So the other day I went to dinner with my sisters to celebrate what would have been our grandma’s 100th birthday. It was fun laughing at some of the crazy stuff grandma did and reminiscing of times that were filled with fun. There is nothing like the love you get from your grandma.
I remember sitting on her lap watching TV or my favorite past time was sitting on the front porch on warm summer nights and counting all the airplanes we could see. As silly as it sounds, that was one of my favorite things to do.
I miss her like crazy.
And that brings me to the bitter sweet holiday called Fathers Day. I know I have written about how my fathers death still, STILL bothers and upsets me. It’s been 17 years and yet I cry. Each year he misses more. I know he is here in my heart, and in spirit, not to mention my twisted sense of humor which I have passed down to my kids. I just want to play basketball with him. Or ride a rollercoaster.
I miss him like crazy.
In the past I have written about the conversation we had the night I was diagnosed. I still hear him on the phone, holding back tears, telling me I am going to be okay and that we are going to figure this all out. I swear I can hear him right now. So weird how things like that stay with you.
My dad used to say things to me that always stuck and that I always made sure I remembered.
“Never be a follower. Always be a leader.”
“One person’s rock can be a boulder to someone else.”
“All I ask is that you make me proud.”
Even as a kid I knew this stuff was important. It has taken me years to fully understand what all these things meant.
My dad never wanted me to not be myself. He wanted me to do what I wanted to do regardless of what others thought. And he wanted me to have passion for whatever I do. To be proud and in turn that would make him proud. To not be afraid to be different or looked at funny or whatever. To be the best I could be.
But also, he wanted me to have compassion. Compassion to understand that what may seem like a silly little problem could be an enormous burden to another. This has particularly useful in raising my kids. When Gillian is upset because someone else got invited to party and she didn’t, I don’t say “who cares. It’s their loss not yours.” I offer love and understanding and let her know that when I was her age that happened to me too. I try to provide empathy instead of sympathy.
So to my Dad who would have been 60 this year, I want to say that I hope that you are looking down on me and my family and are proud. You will happy to know that my son is just as outgoing and personable as you were and my daughter has your very funny, very sick sense of humor. I see you in them all the time.
I miss you immensely and cannot wait to play a game of basketball when I see you again someday.
I love you. I love you. I love you.