I’ll eat red velvet today and think of you.
I will light a candle and remember….
….your sweet tooth.
….your mischievous grin and one-of-a-kind laugh when something or someone got you tickled.
….the complete and utter delight you took in those you loved.
….the feeling that I was the best daughter I father I could have. At least that’s how you made me feel.
When I blow out the candle I will remember the lessons I’ve learned over the past two years….
…..That life is short and uncertain and hard.
…..That if it’s worth saying or doing, it’s worth saying and doing today.
…..That the best is still yet to come.
…..That God is faithful.
…..That just shy of 63 years wasn’t close to long enough but eternity sounds just right.
Today I’ll eat red velvet and think of you.
Happy Birthday, Daddy.
I don’t think I ever planned to run away from this blog or my old life…not intentionally, anyway.
Originally I thought I was just doing that thing my family does: we move away from one place and get settled in another.
Initially, I thought this move would be just like the others. The first few weeks are always hectic with boxes and introductions and settling in to a new routine, but eventually, I seem to always find a way to maintain old relationships while I enter into new ones, keeping one foot in my old life and the other in my new one.
This move was different.
I thought after we were settled here I would finally be able to completely dissect my grief. I would examine all of the events that had transpired in my life over the last two years and I would break them down into their smallest parts. I would process and investigate and journal and have great revelations with incredible insight. Instead, I sat down to write a blog post, reread a few of my older entries, and realized I was completely sick of hearing myself think and talk. All the grieving had left me exhausted and empty…and desperately needing a change.
In December of last year, I wrote about how I was “muddling through” the holidays. At some point in the transition from our old home to our new home, I decided I was sick and tired of just muddling. For awhile, it was the best I could do and the only way I could survive. But after two years of “just surviving,” I didn’t think I could simply “muddle” for even one more day. Call it denial, call it avoidance, but I had to find a place on the shelf to put my grief before it completely consumed me. I think maybe the grief did completely consume me because I am not the person I was before all of this happened.
Even after most of the boxes had been unpacked and we were mostly settled into a new routine, I found I was hesitant to go back to life the way it had been. And whether it was the “right,” “best,” or “nice” thing to do, I found it was easier for me to unplug from my old life for awhile.
I haven’t done a good job of keeping up with my friends from before the move, both the ones I’ve spent time with in the flesh and those of you who are my friends in my cyberlife. I feel like I should apologize for not being in touch, for not returning calls and emails, but I’m not really sorry. Maybe I should clarify that. I have missed my friends but I needed to be fully present in my new life the past few months.
For those of you who have reached out to me over the past few months, I hope I didn’t hurt you if I didn’t respond with the appreciation and love I truly feel for you.
I’ve had a lot to grieve the past year. I’ve been very outspoken about how much I miss my dad, but I’ve also had to deal with losses I didn’t talk about as freely. A lot has changed. Some for the better and some, well some for the very different. I have spent the last few months making a conscious effort to be about the business of living. Seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling….and some days just being present in the act of being. I don’t want to muddle through this Christmas. I want to live it fully with everything I have in me. I don’t want to go through the motions for the sake of the kids. I want to celebrate this season with a full and grateful heart.
So that’s where I’ve been. As for where I’m going, I don’t know for sure. But I do know I’m thankful for the people who do life with me and who love me for who I am….whoever that may be this week.