Yesterday marked 2 years since my dad passed. Most of my day was spent in normal fashion. Chasing my children around, yelling at Ava not to jump on the couch, yelling at Livy not to eat my computer cord hanging down, the usual. But I did spend some time reflecting on another year without my dad, as well as looking through Facebook at all of the “on this day” posts (which is a curse and a blessing might I add, especially on hard days). It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years. Or has it? I don’t really know. In some ways, 2 years sounds like forever ago. I think of everything we have been through and accomplished in that time and February 8th, 2015 seems like an eternity ago. But in some ways his passing feels like it was yesterday. Those trips to Seattle, the conference calls with doctors, the heart wrenching hospital visits. Sometimes I can still smell the way he smelt in the hospital, it’s not my favorite, put lightly.
I spent some time talking with Ava who is wise beyond her years about my dad, her “pop pop” (he wanted to be called that). She had a hard time grasping that I didn’t have a daddy anymore. Explaining death to a 3 year old is hard and honestly depressing, so it didn’t last too long. While talking about it she brought up Cody. And my heart broke in 5840925738405 pieces. I told her that my dad and Cody were probably up in heaven throwing a football and drinking “beard” (as she calls it). That comforted her. Kind of comforted me too. Loss is hard, especially when it happens before it is “supposed to.”
One of the most important things I took away from yesterday was how important health really is. Pre-MSA, my dad loved to be active. He loved riding bikes. He loved playing tennis, basketball, golf, you name it he loved to do it. Oh and corn hole, how could I forget that? He loved to be outside in the sunshine, he loved “camping” at his parents in Stockport. When he first moved to Seattle, him and Shawn were always doing things outside (when it wasn’t raining of course. I still need to get out there during the summer time because I’m told it is beautiful). As his health deteriorated, so did the activities (obviously). What I have concluded is that I have no reason to be unhappy with how I look or how I feel. I am not confined to a walker or a wheel chair. I have always gone through random health kicks, but after my reflections yesterday I am pledging to live a healthier, active lifestyle for my dad who couldn’t anymore towards the end of his life. I challenge all of you to do the same.
So while of course I am still absolutely heartbroken that I lost my dad to such a terrible, awful disease, I am choosing to live my life FOR him. I know this is cliche, but really trying to live my life to the fullest, every single day. I am planting the “love for outdoors/sports/activity” seed in myself and in my girls. I don’t foresee this year to be any easier without him. I don’t think it will ever get “easier.” But I will choose to live my life through him and embrace what he loved. It’s so important not to get wrapped up in the sadness of death, while it seems hard, there’s always a positive to take from it. So, as always dad, I love you. I miss you. I promise to make you proud.