Thursday, April 14, 2011
Happy Birthday Pops
A year ago today my dad turned 60 years old, which means today would have been his 61st birthday. A year ago tomorrow he had a heart attack that would not only change the next year but would change my life and my family's life forever. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was at school and I got a phone call from my mom telling me that she was taking my dad to the hospital. They had plans to go to Julian for the weekend but those plans were immediately put on hold due to his health. I would end up spending the weekend in the hospital with my dad while he had tests done and also a stent placed in the left main artery. I was scared but I also knew that my dad would fight this one just like he fought every other one. I did my best to reassure my mom that there was good to come from the situation. I said God always has something up his sleeve to bring good out of bad. Recently there has been a lot of bad and it's been very difficult to see the good but it's there. My dads last few months after his 60th birthday were filled with so much love. He proved to me in that time why I always knew he would be there. From graduation, to life struggles, to injuries and then surgery, he was always there.
Once again tonight I saw how God takes extremely difficult situations and brings light to them. I had a horrible week, plain and simple. To some it may have seemed self caused, which in a sense it was. I actually learned a lot about panic this week and I was able to control it at times. There were other times where I was unable to control what was going on and I was scared. I never really realized how extreme panic attacks can be. Luckily I had some awesome people around me that were able to calm me down and constantly remind me that I would make it through this week. In fact, today was one of my best days of the entire week. You may find it surprising to hear that but I think I prepared myself for it to be so difficult and had my day planned out pretty well that it made things so much smoother.
This morning I went to the gym and worked out. I haven't been running but I felt that I needed to run for my dad. He loved running and it was something I could do that made me feel closer to him. I ran on the treadmill for one mile and I thought of him the entire time. Today was also my best day of counseling but also my worst. I opened up so much easier today than I usually do. I had a lot to talk about and I felt like I just couldn't stop talking. Usually I struggle to always find things I want to say or feel that I need to say. The hard part of my appointment today was that I had to say bye to my counselor. I had felt like I really began to connect with her so it was very difficult to say goodbye. It was really nice to hear her talk about how much she has seen me grow as a person. It made me realize that in less than four months I have made some pretty big improvements whether others see it or not doesn't matter.
After counseling I got to spend time at my work doing physical therapy. I had a really good visit and made some pretty huge gains with my ankle. It was nice to get my ankle moving and to be able to squat evenly with both legs. My back has been the issue lately so being able to finally switch gears again and spend some time on my ankle was a really awesome feeling. I was doing exercises and couldn't stop smiling because I was actually able to perform stuff that I used to be able to do. I still have to be very smart about weights I use and how much I push myself but it really is nice to be working out again.
I finished out my day at Stone Brewery where I was accompanied by a lot of important people. It started off being Theresa and Ali, then Arturo, Deana, and Arturito. The last two people to show up were my mom and Cheryl. It was important to my mom that we do something fun to celebrate my dads birthday. I was a little overwhelmed with trying to get the whole thing planned but it turned out to be really nice. It was something he would have loved to do.
As hard as this week was for me it was really nice that today went pretty smoothly. I prayed all week that I would make it through this day and that I would smile because of the life he lived. I felt that all I could do was smile today. I felt like he was with me all day. It was a very weird feeling but I honestly never felt alone. I told myself last night that I wanted today to happen how it was meant to happen. I didn't wake up expecting it to be hard, instead I woke up knowing what the day was but knowing my dad would want me to enjoy it in his honor. I will admit that at times this week I was freaking myself out a little too much but I just didn't know what to expect. I wanted to be ready for whatever was going to happen and I felt that I was dealing with everything the best I could. Maybe it didn't seem like the best way but all I can say is I did what I could.
I am doing my best to handle these big events in the only way I know how to. Truth is I really don't know how to deal with them, so I have to just take them how they happen and go with what I am given at the time. It can be frustrating at times when some days seem so good and others seem horrible but I am doing my best to deal with all of it. I learned this week that maybe I prepared too much, I don't really know. I also don't know what not preparing would have done because I feel like I would have been decent the past couple days but a mess today. All I can say is I am trying.
Some of my goals from here on out are to continue to grow as a person and to continue to find new ways of coping with everything. I have found this process to be more then just grieving over my dad and the loss that has occurred in my life. It's a process that I can't even begin to describe because there are so many different aspects. The situations I have had to deal with have made everything that much harder. I have realized that it is time for me to take a step back from things and almost take a step back from life. I need a break and not just a day or two days. I need to go somewhere that actually allows me some time to grieve and to face some of the things that I am not allowing myself to face right now. I am honestly exhausted and just drained with having to constantly think. I need to stop worrying so much about things I can't change and I also need to start focusing on me. I need to trust myself and trust what I feel rather then asking and listening to everyone around me. I can make my own decisions and whatever I feel is best for me is what I need to do.
I am thankful for this week. It taught me a lot about myself, others, and how to deal with different types of situations. Nothing about this week was easy and it still isn't over, but I know that just like today, I will make it through tomorrow. I will be thankful for the fact that my dad isn't spending the weekend after his birthday in the hospital. I will be thankful that he is free of pain and medicine. I am thankful for the ability he had to touch people's lives in so many different ways. He was special to me but it's amazing to hear how special he was to so many others.
Happy Birthday Pops! I love you so incredibly much and miss you more then you or anyone else even knows! I know that you understand what I am going through, not many do but I do know that you are one of them. I wish you were here to give me advice on how to handle all the things I am dealing with, but I know that you will guide me through it all in some way or another. Thank you for being the best dad a girl could want. Sleep well my amazing angel and don't ever stop smiling!