I often think about all the times in my life where a phone call had a huge impact on it...finding out I got a job or a promotion, my BFF is engaged, that I won an award for High School to help pay for college, that I got into College, that family and friends had a milestone in their lives, that my family was going to be growing by new additions...All of those wonderful memories and moments that were made possible with a single phone call.
Then on the 13th of March of 2012, one phone call changed my whole life, not for better, not for worse, just changed it, in a way I never saw coming.
The phone call that every person that lives away from family dreads more than anything. The phone call that separates you from them, the phone call that tells you a loved one has left this world...
I got that phone call at 8:45 on a Tuesday morning, 3 years ago today. I was running late for work and my house phone rang, which it never does. I looked at it and stared for what felt like an eternity and it was my Poppy's house. I didn't know what to do or even remember how to answer the phone, all I know is I did not want to answer it all.
Sometimes you just know what you are going to hear on the other line..
But this was not one of those times...
My father had passed away, suddenly in the night.
This was such a shock to me. I blacked out and dropped to my knees, screaming and crying.
See the thing with phone calls like this, is you don't know how to react, your body shuts down, you shut down and everything around you is spinning. The tears came so quickly I didn't even have a chance to catch my breath. But the thing with this phone call was I never got the chance to say goodbye.
I believe in the world goodbye. It is a word that can mean so many meanings, like getting a phone call. Goodbye can be taken so many ways. Good Goodbyes, Bad ones, ones that need to be done or Goodbyes that just mean I will see you later.
I just was never give that chance with my dad. I hadn't heard from in a weeks, on his own doing, he shut me out, which I later found out, was because he knew he was eventually going to die. See the thing with that is I never got to say goodbye and when someone leaves this world, you want to believe they knew they were loved, cherished and cared for. You want them to know that goodbye, they understand what is happening but you love them so much, you can imagine another day without them.
In one day, in one phone call, I was given the news that my Father had died and that I Never had the chance to say goodbye.
I miss my Father so much, each year on this day, I make sure to be home with my family. We don't bring it up, but each of us know what today is. We occupy our minds or tell our favorite stories about my Dad. What I would give to just have one more dinner with him. There are times, I miss him so much, my whole body hurts. There are times that I don't think about him for awhile. I know he is there, but he doesn't cross my mind.
Then I look in the mirror and I see him staring right back at me. I am 100% my Father's daughter. I have a sparkle in my eyes and I know I get that from him. I get my skills of figuring out a tip at restaurant quickly from him, my love of Diet Coke and Slim Jims, love for classic rock music, my compassion and sympathy for others, my emotions and how I feel everything when people go through a rough time. My short temper when I get stressed or overwhelmed. And my ability to light up a room.
Every part of me that is happy, good and alive I got from my Father. I got his facial expressions and his hair. But more importantly I got his Love. I got so much Love from my Father. I know he loved me so much, that it killed me. I know he loved me so much, he didn't want me to see or hear how bad he had gotten with his drinking. I know he loved me so much, that it was easier for him to just go, it would be easier for him. He loved me so much, he didn't want to put me through any more pain or disappoint me anymore, he knew he had messed up, he didn't want to hear it in my own voice.
Yes, a part of me thinks it is selfish of him to just leave this world without letting me say goodbye. But I loved and LOVE him so much, to understand and allow him to do so. As much as my pain hurts, I know it was better this way.
On this day each year, the anniversary of my father's death. I reminded how much I really miss him. But I am also reminded of how much I love him because I think if you feel pain for someone, that means you love them twice of much....
So a quick letter to my father about the year he missed, the 3rd year.
I, first want to say how much I love you. I hope you know that and see that. Yes, see that, I know you are shining down on me every day. You know you aren't that great at sending subtle clues. When I pull into a gas station, I know that's you whispering me to go inside and buy a Diet Coke. I know when I am running, and I hit that wall, or get that feeling I can't go on, the breeze that blows or the water that tastes so sweet, I know that is you carrying me. I know when I look up and see the sun shining, I know you are happy. Or when it is cold and rainy, I know you are just having a bad day and wanting to be here on Earth with me. You didn't miss a whole lot this year. My biggest thing was I ran, and finished a Marathon. I say you missed it, I know you were there carrying me the whole time, I just wished, god how I wished to see you over on the side, smiling that bright smile. You missed the little things too, you missed me growing out of my 20's and transitioning into being a 30 year old. Yup, your baby girl is going to be 30 in 5 months. You missed my laugh, you missed my tears, you missed my very good days, where I would call you and just tell you how much I love you or tell you about my day. You also missed me calling you when I was hurt. You know when I hurt my ankle, I know that hurt you too, I just wished I had a phone to heaven, to just hear you tell me it was going to be alright. Alright Dad, you left this world 3 years ago today, but know you left your legacy here with me. I know you didn't think you did good things in this world, but the best thing you did was having and being apart of my world. You did amazing with me. I am the very, best thing you ever did! And if you are talking to the big man, can you ask him to throw down a phone or find a way for me to talk to you, I just want to hear your voice one more time...
I love you always and forever
Your Little Girl,