The day I left was a difficult one but I knew as long as I got on the plane I would make it to Colorado. I worked that morning which helped me get through the day better. As I looked into the backpack I was taking on my trip I found cards from everyone at work. Each person had personally wrote me a Christmas card and the words brought tears to my eyes. It made me feel more prepared for what was ahead knowing that I had so many people that loved and cared about me.
As I landed in Denver I looked out the window to see the start of a blizzard, which would continue through the night and into the next day. I had told Chelsea that I wanted a white Christmas, which is exactly what I got. We were able to go sledding on Thursday and snowboarding on Friday, two things I don't have the chance to do often. Christmas eve was filled with family time and lots of food. Christmas started off bright and early as we opened presents and spent time together. Later that morning we went on a snowy mountain hike, it was beautiful. The rest of the day was spent with Chelsea's extended family.
My trip to Colorado to visit Chelsea and her family ended up being one of the biggest blessings. I was welcomed with open arms by everyone I met and I felt like I was apart of a family. Being apart of a family was something I desperately needed this holiday season. Everyone made me feel so special and the memories I shared with them will stay close in my heart. Colorado is a truly breathtaking place. Chelsea said it best, it's a place that feels like a retreat. Her house was so peaceful and it gave me time to step away from the everyday life of San Diego. I got used to being able to roam around town without being reminded constantly of different memories. I know that remembering moments spent with my dad is important but its not always easy to deal with those on a daily basis. At times it makes me feel as if I am stuck in the past unable to move forward. Spending a few days at Chelsea's house allowed me a little bit of time away from that emotion, time to let that part of my thought process relax.
My trip also reminded me that I have a family in San Diego as well. These people may not be family by blood but they are family nonetheless. I have been incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people who truly care about my well being. I spent a lot of time thinking through different things and I feel this trip has allowed me to step back and see things I may have been missing along the way. I think one of the biggest realizations that I made during the time I was gone has to do with my dad still being present. I woke up Christmas eve and realized that one of the best compliments I could ever receive is one that I have heard a number of times. The compliment I am speaking of is how similar I am to my dad including qualities and the heart he had. I don't think I have actually been able to accept that as a compliment since he passed away. I don't mean that in a bad way but it was difficult to see that in the midst of everything else that was going on. I also felt it was wrong to accept that when people said that because he is no longer here and was one of a kind in my eyes.
I have finally been able to accept that I can take those things people say and feel honored that I was compared to my father. There is nothing wrong with accepting that compliment, in fact it should remind me that my dad is always present. As long as I am alive my dads passion for life and caring heart has the ability to shine through me. I know that is what he would want out of me. If anyone ever believed in me it was my dad. The last thing he would want is for me to lose sight of my dreams and aspirations, but rather honor him by never giving up and reaching to the stars to achieve greatness. He is still here, he is all around me and when I smile I know that he is smiling right alongside me. Somewhere along the way I forgot or maybe lost sight of the fact that nothing can remove him from my life. He may not be here, which is what I am trying to work through but he is still with me. It's my job to not let his spirit die.
Taking a trip to Colorado where I was surrounded by different scenery was the best choice I have made this year. I feel more prepared for this coming year and I am looking forward to the new challenges that I will be facing. I feel ready to focus on my future and for the first time in a while I am actually excited for what's ahead. I have reached a point where I am able to see positives through the negatives. I expect there will be difficult days because like it or not I am still going through the process of grief. However, I am learning new ways of dealing with this process and finding news ways of coping. It's a roller coaster and the past week has been a bumpy ride but the good thing is a roller coaster has an end. The climb may block what's ahead and make it difficult to see where it finishes but each time we step foot on a ride we trust that we will make it out alive. Control is let go and we place our trust in something other then ourselves.
"Enjoying life should be of much greater concern then understanding it."