Long Live The Don 7-11-19

Yesterday was my dads birthday. When my dad was alive I used to love to spoil him on his birthday. I would always buy him something special and super cool. I miss my dad every day. I miss his intrusive phone calls throughout the day. I miss hearing his crazy stories that would always make me laugh until I cried and I miss the comfort I felt knowing that even on my worse and most challenging days I could always count on my dad to be there to pick me up and force me to keep going. More importantly I miss spoiling him rotten on his birthday.

I had to drive to Moses Lake yesterday afternoon. On the way I found myself thinking about my dad. I was a little teary eyed missing him immensely. Suddenly this huge bird landed on the road in front of me I thought “is that a hawk?!” As I got closer the bird didn’t budge. It just kept staring at me. I had to drive around it as it just kept looking at me. I realized it was an Eagle! I couldn’t believe it! In truth, it freaked me out. However, after I passed the bird I saw it spread its wings and fly away. I wondered if it was some sort of sign. Then I remembered. My dad had an eagle tattoo on his arm. When he passed I took a picture of it. I later got that same tattoo. I used to call my dad the The Don because he often lived his life after his favorite movie, The Godfather. I know this sounds crazy but I would like to believe that my dad saw me cry today and felt the painful void I still feel because he’s gone. I’d like to believe he was letting me know that he’s still with me in spirit. I hope so anyway.

Happy Birthday to the man who still owns a piece of my heart. Even though he’s no longer with me, I know he’s with me in spirit. Who knows….maybe as an Eagle. With that said, may he continue to fly like an Eagle enjoying the freedom of no longer being in pain.

Does Heaven Really Exist 2-13-17

Does heaven really exist? I’m sure we have asked ourselves that very question. I am a believer however, I’m also human. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in something I can’t see. Especially when life is either challenging or I find myself missing my father who passed away six years ago. I’d like to believe he’s in paradise living life to the fullest. Surrounded by beautiful sunshine, breathtaking sunsets and beautiful beaches.

My friend, who I will refer to as Ginger, lost her mother last summer. Like me, she was with her mom when she took her last breath.

Ginger wrote me today and shared a beautiful story of what happened to her today. I was so moved by the story, I asked her if it would be ok if I shared it with my blog community.

If you don’t believe in heaven, after reading Gingers story, you will.

“So. I am sure you and every other “normal ” person question life after death. We believe, but there is always that little voice saying “I sure wish I had proof”. But we tuck that thought away and pray for the best.

Well about a month ago I was watering a plant that I brought from my moms. It’s a Christmas cactus. They don’t bloom very often but if they do, it is around Christmas (hence the name) and often around Easter some just never bloom. Well my moms had three blooms right around Easter at her house. That was cool. While I was watering I said out loud “mom if there really is a heaven can you make this thing bloom?”

Knowing it’s not near Easter or Christmas. Well…..”

A picture tells a thousand words. By the looks of this photo, I think heaven does exist.

Reach Out To Others 12-20-17

“O Key of David, O Royal power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”

At this festive time of year, when all our attention seems focused on gathering with loved ones, those who are grieving face a most difficult challenge. They may feel locked out of the brightness around them. Be the key that releases those who are grieving, while still respecting their own journey. Reach out to those who have lost special people in their lives. Be creative. Spending a quiet evening with a friend may be more consoling than an invitation to share in festivities with a heavy heart.

—from the book Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek

Crazy Train 9-11-17

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder “How in the heck did I get here?”  You find yourself living a life that seems like a dream and not a good dream at that.  Maybe more like a nightmare.  You’re lying in bed and the only voice in your head is Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard!!!”  Is your answer yes?  Yeah…Me too!!!

September 14th will be the anniversary of my dad’s passing six years ago.  What a journey it’s been. The only way to describe it…..It has certainly been one hell of a “Crazy Train”.  I have spent the past six years grieving.  When I say grieving, I mean for two years I cried every day.  I slept with my dad’s ashes next to my bed.  I had nightmares every night.  Up until a few months ago I stopped believing my dad was coming back and finally accepted that he was gone.  I’ve spent more days then I can count balling my head off.  I’ve spent six years trying to figure out how to live my life without my dad as my sidekick. I haven’t done a very good job at it either.  Three of those years I found myself fighting cancer among other things including a crazy boyfriend who I should mention was not only a freak, but he was 20 years older than me and made my life even more crazy than it already was. I have battled grief, cancer, abusive relationships, loss of work due to illness, memory loss, anxiety, depression, PTSD and the real clincher, I lost everything I ever worked for.  My life is in financial disarray.  I’m not only rock bottom, I’m even living with my mom.  How embarrassing.  Somehow, this life isn’t what I had in mind for myself.  I feel like George Constanza from Seinfeld.  I’m unemployed, a nut and I live with my “parent” and let me tell ya, living with my mother hasn’t been a cake walk.  I have often joked I’d like to throw momma off this “Crazy Train” I’ve found myself on.

For those of you who have followed me, you know my story.  My story is not your typical Hallmark feel good story.  No, my story is more like a VH1 TV Series.  The difference between my story and say… those reality TV shows on VH1, my story is the real deal.  You can’t make up this crap.  I’ve been on a Crazy Train since September 14, 2011.  Like the song “I’ve been going off the rails”.  The good news is as I approach my dad’s six year anniversary, I find myself coming out of this fog and I’m beginning to hear the whistle blow.  I am beginning to hear Ozzie belt out “Stop Ahead” opposed to “All Aboard”  FINALLY!!

Dying sucks!!!  Especially when the person that dies happens to be your dad, best friend and the only side kick you’ve ever known.  My dad was all of the above to me.  A week before my dad passed away, we were on our way home from seeing his doctor who had told us my dad only had a couple of weeks left to live.  I was devastated.  I asked my dad what I was going to do without him.  I’m not sure if my dad recognized that I was serious.  He told me I was going to be fine and asked me to watch over “Mother Superior”.  My dad’s nickname for my mother. My dad and I had a special bond.  He wasn’t just my dad, he was my best friend. Undoubtedly the most important man in my life.  Was my dad perfect? Hell NO!  Daddy was a rebel!!!  A fun rebel who always looked out for me.  My dad used to say “Velma, men are like greyhound busses.  There’s always another one at the next stop, going to the same place for the same fare”  I believed him which is why I wasn’t one of those women that cried for too long after a break up.  For me it was on to the next.  Unfortunately, while my dad’s words of wisdom came in handy when it came to boyfriends or even an ex-husband, his words of wisdom didn’t include living without him. My dad was and will always be the Greyhound Bus I will never be able to replace.

Today is a new day.  Life is getting better.  I am finally on the mend.  I am ready to start over.  I’m even eager to begin a new phase in my life.  A life without my dad, but a life with purpose.  People always say time heals all wounds.  These words are true, however I don’t believe there should ever be a time limit on how long it should take to heal from the loss of someone you love.  Many people have lost their parents.  Many of them have bounced back in a matter of months.  It took me six years.  My advice to anyone who might be grieving the loss of someone they loved, give yourself some time.  I don’t have a time limit. You shouldn’t either.  It’s different for everyone.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And if you find yourself waking up from what seems like a bad dream which is actually your life and you hear Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard”……Don’t worry about it.  In every “Crazy Train” ride, there’s always a stop and a new beginning.  As my dad’s anniversary approaches, I am ready to get off this “Crazy Train” and start living life again.  My dad is no longer with me, but he will always be with me in spirit.  He will always have a place in my heart that is hidden from the world.  My private place where the love for my dad will live on forever or until we meet again.