4 years ago

Let me take you back to 4 years and 1 week from today. I was going to have and incredible week, you see I love tattoo’s and I was going to be getting one finished and another one before the week was over.
Saturday my parents were going to be watching L, something they didn’t get to do very often for the entire day and I was SO very excited to have them do that. We had been planning it for weeks and I was so looking forward to the whole day. I dropped L off, I think my dad was more excited than anyone. He always had a way with kids, probably because he is as close to the perfect man than any other man walking this earth (You can ask anyone!.) I left and went to get my tattoo finished. I was getting the tattoo of my dog finished, someone who my dad loved maybe more than me. Duke, my dog, and my dad were best friends. Duke cries when he sees my dad because he can’t get to him fast enough, he jumps in his lap and hugs him, sometimes knocking him over. Duke is 105lbs.

So I came back to pick L up and my parents looked tired but so happy. My dad had taken a picture, now in my bedroom, with L and a new mop on her head. She looked like Raggedy Anne and was adorable. He was holding her in his left arm and asked if I could take her because his arm has been going numb lately. {Clue number 1 that I missed}. On the way home Monday I called my mom, like I always did, to chat about my day. She said that Dad’s arm was numb again and bothering him and he had a doctor’s appt on Wed. {Clue number 2 that I missed}. I said that maybe it was a potassium problem and he should eat a banana or two because it was happening to a friend of mine. Mom assured me that he was eating them, but said she would mention it. We said our I love you’s because we are a family that hugs, kisses and says I love you every chance we get.

I was playing Maj-Jong with my MIL and her friends on the Tuesday after I had my other tattoo started and finished. It reads is D’eirinn me, “I am of Ireland.” I looked at my phone at 7:28, I had received a txt almost an hour before that stated 5 words. “Your dad had a stroke.” I jumped up, said to my husband who was in the room next to us that my dad had a stroke and ran upstairs. I asked him to call my mom because I didn’t think I was strong enough to hear the woman who raised me, who was planning on helping me raise my kids, the woman who loved me uncontrollably on the other end crying for her soul mate who was, at this moment, sick beyond words.
I don’t remember what was said, I just remember the look on his face. He was so sad and the next thing I know we are jumping in a car and driving as fast as we can to the airport. I walked into the ER and the looks on everyone’s face said it all, it wasn’t good. My aunt, parent’s best friends and my mom were all there. I went in the little room to talk to my daddy. He was goofy, moving around, clearly still going through the stroke. It didn’t frighten me, the only thing I could do was make sure he wasn’t scared. The best part about it was that it didn’t seem he was. He was joking around….saying that he will be around for a long time (with an inside joke of our’s.) For some reason I believed him, I believed that he would still be here, but I wasn’t sure how.

That is as far as I will let my memory take me. There are days of struggle, making tough decisions like removing part of his skull for a month, maybe more, so his brain could swell, the coma, that talking to him not knowing if he is going to wake up, the tears that got chocked down so far that they now can’t even reach my stomach.

This moment has forever changed my life. I now look at flowers and smell them, take pictures and really stay in the moment. I appreciate sunsets and pretty skies. The birds singing in the morning when I wake up is now my favorite sound of all. I bask in sun, I breath the air in, BUT I don’t think past that moment. Even though there were 3, 4, 5? rehab’s after that. Even though there were 9 pain staking months after that. Even though I took care of my dad by cleaning his face, combing his hair, changing his clothes whenever needed and not doing it because I thought I had to but doing it because the man I loved most in this world couldn’t tell me he loved me, or ask me to help him I just knew that in the moment that is all I could do, so I did it.

I need help, I need  therapy, there are so many things that I need help bringing up and talking about so many little facets of the next year. Putting two of my cats to sleep, but fooling myself that I put them in a shelter and that they would be giving them a chance. I begged them to let them, (here I am in this moment and I can’t even bring it to myself to say the word live) just stay there for a week. 1 week and surly someone would see how amazing they were and snatch them up. I don’t know what happened to them, but again I don’t allow myself to think about that. The second that a memory creeps in I make it go away. I think of something else and/or change the subject. I will not allow myself to feel. I am the one that takes control in a crisis. I exceed at that job. I thrive at that job, but I am not the one that falls apart. That is the choice that I make, I don’t put that burden on anyone else , but it means that I don’t let myself feel.

I’m broken, inside I feel like there is a dark pit that is protected by someone that won’t let those memories or feelings out and on top of it is a glass heart that is cracked beyond hope. I will never be the same person, but I don’t know if that is bad because like I said I appreciate life and my family much more. I do, however, want to have the life that I had before….with this new appreciation in it. That’s it. Give me my 6ft, handsome, caring, vibrant, loving father back and I will appreciate it. I promise. I have damned God, told him I hated him, begged him for forgiveness because surly I did something wrong in not seeing the signs, told him that I did really love him and I was sorry for “hating” him. I just don’t know anymore. I have a wall up and I am terrified to let it down.

I have since been told that I have PTSD because of not letting any emotion out. My life has been profoundly affected by all of this. If I start I am afraid that I won’t stop crying for days, heck maybe weeks. I am afraid to let anything out. I have been afraid since the week after it happened. I am afraid that I will succumb to the grief, but most of all I am afraid that if I don’t deal with these feelings the hero, the first man I fell in love with will pass and I will then have to stand up and be the rock again or worse, I will start to cry and not stop.

So, there you have it…the last 4 years in a pretty little package all written out for you. Look around and focus on something, some little thing that you haven’t taken the time to look at and spend 1 minute appreciating it. You too will change and I  hope it will be a lasting one because you don’t know what tomorrow night at 7:28pm will bring for you.


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3 responses to “4 years ago

  1. Beautiful words my pet but difficult to read you were a tower of strength when daddy got so sick. But. You need to let it all out let everyone who loves you help you through those painful memories. And help to deal with them You have to allow this to happen otherwise you can’t move on and be truly happy
    Yes life has changed and will never be the same. But it can be better than what it is now
    I have those same feelings I miss dad the way things were. But I constantly cry. So I can pretend to the outside world that we are ok I miss our old life Now living sofar awY from you and the kids is unbearable es since we moved to USA to make a better life foryoufor us. Now sickness has parted us. Give yourself a break. As I said if at anytime day or night text me and I will call you to comfort you if your having a rough time. That’s my role a mom comforts and makes things right as much as I can for her child no matter what age you are.
    Just give me the chance to help you feel better. I love you so very much. You don’t have to deal with this on your own. Give it up give me your worries ❤️💔❤️💔❤️💔❤️💔

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