Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remember Me

It's been three months...three long but extremely fast months. The length of time without having my dad here seems like forever even though in reality it really hasn't been very long at all. I never could have prepared myself for something like this, and it makes me wonder how people do. I know that no matter what losing someone is hard but some have said that being able to prepare makes it a little easier. I wouldn't know the answer to that but I couldn't imagine it being any easier. The void that is left is so great that preparing for that feeling seems impossible.

On days like today, days that tend to symbolize some kind of meaning in this journey, I usually try to prepare myself for what could possibly happen. This morning on my way to work I asked my dad to be with me, I asked him to give me strength to make it through the day the best I could. He was with me and he gave me that strength, but I also realized that if I constantly think about the possibility of something being hard that it's going to make it even more difficult. It's important for me to prepare because it allows me to be ready for anything but I also need to make sure that I am not over preparing. Over preparing tends to back fire in this type of situation and it's also exhausting. At times I find myself trying so hard to be happy that I am actually thinking about it too much and not allowing myself to just live. I have it in my head that I have to be smiling and laughing all the time, which at times causes me to feel more separated from the people and things surrounding me. I found myself hitting an extreme wall today and being completely out of it for a long period of time. Once my mind gets into that spot it's difficult to find my way out of it. I am not sure if this is just how it's going to be for a while or what but it's hard to fall into that mental barrier.

I need to work on a lot of things but one thing is just living. I need to allow myself to feel the necessary feelings for that day rather then trying to figure out ways around it. I have always been so hard on myself when I can't control my emotions or figure out how to not show what's going on, which makes this process that much harder. I have noticed that I try so hard to be happy because I know it's what everyone else wants to see and in return I hold in what's really going on. I have gone back to being the person that holds everything in instead of opening up and letting people see what's taking place on the inside. I think that is part of the reason that my extremely difficult days always make me feel like I will never make it through all of this. Another thing I need to accept and admit is that I am going through something that is very difficult. There is no right or wrong way to dealing with a loss. It doesn't matter how many books I read or grief pages I look at, because my process isn't going to be anything like that. There will be similarities and the ideas will definitely be helpful but it won't be exactly the same. Between the loss of my dad and the physical pain I have been in, I am dealing with a lot. The things that have always helped me get through tough situations seem to be constantly taken away from me. I have had to find other ways to cope with the pain and stress that has taken over my life at times. I have found joy in my work, I love talking and caring for other people but at times I find myself forgetting how much that means to me. When things in my life become to overpowering I notice that it's harder for me to make it through the day without getting annoyed or aggravated by little things. This feeling has been occurring more recently and it's a feeling I am not okay with. The last thing I want to lose passion for is my job.

My job is to help others, to provide people with the care and support that they deserve. The incredible care that my dad showed on a day to day basis to every person he came in contact with, especially his patients. Being at work makes me feel closer to my dad. I feel like it's a place that I can make him proud and it's a bond that we always had that no one else in my family understand. We were able to talk about our days and talk about medical situations knowing that the other person would understand. I loved telling my dad about my day. It was so exciting to come home and tell him what I learned or tell him nice things that people said to me. I miss having that person to talk to that was excited about what happened throughout my day. Even though my dad is no longer here, work is a place that still makes me feel like I have a close connection with him. These past three months, work has been the biggest enjoyment because I feel my dad with me. I can't and don't want to lose that enjoyment.

Although multiple things have been taken from me, I will not allow my attitude at work to also change. I can make it through this. I can fight through those bad days and bring about positives in the lives of others. I am thankful that today was a good day and that I was able to keep a positive attitude for the most part. Some moments were harder than others and later in the day seemed to be more difficult but I made it through. At some point this day wont be a "hard day" anymore. It will just be like any other day. I will know that my dad is with me just as much on this day as he is every day. I also won't feel like I have to ask him to be with me or ask him to give me strength. In fact, I don't need to ask him that now either. He is my strength, he is my angel and he is proud of me more and more as each day passes.

"Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can't know, you can't ever really know the meaning of your life. And you don't need to, just know that your life has a meaning. Every life has a meaning whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds. Every life and every death changes the world in its own way. Ghandi knew this, he knew his life would mean something to someone, somewhere, somehow. And he knew with as much certainty that he could never know that meaning...He understood that enjoying life should be of much greater concern then understanding it. And so do I. You can't know...So don't take it for granted...But don't take it too seriously...Don't postpone what you want...Don't leave anything misunderstood...Make sure the people you care about know...Make sure they know how you really feel...Because just like that...It could end."

This quote is from the movie Remember Me, which is centered around 9/11. When I watched this movie the first time I wrote the quote that is written above but forgot where I had put it. As I looked through my emails the other day I went to the note section, which is sent from my phone and dated August 6th was an email with the quote written out in full. I am glad that I wrote this quote out because the words are amazing and I feel that it speaks volumes.

Every single day is important and every event that occurs has some kind of significance in our lives. We don't always know the impact we have on others, we don't even know the impact we have on the people we are around on a daily basis. I doubt my dad had any idea of the impact he had on so many people. The stories, the cards, the comments and the legacy that he has left behind is absolutely amazing. It has proven to me that all you can do is live the life you have been given. Some have it harder than others and some are expected to fight through much harder situations but no matter what it is that you struggle with, it's a struggle you were meant to go through. We are all meant to fight, we were never promised an easy life but always remember that the life you live has an importance. The choices we make and where we end up is what is supposed to happen. We are placed where we can be of help to others and where we can serve.

I have been lucky enough to see the power of love. I had the opportunity to see the true meaning of how you love and care for people whether others feel they deserve it or not. For 21 years I watched my dad give his whole heart to the people he came in contact with, a heart that wasn't even strong enough to fight off the horrible battle that takes place for people with Heart Disease. He never understood why he was the one battling Heart Disease when he exercised and cared about his health so much. He wouldn't allow himself to think about why those who didn't care about their health weren't the ones struggling. He accepted his condition and attempted to enjoy life the best he could with the time he was given. My dad chose life rather than fearing death. In the end, I choose to remember my dad for the love he showed my family. His life had extreme meaning for each of us, his life changed my life and most of the people that knew him. And...his death changed our lives dramatically. We lost strength and we lost a lot of love. Those two things are not easy to move on without but I know that my dad would want me to. He would want me to show that strength and love to every person that I happen to meet on my life journey.
More importantly he would want me to show that to my family and friends...the two things that were so important to him. I love my dad and I miss him so much. I have faith that one day the pain wont be so bad and I will finally be happy again. I can't wait for that day.

*One last thing...I ask that special prayers be centered around people in Pittsburgh. There are three special people that need lots of prayers as they continue to battle health issues. My mom's mom is now included in that and she definitely needs some strength from God. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for my family.

Love always,

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