Friday, March 9, 2012

One Year

      It's been one year since my darling dad passed away.  It seems like it's been a month.  Without fail, almost everyday, I think, "Oh, I've got to call Dad and tell him that!"  Then the reality hits and I realize that I can't just pick up a phone anymore and give him a call. It breaks my heart just a little bit every time.


You see, many people think, "Well, he was old." or, "He lived his life."  But he wasn't that old, just 66.  In fact, one of his best friends started a new business at 65 and basically jumped back into the work force out of retirement because he loves a challenge.  66 is young. Others have said to me, "Give it a month, and you won't feel so sad."

Really?  A month?  Now, don't get me wrong, that may be just the right time for the person handing out that advice, but I won't put a time limit on grief.  On the other hand, I was told by my friend, Clover, that grief is like the seasons, it comes and it goes, and that it may for the rest of my life.  And you know?  I'm o.k. with that; because I'm not living my life in devotion to the memory of one who has died.  Quite the contrary, losing someone has made me appreciate the small and the simple.

Because it is in the small and simple where joy resides.

For instance, every time my son gets his hair cut
really short, you can see the outline of his little head underneath, and guess what?   It looks exactly like my dad's.  He also has this little-twinkly-mischievous grin when he's getting ready to crack a joke that looks exactly like Dad too.

Every time I open a Diet Coke, eat a tuna sandwich, or spread some butter (not margarine! Heaven forbid!) on toast, I'm also reminded of the man who taught me how to love unconditionally, be generous, pay attention to oncoming cars and walk everyday.

You see, there can be no sweet experiences without the bitter ones or else how would be be able to put them into perspective at all?  Or in the words of Mr. Gibran:
 "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.  And how else can it be?  The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.  Is it not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?  And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?  
When you are sorrowful look into your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

     So, raise a glass/can of Diet Coke/whatever you choose, because here's to my darling dad. Here's to his love of friends, family, and hard work.  Here's to his laughter, his joy, and his pain.  Here's to tuna sandwiches, m&m's, butter, ice cream, donuts, walking, basketball at the Y, bicycle riding in the summer, reading a good book, messing it up, and then getting it right.

Here's to enjoying to the end.

Here's to life.


   

30 comments:

  1. Oh Lisa.... thanks a lot for making me cry. I miss your Dad too....so much. We had so much fun together. Who would ever have dreamed that my Perry would be gone too just 5 months after your sweet Dad. (both too young) I will never forget our last visit with him just a week before he passed away. Perry was in tears, as was I.... The good and the bad days... they come and they go, but our memories stay strong forever. Love You!!!

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    1. I love you right back, Nancy! I just know they are up there together laughing! :)

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  2. Awesome post. The pangs of sadness do ebb and flow. Some days, sadly, I just don't think of him. But then, a couple nights ago, late at work, a co-worker caught me crying, looking at this blog. I miss and love him so much!

    I raised my diet coke to him at lunch today and remembered that while I don't have him here now, I will see him soon.

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  3. If... At that time in my clumsy attempt at comfort, I said anything that seemed uncaring or cold, I'm so sorry. I know that this will pass... Someday. But right now I'm pretty sure this intense need to talk to my mom and the resulting tears will pass when I see her on the other side. I was so completely unprepared for this hole. I'm so grateful to see your ability to celebrate your dads life and the memories you have. It has helped me to bring forth memories to hold on to. I love you....

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    1. I love you right back. Keep holding on, the peace will come.

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  4. such awesome memories of your dad. I have a glass of tea raised to doug... may he know what an awesome daughter he raised!

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    1. I toasted him all day, and let me tell ya, that was a lot of Diet Coke! ;) Love you!

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  5. Has it been a year already?! It will be seven years this October since Blake's dad passed away. He is still reminded of him everyday in one way or another.

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    1. I'm sure for Blake it seems like no time at all too--it passes so quickly!

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  6. I can say from experience, that the "I need to call my dad." thought doesn't ever end. It's been 15 years since my mom died and even after all this time, every once in a while when my phone rings I think, "That has to be my mom. I haven't talked to her in a while." That's what keeps the memory alive, and while it makes me sad that I can't talk to her, I am grateful for those memories and for the love I still feel. Someday our kids are going to be having these same convesations about how much they love and miss us. At least I hope they do!

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  7. Lisa, this is beautiful. So very beautiful. I'm sorry for your loss. I can't even begin to imagine how much you must miss him. He was a very handsome man. And you are beautiful in every way.

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    1. Love back atcha Crystal!! He was a handsome man! I always told him he looked like George Clooney! ;)

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  8. Thanks for posting Lisa. You have such a gift with expressing your emotions in writing. We love you!

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  9. Lisa it's hard to believe it's been a year since we met at the Stagecoach...how can it be possible? Seems like just a month or so..Rum and coke in hand..a toast to all the wonderful memories..Love to you and your family, Ginny

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    1. ..and love to you! I'm so grateful for his wonderful friends who I met and love. You all help keep his memory alive That, and I've heard some GREAT stories about him I would have never heard otherwise! ;)

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  10. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa... *wiping away tears*
    This was such a splendid testimony to that handsome father of yours (seriously? That first picture? Can you say movie star????)
    I lost my father too and I agree with what you say about grief being like the seasons. In fact, I like it to much I'm sending a link to this post to a dear friend of mine who recently lost her mom.
    Hugs, Lisa!!!

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  11. Thank you my dearest, Cathy! I know! Isn't he just the handsomest 12 year old EVER?? Total movie star quality. Both of my parents are just the most beautiful people!
    Thank you for the hugs!

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  12. Lisa, what a beautiful tribute to your Dad's life and his affect on yours.

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  13. Oh, Lisa! What a loving and tender homage to your dad. My mom passed away almost a year ago, and every single day I think, "Oh, I've gotta tell this to Mom..." I don't think we ever let go, which is good. Bless you.

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    1. Isn't it just the craziest thing? I can't shake the feeling that I need to call him and "just check in." I too don't think we ever let go--our love and memories are the monument for their lives and our love for them. :)

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  14. I just stumbled upon your blog, intrigued by the name, and then drawn in by the photo of the man with the beautiful eyes. Here's to him, and to family, and your lovely tribute.

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    1. Thank you Laurita, he also would have loved to make a new friend, I'm so glad you stopped by. :)

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  15. A beautiful tribute to your father. I stumbled upon your blog through the A to Z list and I'm loving it!

    Good luck with the challenge :)
    Spill Beans

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    1. Thanks, Jnana. And thank you for stopping by!

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  16. and here's to the love of apple fritters...... :-) You write so well and express it so well! You are the best gift anyone could receive from your Dad and Mom...always giving like your Dad.

    Love ya
    Denis

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  17. My Beautiful Lisa, I am crying as I read this beautiful piece about Doug. Thank you for opening your heart to all those around you, and to finding and expressing the joy you have for your Dad. I love you more than words can express. I am so proud to be your mom. What a beautiful gift you have been to both your Dad and me!

    Always here, Mom

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