Hold On

Today is March 24. Today marks six months since the passing of my Dad to his eternal rest. The experience of losing my father has shown me how little I know, and it has humbled me greatly. When I think of how to describe losing a parent, the images of earthquakes and volcanoes come to mind. Losing him has shattered my world in ways that I did not expect. The cracks have spread since then and become deeper.

I thought I was so close in my relationship with Christ. As many of you already know I discerned my vocation to religious life very seriously for about two years. Now I find that it is hard to find the motivation to make it to Mass, something I used to relish. Maybe that is why I feel so weak in mind and body. I have shut the door to God and I forgot where I put the key.

So many well-meaning people have tried to walk this journey with me, through dad’s illness and death but I still feel so alone in my experience. I have other people close to me that have also lost a parent at a young age while there is much in common with our experiences I never knew my friend’s mom, she never knew my dad. No one can understand the history, years of joy and years of pain. No one can feel the heaviness in my chest or the tears threatening to break loose. I want to talk about dad, I want to talk about how I am doing, but I don’t know how. It almost always sucks all the air out of the room or immediately people are falling all over me saying how sorry they are without letting me speak. I don’t even know how to talk to my family. If they are having a good day I don’t want to drag them down for my benefit.

Dad wasn’t one for great shows of affection and when he did hug us he would squeeze so tight it hurt. I’m finding now that the only thing I really want is a great big bear hug, or to feel him kissing my forehead. I wish I could take back all that time when we were angry or not talking to each other back and replace it with happier memories, but I can’t so I go on.

How can you help? Ask me how I’m doing. Give me a hug when you see me. If I haven’t been out in a while please ask me to do something because if you don’t, I’ll just keep sleeping. Ask me to go to Mass with you. Pray for me and my family. I don’t need much, but I need the people I love to be or continue to be close to me. Promise me you will hold your memories close and continue to make new ones. You never know how much time you have until its over. Appreciate what you have, even if you don’t like it know I can tell you from experience you will miss it later.Dad-03My wonderful friend made this for my office space and I treasure it every day. This quote is from my dad’s blog that he started after he was diagnosed with cancer and the picture is from the day of his funeral.

Caregiver Or Caretaker

Lately I have been struggling  with depression. I may have experienced depression in lighter forms at different parts of my life but never like this. My dad died last September and ever since I have been in somewhat of a fog just stumbling through my life. In this time I have been able to notice how good people can be. I’ve always identified myself as a caregiver and in these times when I am really in need of help others have stepped into that role for me and I am forever grateful.

Even on my worst days I always have a lifeline, a friend to call who loves me and can make me feel better. Wealth to me is not found in possessions or money but in the many amazing people God has allowed into my life. The other night I was missing my daddy and the tears that wouldn’t fall were suddenly everywhere. All I wanted in the world was someone to hold me and make me feel safe in a way my dad can’t anymore. 
I texted one of my friends who I knew would still be awake and minutes later she called me. She told me how amazing I am, how I genuinely care for people and my dad would be so proud of me. She said anyone who ever had a part in making me who I am would be proud.
I am so thankful for her and I hope everyone has a friend who will support them in their weak moments when they need to be told how good they are and that above all else, they are loved.