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I never deal with my deep emotions in the moment…

And it’s been in the days since my dad’s remains were finally laid to rest that I’ve felt the sadness I expected to feel on Sunday…

I miss my dad.

I feel like something else is missing. I don’t know what, though.

I guess I’m just sad and lonely.

This too shall pass…it always does.

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Dealing With Dear Old Dad

I thought I knew how today was going to go…I thought there would be sadness…I thought there would be awkwardness…I thought it would suck…

Like everything in life, I should have checked my expectations at the door…

After 10 years, my mom and I were finally prepared to do something with my dad – his ashes, his urn, his remains…and we could think of no better place than with my great-grandmother who he adored…

We pulled up to the cemetery (I hate cemeteries, by the way)…my aunt and uncle seemed to know exactly where to go…and my stomach immediately began to knot…this was happening…this was really happening…oh my fucking God…

Being the people we are, we immediately began tidying up…we cleaned off my great-grandparents’ headstone…we cleaned off another family headstone…we freaked out about the hole that either belonged to a snake or a mole…I apologized to all the dead people I was stepping on…and then the moment came…we were supposed to pop the cork, so to speak…and we all just looked at one another…and shuddered…

What if we were standing in the wrong direction and got sprayed with remains? What if we couldn’t pry the lid off?? What if there was something other than dust in there? OK, so that last one was just me…

So we buried his urn…yep, that’s what we did…go ahead, be horrified…call us chicken…whatever…we’ve never been the type of people to act normal in any situation…

I really thought I would be weepier…and for a second I did tear up…but I did what I usually do – I sucked it up…

I don’t need my dad in a can next to me to be able to feel him with me, to be able to talk to him…everytime I hear “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay” or “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” I know he’s with me…everytime I’m too blunt and straightforward, he’s with me…everytime I work and function through hard shit or pain, there he is…I don’t need his ashes for him to be with me…

I felt something shift in me as we covered his urn with dirt and tamped it down…it reminded me of the shift I felt when he died…that day, I immediately felt the need to take care of my mom while she grieved, the way he would have – and I was no longer willing to take anyone’s crap (unfortunately, that didn’t last forever)…

Today it was more of a feeling of strength…a desire to be less nervous about life…an urgency to make changes, to be different, to be better, to be more alive

Thanks Daddy…I love you…and in my own twisted way, I will always be a Daddy’s girl…

Laughter…LOTS of Laughter

My stomach hurts…from laughing until I’ve cried…from laughing until I’ve nearly peed in my pants…

I didn’t anticipate today being this way…

10 years ago today, my dad died…he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)…once he caught pneumonia, he never recovered – which is typical with people who have ALS…my mom and I made the decision to take him off life support, which he would have wanted….we knew he wanted to be cremated, so we picked out the urn together…together we got the house ready for his Irish wake style party to celebrate his life…

I was 22 and about to graduate college…always thinking of my education, he died at the start of my spring break and I barely missed school…the post about all that is coming…because tomorrow, we are finally scattering his ashes…in the only place that made sense…

Today surprised me…my mom and I speeding down the road, heading closer to something we both dread…that should have been a recipe for disaster…but we talked, we laughed, we pranked YY who was simultaneously heading up from south Florida…

We don’t do well when either of us is stressed…we had our moments where she was tense or when I rambled a little too much…but then we’d jokingly text message YY something, watch her fall for it, and start laughing again…

We laughed as we walked into the hotel…we laughed as we tried to get in our room (unsuccessfully)…we laughed when we back downstairs to talk to the crazy lady at the desk to get our key fixed…we laughed through dinner…we laughed through Target…we laughed while we visited with YY…my stomach hurts…

I dread what’s coming tomorrow, no matter how necessary…and since we’re a family that believes in finding something to laugh about in every situation, I know tomorrow won’t be all bad…but I am glad I had today to laugh with abandon…I’m going to need the memory of today tomorrow…

I Miss My Dad Everyday…Not Just Father’s Day

NOTE: I didn’t mean to, but this one is REALLY long.  I’m not offended if you just don’t have the time or patience to make it through the whole thing. 

I’ve been mentally writing this blog for days now.  I miss my dad on day’s like this and I always feel sorry for people who know me but never met him. I make a little more sense if you know my dad.

Daddy died in March 2002 – 6 weeks before I graduated college, 7 weeks before I married Almost Ex.  He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 2 years before.  Most people know ALS as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  I never liked that name because it implies that the disease belonged to Lou Gehrig. And I don’t say that he “passed away.” I never have said that…it sounds too nice, too genteel.  He died…he would have rolled his eyes at anything different.

Daddy had a huge impact on my life.  He was a stay-at-home dad before it was considered almost normal.  I spent a LARGE amount of time with him as a kid.  He taught me how to make his meatloaf, how to fold laundry…and how to play Blackjack. We played for pennies and one day, after many months of play, I finally won his whole stash. He also taught me a little common sense (because I definitely wasn’t born with any) – his favorite trick to play was 52 Card Pick Up.  I fell for it twice..yes, twice. He also taught me, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Since his death, I’ve been accused of idealizing my father.  Not quite.  I will admit (and now that I’m adult I’d say it to his face if he were alive) he could be a complete jackass sometimes.  He was the most strong-willed man I’ve ever come across in my life and even if you showed him proof that he was wrong, he still would never admit it.  In his mind, his word was law, and his opinion was always the right one. Always.

Because of my dad, I don’t deal well with bullshit, I know most of the words to just about any song from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, and I don’t give up control of the remote control easily.  Because of him, I still love the University of Florida Gators, I know how to make a quick spaghetti sauce, and I know how to dribble a basketball (sort of) and play Horse.  Because of Daddy, I trust no one, I don’t ever repeat a mistake, and I’m harder on myself than anyone could ever be. I adore that man, even now.

I miss him on the big days (and the random days, too) – the birth of both boys, the purchase of our home, the end of my marriage, and anytime something really good or bad happens.  I can imagine what he would say or do in almost every instance.  He would have been a lenient Grandpa, allowing his grandkids to get away with crap he’d have kicked my ass for.  He would have helped me landscape my yard because he loved to watch things grow and create beauty.  He would have cracked a joke when my grandfather died so no one forgot to laugh a little even in the midst of sadness.  And he would most definitely have an opinion on my pending divorce.

I’m a Daddy’s Girl, but not in the princess sort of way.  Anytime I speak my mind, that’s him.  Anytime I crack a sarcastic joke, that’s my dad.   My dad didn’t believe in saying the words, “I love you.”  I only remember hearing it once in my life and it was a few days before he died.  He believed in showing love.  He took care of every need he could, he pushed the ones he loved to be the best they could be,  and he righteously defended my mom and me (even when we desperately just wanted him to stay out of it).  Thankfully for the world, I’m like my mom too.

He was an amazing man.  I know he would worry for me right now…I also know he would probably be in my home trying to help me run my life…he would remind me to crack a joke or two to lighten the mood…and he’d have a great time intimidating any man who ever looked at me twice…

He was hard to love.  You either loved him or hated him, there was no middle ground.  I loved him, feared him, respected him, and tried very hard to make him proud.  Letting him down never felt good…losing his trust was horrible…gaining it back was almost impossible.

I miss him so much.  But I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without his influence during my childhood and his absence in my adulthood…

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