Thursday, March 13, 2014

With just one phone call...

Today is one of those days for me I will never forget. And as I am sitting here typing this, the moment my life changed happen exactly right now at 8:45 am, two years ago, March 13, 2012.

I had woken up late for work and was really regretting now using the day as a PTO day. See the day before I had met my cousins and Uncle in Orlando to spend the day at Universal Studios with them. I hadn't seen them in over a year and since I only live a hour away from Orlando, I thought it would be a perfect day. And it was. But I got home late and was exhausted and was feeling it the next morning. James and I had gotten into a fight and we weren't really talking much this morning.

I started making my coffee and was just about to head out the door and then the house phone rang...

I remember looking at the house phone in panic because NO ONE calls our house phone, not even sure why we had it to begin with...

The caller ID showed that it was coming from my HOME back in NY, which home as in where my poppy, Uncle and Father lived. Immediately I took a deep breath, knowing someone from there calling this early in the morning and on the house phone wasn't going to be a good thing. I thought for sure the person on the other line was going to tell me my Poppy was in trouble.

But on the other line it was my Poppy..

I tried to sound chipper when I answered but I had started to shake already just waiting for the blow..

My Poppy told me he didn't know how to tell me this..

My Father had died.

In his words was my Daddy was gone..

The only reaction I had was to scream No and drop to the floor. I literally repeated no over and over and over and over. I kept yelling I didn't get to say goodbye. "Poppy your lying" " I didn't get to say goodbye" "This isn't true"

At this point I went completely numb. My mind, body and everything around me.  I was on the floor in the fetal position for a bit, just hugging myself while I had to hand the phone to James so he could talk to my Poppy. Then it hit me.

I had to figure out work and everything. I called my other TM and of course continued to break down and just asked if she could take care of everything. Honestly the last thing I was thinking about at this moment was work.

I called my mother and cried more. The phone calls, texts, everything started coming through. I was trying to think of all the people I had to call. I was crawling on the floor, then dropping to crying. I know I blacked out for a bit from just the shock.

It was a nightmare and I couldn't wake up.

I remember laying on the couch, just staring off into space and then just sobbing. The idea of losing my father and never being able to hear his voice or see him again, was something I never knew how to handle.

I remember I called his cellphone just to see if he would answer.

He of course didn't...

The whole day I was in a fog but James tried really hard to get me going and not sit home and deal with it. I wanted to be home with my family more than anything, but I was in no way able to fly that day. James and I went about our day and my mother booked my flight home. I went about my typical Tuesday routine just so I could feel normal because I knew for the rest of the week I was not going to.

James took care of me that day and made me feel just a little bit normal. I will love him for that my whole life.

Numerous times of the day I cried and just cried, but I settled myself and found comfort talking to my family throughout the day.

I took the earliest flight the next morning and spent the week up here in NY with my family. I think I went through all stages of grief and I have never cried so much in my life like that week.

I still thought when I got home he would be here.

I never got to say goodbye to my father or see him afterwards. We had him cremated and no one would let me see him. Apparently he did not look like my father, he was bloated, blue and just not the picture they thought I should have. A part of me is happy they blocked me from doing that and then another part, always wishes you could see them one last time.

I hadn't talked my father in almost a month because he refused to call me back. I know and I think now for the stories I heard it was because he was ashamed of the path he had taken and figured it would have been easier for me. I wish he just thought more about that decision because one last I love you, one last goodbye was all I wanted and I never, ever will get that chance.

So it's been two years and it doesn't get easier. The whole week I was home for it, I hurt so bad. Then when I went back to Florida I hurt even more because I wasn't around my family, I needed that comfort or to just be able to look at someone and see my father in them.

I figured each year I would come home and "celebrate" his anniversary with them. Not that we celebrate anything, we know what happened today 2 years ago. But I do it just to heal me. Being in the house, being in the house where he died, just being home with family, looking at everyone that looks just like him, well, it makes me heal a little bit more.

We are making his favorite meal today and I am sure I will have my own little moment in remembrance of him. As much as some people want to forget the day, I embrace it, even if it hurts like freaking hell because while we lost an amazing father, brother, son, Uncle and friend, he might have been reborn again.

My father was a depressed man and he battled with many demons. Demons he just couldn't control or handle. He died with an enlarged heart, due to drinking and drugs. My father died alone in his bed, thinking no one loved him.

That's the hardest thing to gasp because he never was truly alone.

Alcoholism is a passion of mine, while I don't know how to pursue anything with it. I get the struggle because I watched it take over my father. I watched what it did to a family and a man. I know it is a disease, it is a disease, yes it isn't cancer or anything like that but people have to realize it is a horrible disease that yes you control, but sometimes you just aren't strong enough.

My father gave up. He just gave up and gave in and figured he was going to go on his own terms. He lived his whole life that way.

So my trip home really at times is all about this day. It may be selfish on my part but it helps me. Talking about my dad, reading about my dad, it helps me heal. But I don't mourn my father, sure it hurts like hell, and I want to say it ***cking hurts, but well I am not sure if anyone will read this.

My life changed two years ago today, I can still feel every emotion and I recount everything that went on. And I know years from now it will just be a day and the pain will go away. "They" say it gets easier and say that is bullshit. It doesn't get easier, I just think we tend to just move on. We tend to not dwell on the past and live in the present. But it haunts me at every holiday, his death day, his birthday, my birthday.

It haunts me and reminds me that my father is no longer here with me and never will be.

And then I come home and see my family is doing just fine and so can I.

So daddy, which I am sure your not reading this and maybe you are. It has been two years since you left me.  I miss and love you every day. Not a day, moment or year goes by that I don't think of you. I miss just hearing your voice and seeing your face. I miss your hugs and your laughter. I miss sitting around the table eating dinner with you and listening to you tell stories of your day. I miss the smell of cement and your tools. I miss seeing you light up every time I came around. No one does that like you did. I miss watching shows with you and listening to you take on the accents after words. Anything and everything you did I miss. I miss the really great times and I miss the really bad times, because with out them we wouldn't have had the great times. I want you to always know I loved you, I may not have shown it, or I was mad at what you were doing to your life, but know I loved you always. You were my daddy and nothing would ever change that. I hope your at peace now and I hope you have found some happiness. Don't worry about me, I know you can see me crying while I am writing this, but that is okay. I need to cry, it is my release. It helps me feel. Even though we didn't get to say goodbye, you did not disappoint me, or anger me or let me down. You were the strongest man I know, and you did the best YOU could with everything. You gave me a great life, and yes it was bad and shitty at times growing up, but I wouldn't be that strong girl you knew without those troubles. I learned more from you than you could ever know. So rest easy knowing I am okay, I am actually pretty great. I will cry for you always and miss you even more. But promise me always that you stay happy and run beside me.

Love Always Your Little Girl,