail (parents deserve a break, too, right?!). It was one of those places “geared for keeping your kid entertained”, and they did a good job, because right as you walk to your table you can either decide to take the (fairly steep) slide or the stairs – duh, for any kid – it is slide. All the kids are sliding down having a great time, and dad says he’s going to take the slide too. Kids think, “cool”. He says, I’m going backwards…(note to self, kids have much lower centers of gravity.) As he flew backward down the slide, he proceeded to do an awesome back/roll flip (not on purpose) and flop right on to the ground…I’m not sure if he had a margarita in hand, but in my mind he does, and he doesn’t spill a drop (ok, I might be embellishing a bit…). Once we’re sure he’s ok, we all crack up and burst into applause, and he’s laughing it up with us. The life of the party. Making sure everyone is having a good time. Making the most of the situation that he is in. Happy. That is my dad.
My good memories, us in Vegas sitting at a Black Jack table (me 7 mos preggers), while he was kicking the casino’s butt, him telling me to go and travel after college and see Europe (knowing full well, once I started working, I’d probably never get a chance to do it again…), taking craps lessons on the Alaska Cruise, him telling me to work harder on a high school class when I wanted to move down a level (he was right, I would be able to get a good grade if I tried harder…), hanging out and fishing in Galveston on the boat, his signature greeting to my boyfriends or girlfriends growing up, “howdy pardna”, or “hey girl”, being the dracula at our haunted house halloween party (with Kevin as the mini-me dracula), grilling venison sausage wraps at the National Championship tailgate, so many more I can’t even count…I will always keep the good memories of my dad close to my heart so that someday I can tell Bella what a great Pa Pa she had.
My mom and dad have always made me feel like “if I put my mind to it, I could accomplish anything…” Both of my parent pushed me to be who I am today, and I love them dearly for that. I only hope that I can be as good of a parent to my child as they were/are to me.