Sunday, May 6, 2012

Still on my mind and in my heart.

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Been wanting to, just can't find the time. Things have been good. I've found myself thinking about my daddy a lot lately. Since he's left, I've really missed him obviously. But recently, I've felt like I've needed him more than ever. That's sort of tough to swallow, but what can you do? Not too much has really happened since my last blog. In March, I decided to go to daddy's house to start cleaning things up a bit. That was hard, I won't lie, but it was pretty interesting to say the least. Daddy was a hoarder that's for sure. He held onto everything. A lot of the things I came across simply put a smile on my face. Like all of our shoes that he held onto. Even our baby shoes. Not sure why he kept those, but I'm glad he did. Others brought tears to my eyes. Either way, it was bittersweet, that's for sure. It's really hard for me to even express the emotions I have inside of me about him. It's like there are no words, and even if I spoke them out loud, I feel like nobody would understand. It's been a year and a half, and he never leaves my mind for a full hour throughout the day. I say things, and think of him. I do things, and it reminds me of him. Sometimes, I still think, he's really not here? There's always that one person that holds your family together. I'm realizing that he was that person. Everything is so different now. I often find myself thinking "If he were here, things wouldn't be this way." I'm still nowhere near what I was when he left, but I am seeing that his passing has really done a number on me. I knew if I ever lost him, it'd be hard.....I guess I just didnt realize it would be as hard as it has been. I had a dream about him last week. I really don't have a whole lot of dreams about him, so when I do, they bother me. I dreamed that he came back to life. He walked in the door, I looked at him and started crying and was asking him of he was okay. He told me he felt great, but I kept looking at him in disbelief and just waiting on him to tell me he was hurting or something. I followed him around in my dream continuously asking if he felt okay and what I could do for him. That was pretty much the extent of it. I woke up missing him more than ever. I just hope that was God's way of letting me know he's in a better place. I was thinking the other day about me, him, and some of our conversations. He used to tell me all the time that I was so funny. He always talked about my personality and how much he loved it. When he was sick, I didn't have much of a personality. It's kind of hard to when you see someone you love lying there suffering. He knew I had lost myself. He told me one time that he wanted his Taylor back. He wanted me to go back to old happy self. I didn't know how to. I knew I wasn't the same. I was broken. I honestly didn't think I'd ever find myself again. I was wrong. I honestly feel happier now than as far back as I can remember. I was thinking about how bad I wished he was here to see it, and then I thought "He can see it. He's looking over me everyday." I can honestly feel that. I still have a whole lot to do at my daddy's house. The main thing I worked on was his garage. I still find it overwhelming to stand in his house. My next move is to take it inside, so I wil gladly accept any prayers that can be sent my way once I begin all that. Anyway, kind of a sad blog I know, but every now and then I have to release some of the hurt that I still hold in my heart for that man.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving's around the corner............

Welp.  The holidays are coming up.  Looking forward to them, aside from daddy not being here.

Thanksgiving was always daddy's favorite holiday.  I can remember years ago, when I was a child, going over to his house and him cooking up a storm on Thanksgiving.  One year, his oven didn't work so he literally cooked our entire Thanksgiving dinner in the microwave.  Everything except for the turkey, of course.  It took him hours and hours to get it all done, but he did it.  I can still see him standing there with his apron on, and a hand towel thrown over his shoulder.  That must be where I got the love for an apron thing from.  Still don't have the hand towel thing down, but maybe I'll try that this year.......

Once I got a little older, he kind of quit doing the whole Thanksgiving dinner thing.  We'd go out to eat or something like that.  It never seemed right.  It was sort of depressing for him for some reason.  I think it was because we were grown at that point.....I don't know.  Anyway, once Chris and I married I decided we would start having it at our house every year.  I can cook up a storm, too, but my turkey's always turned out pitiful.  Daddy decided one year, several years back, that he wanted to start "frying" the turkey.  He went and got the turkey fryer, peanut oil, etc..  We began doing that every year afterwards because it was such a hit.   He then started really looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Around this time every year he'd say, "We need to start getting our Thanksgiving grocery list together."  I'd say okay, of course, but in my head I'd always think "It's not till the end of the month.  We have plenty of time."  He was just excited, though.

About a week before Thanksgiving, we would always go to the grocery store together.  He would honestly be like a kid in a candy store.  He'd see something and say "Taylor!  Let's try to make this!"  We'd go back to his house and unload the turkeys and I'd take the rest to my house.  Every time we would get together after that, most of our conversations pertained to our dinner.  Every year,  on the day before Thanksgiving we'd spend almost our entire day together getting last minute things we had forgotten, and going to Nealco to get some gas for the tank we'd use to fry our turkey.  Just the other day when I passed Nealco, I looked over and could see us pulling in. Bittersweet.  It really doesn't seem like that long ago, and I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. 

On Thanksgiving, he'd come over first thing, and I'd be in the kitchen cooking.  He'd be running back and forth messing with the turkey or helping me.  We would bust our tails cooking that dinner and it never soon as we'd all sit down to eat, he would fall asleep while he was eating.  I guess all that anticipation from the month had officially worn him out. Haha.  He would literally sit there for over an hour eating.  He would doze off, wake back up, pop his plate in the microwave, and the cycle would start over.   When it was time for him to go home, I'd fix him half of everything, and then send him home with the remainder of the deviled eggs because those seemed to be one of his favorites.  I always enjoyed that because I never had to worry about what he had to eat.  I knew he'd be taken care of for a few days.

God, how I loved that man. I truly believe that our bond exceeded most father and daughter relationships. No matter what, I always looked up to him. I feel blessed to have had that sort of relationship with him. There are a lot of people whose dad's don't even come around. Knowing what I know, it saddens me that people are robbed of something so precious. 

My mother keeps asking for us to come visit her on Thanksgiving.  I really want to because I feel like I need her.  I have found that is one of the things that can make me feel more at when she is around.  But, I feel guilty.  Guilty for breaking the every year tradition.  I know he's no longer here, but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about not doing our usual in his honor.  I hate feeling that way, but I can't help it.  I should start spending my Thanksgivings with her since I still have her here.  God only knows how devestated I would be if our time got cut short, as well.  I love that woman just as I love my dad.  The bond that I have shared with both my parents is, well......... priceless.

I had a dream about daddy the other night.  First one I've had in a while.  I can't even remember what the dream was about, but I remembered him being there.  I woke up and felt homesick.  For both my parents. I guess in my dream I felt comforted, and when I woke up, the feeling must have went away.  It made me start thinking about how loved my parents are.  Then I started thinking about Hayley.  How much I love her, and then the thought entered my mind, "If Hayley loves me even half of what I do her or my parents, I will be set for the rest of my life."

Today, I am wearing my daddy's shirt.  I woke Hayley up for school and one of the first things she asked me was "Why are you wearing Pawpaw's shirt?".  I told her it made me feel closer to him.  She said, "I am so ready to go to heaven, momma.  That way I can see pawpaw anytime I want and he can take care of me."  God bless her.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I've always worried about Hayley not remembering him, but I don't think I will ever have to worry about that.  The relationship that she had with her pawpaw was also like none other.  She honestly thought he hung the moon, just as I did.  What a blessing.

For the month of November, I've been trying to give thanks for everything in my life, and on this blog I'd like to give thanks to my dad......

  • I am thankful that God chose who he did to be my father.  I can honestly say that I had the best.
  • I am thankful for all those cooking lessons he gave me growing up because without those I am almost certain my husband wouldn't be too happy with me.
  • I am thankful for the bond that we shared.  He was my very best friend and my daddy.  Doesn't get much better than that.
  • I am thankful for all the times he got upset with me because now, I'd give anything to have that feeling again.
  • I am thankful for the short, but precious time I had with my daddy because even though he died at such a young age, I still had more time with him than some get, and it has made me realize just how precious life is.
  • I am thankful for the relationship that my father and my daughter shared.  Because  of that, she will never forget him......He will remain in her mind forever.
  • I am thankful that my daddy is no longer suffering because Lord knows, he did his fair share for a good part of his life.
  • I am thankful that each of us had our time with him while he was sick.  We all have certain moments that stick out in our minds.  The converstaions, the laughs..........and the tears.
  • I am thankful that I was sitting beside him when he took his last breath, because even though that was the worst moment of my life, it was the most memorable, and I wouldn't take it back for anything in this world.
  • I am thankful that I am sitting here typing this today, because without him, I thought I'd never make it. 
  • I am thankful that he continues to watch over us today because even though he's physically not here, sometimes I can honestly feel his presence, and it helps push me through.
  • I am thankful for the good memories that play over in my head now.  It wasn't too long ago when all I could think about was the bad ones.....him being sick, etc..  I always worried about that being the only thing that would stick out in my mind forever.  Now, they are beginning to fade, or they are being overshadowed by the good times, and I'm so grateful. 
  • Finally, I am thankful that he showed me what being a parent is all about.  Now, maybe I can give Hayley even half of what he gave me. 
This year, I am not sure what I will be doing on Thanksgiving.  My mom's or here.  But, no matter where it's at, I can assure you I am going to make the best of his honor.  I love you, daddy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I miss him.

A little heavy hearted tonight.  One year ago..........I remember it so clear.  Too clear, actually.

Tomorrow marks one year since daddy left.  

I miss him.  Yesterday, I was passing by the Gadsden Sports Complex (where he worked and spent a majority of his days before he retired).  I looked over and saw a truck that looked like one he used to drive home on his lunch breaks.  I thought about him sitting there in the truck and me whipping in there real quick like I used to do.  I even imagined me talking to him, and pulling away and saying, "I'll see you in a bit!".  For a moment, it honestly seemed real.  I smiled, and then realized it wasn't real.  Then it hit me (for the millionth time), the thought of how final death that will never happen again. 

I remember all too clear where I was at this time last year.  A place I never want to go back to for the rest of my life.  Not necessarily physically, but mentally and emotionally.  I never thought one year ago today, that I'd be worth anything.  Because he was no longer here, I felt my life was over as well.  But, here I am.  And I'm actually at a good place.  Or maybe it just feels good compared to the alternative??  I don't know.  Either way, Things are good.   

I was thinking earlier today about how much I miss him and why.  It's obvious when one of your parent's pass away, that you're gonna miss them.  But, I miss him for not only the fatherly role he played in my life..... I miss his friendship.  I miss having that one person that I could call at any time of the day with a problem, and him being there.  Don't get me wrong, I have great friends.  It's just not the same, though.  Sometimes I feel so lonely, and I think "If he were here I wouldn't feel this way".  And, I am sure that I wouldn't.  I miss cooking dinner and him bragging for days about how good it was and continuously asking when I'd cook it again for him.  I miss that no matter how much he disagreed with the things I did, he'd always say "I'm not gonna tell you what to do.  It's your life, and you have to do what you feel is best, BUT...........".  I miss getting in the car at any given time and riding over to his house just to sit with him and talk.  Now, when I ride by his house, I have to turn my head.  It pains me to even look in its direction.   I miss him how good he was with my daughter.  The way she admired him.  I miss walking in his house and hunting him down because he'd be "piddling", as he liked to call it. He'd have a million little things pulled out from cabinets, and just sitting there amazed at all the rinky dink things that he had accumulated and forgotten he had.   And even though I am an adult, I miss feeling like I should sneak around to do things because of the thought, "Omg....daddy will kill me if he knows......"  Most of all.......I miss taking care of him.

I was thinking earlier about how sad I feel on the inside when I think of him.  I thought about last year how emotional I was throughout the whole year, and how I was just not at a really good place in my life.  I remember crying to him and talking to him about things, and him laying in his hospital bed at Candyce's and saying, "Come here, baby".  I climbed on the bed with him and layed there beside him, and let him pet me as if I were a little girl all over again.  I loved it and I know he did, too.  Because even though I was crying and distraught, for a moment, I WAS his little girl again.  Lately, maybe because it is the one year anniversary, I've imagined how nice it would be to have him here.  To crawl up beside him and cry on his shoulder again.  About everything.  Only now, if I had him back, I don't think a sad tear would be shed.  Only tears of joy.

I am dreading tomorrow.  I am dreading it because of the way things ended.  I am dreading the thoughts that will be playing over and over in my head about his final day, and how brutal it was.  As bad as I don't want to have those thoughts, sometimes it's beyond my control.  I will spend the majority of the day tomorrow trying to put myself in a happy place, and I'm sure my siblings will be doing the same.  Please keep us in your prayers. 

Please don't mistake this blog for what it's not.  I'm obviously letting my emotions fly on this extremely emotional day.  I am happy.  Today was a good day.  I will make the best of tomorrow.   I have no choice.  The only choice that I have is to keep moving.....might as well do it with a smile. And I know that he'd want it no other way..........................

RIP, Daddy.  Forever on my mind, and in my heart.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here I go again......

Well......It's been almost a year.

I decided when I woke up this morning to do a little "blogging".  After all, it has been almost a year since my life has been forever changed.

How are things for me? 

Things, I must say, are much better than this time last year.  At this point last year, I was in much denial about the exact state of health my dad was in.  I knew he was bad, but of course I didn't know he only had two weeks left.  I look back on it now, and just think about how miserable I really was.  I don't even recognize that person at all.  Depression can get the best of you.  As most of you remember....when daddy passed away, I started this blogging thing to try to help me cope.  At that time, I really think it did.  I think the last time I blogged was in February.  I quit because I decided I needed to pick up w/ my life and move on.  My heart couldn't handle anymore beatings.  Now, since I am in a better place, I thought I'd share how my first year of living without my dad has been.

After daddy passed, as most of you that read these know, I hit rock bottom.  I don't even know if  "depressed" is the proper word for what I felt.  I cried all the time.  Everyday for months.  Daddy died in September, and in February, I was still grieving pretty hard.  Every single night after daddy had died, I would lay in my bed and pray for the Lord to make me feel better the next day.  As awful as this sounds, I would pray to not even wake up the next morning.  I know for anyone reading this, you are probably thinking how horrible I am, especially since I have a child, but that really is how bad I gotten.  I remember waking up one morning, at the end of February, and crying all day. I couldn't quit. I wanted to, but tears just kept streaming down my face.  My heart ached so bad.   Memories of the last days of my dad's life kept replaying over and over in my head.  Towards the end of the day, I remember begging for God to help me.  I said it out loud, too.  I was in the living room sitting on the couch, crying, and literally out loud begging,  "Please, God, help me.  Daddy.....anyone who will listen.....Help me get myself back!"  I meant it from the bottom of my heart.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I carried on as I was for the rest of the night.....just broken.  The next morning when I woke up, I felt so different.  I felt like my old self in a way, and I couldn't quit smiling. I knew God heard my prayers and he knew I needed his help. It was that very day that I decided that I would turn things around for myself, and for my daughter. 

I knew that in order for me to get my mind right, I needed to feel better about myself.  I immediately decided that I needed to lose weight.  I started exercising, eating right, and trying to stay positive.  If a thought entered my head about my daddy, as bad as it sounds, I would immediately have to think of something else.  Whether it was a good memory or bad, I knew that I couldn't have any thoughts of him at all, or it would bring me back down. 

I also knew that in order to get my mind off of things, I would need a job.  Something to keep me busy.  I didn't want anything stressful or full-time (at that time), just something that would get me out of the house for a little each week, and around different people.  Daddy worked for the City of Gadsden until he retired, and I had worked at the City for a short period right after I had graduated high school.  It was a very lax job back then, and I knew it would probably be right up my alley.  Exactly what I'd need.   And thanks to a couple of dear friends of my family, they got me a job. I will be forever grateful to Julie and Kerry Payne, because even though they might not think they did much....they did.  Because of that job, I was able to completely snap out of the mind frame I was in.
I realized after I started working for the City how much it truly helped me.  At the beginning, everyday I would get to see people that knew my dad or worked with him.  They'd tell me stories, and I was finally at a place that I could actually smile about them instead of wanting to bawl my eyes out. 

I was riding down the road just a couple of days ago, and was thinking about him (as always).  I thought about how he had lost his parents at a young age, too, but how he never spoke of it.  I thought about all the pain I have in my heart for him and thought, "This is what he felt like when we were kids."  Every time something happens w/ Hayley or just anything, the first thing I think is, "Her pawpaw would love this".   Now, I know that every time something happened in our lives, he more than likely thought the same thing.  He had that pain in his heart like I do mine.  I am not the same person I was a year ago.....or 5 years ago for that matter.  Of course none of us are.  But what I mean by that that at that time in my life, I had both of my parents here with me.  I was, I guess you could say, complete.  At that time in my life, I never knew the feeling of losing someone so close to me.  I never knew the emptiness that your heart can feel on a daily basis because of one person being gone.  It's quite obvious my heart will never be the same.  But, I do know that I have to do the same thing for Hayley that he did for us.  I have to carry on for her.  I am carrying on for her.

If you have your parents, please cherish every moment you have with them.  I think back now on the times when daddy wanted to go somewhere and I didn't.  Do you know what I'd give right now to be given one hour with him?  I wouldn't care if it was one hour doing our usual grocery shopping.  I can tell you right now, I'd make it count. 

This has been hands down the roughest year of my life. I will never forget who was here with me through the ups and downs, and as awful as it sounds, who wasn't.  In a couple of weeks, will be exactly one year since he left.  For weeks now, I have been dreading this date.  I have been so afraid that I am going to fall back into that same slump that I stayed in for so long.  I have prayed almost everyday that I won't.  Please keep me and my family in your prayers.  It has been and will be extremely hard on all of us.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One day at a time =)

Well, here I am again.  I have had a few things going on over the past week so I am slacking.  Since my last post I have:  painted my kitchen and dining room, attended the Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley concert, and went through 4 seasons of Desperate Housewives.  Yes, I know.  I have entirely way too much time on my hands.  I need a job. 

I finally decided to paint my dining room and kitchen after only 8 long years of looking at the same color.  It was green so I decided to paint it red.  I didn't like it at first, but it's really growing on me.   I can't decide if it's growing on me because I actually like the color, or because the thought of repainting makes me physically sick. It was a job for sure.  Let's just say it will probably be another 8 years or so before I decide to paint it again....whether I like the color or not.  I don't know what in the world I was thinking w/ a 5 year old present,  anyway.  I guess it worked out though.  She was so excited about painting it and she had a blast....and its over with.  Thank God.

After I spent the whole week painting and cleaning, me and Eddie went to see Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley in concert on Friday night.  I had a really good time.  Darius was great.  So was Brad, but I have never been too big of a fan of his.  I like a few of his songs, but not many.   It was nice to get out of the house and do something.  I find myself saying this all the time, but it's true.  When I have things to keep me busy, I seem more at ease (mentally), hence, needing a job =)

All the time I have had in between, I've spent watching Desperate Housewives.  I think it's clear......I'm an addict.  It is so good and I can't quit watching.  I watch one and then can't stand the suspense while waiting to see what happens on the next one, so I have to immediately watch another.  This is why I can't stand to watch things on tv and I'm always behind on everything.  The whole "waiting a week to see what happens" crap, I just can't handle.   It's just too much.  I am the same way w/ secrets, gifts, etc..  I can't stand when somebody has a secret and they won't tell me.  I mean.....if I don't know they have a secret, then clearly I don't mind.   Gifts.....same way.  If you tell me you have a surprise for me, I will do just about anything to figure out what it is before you have the chance to give it to me.  I mean, I would probably even contemplate breaking in your house just to see what it is.  Haha....kidding......sort of.  At Christmas, when I was little, I would always unwrap my presents to see what they were and then I'd wrap them back.  I hate that I am this way, but I can't help it.  Curiosity always seems to get the best of me. 

On a different note, I am so ready for spring and summer to get here.  Those are my months.  Even though I don't seem to have the energy I used to, I don't seem as depressed when it's warm out.  I think I have a bad case of seasonal depression.  I may have mentioned this before, but it's true.  It seems every time it gets cold out,  I turn into a hermit.  I hate cold weather and cloudy days. Blah.

I have wondered lately what it will be like w/out daddy here this summer.  That was his favorite time of year, too. Spring and summer.   He loved doing things outside.  The smell of fresh cut grass has always made me think of him.  I guess because I have so many memories of being out in the yard playing while he cut the grass, but I don't know.   It seems music and scents always take you back to a certain time in your life. 

 I know all of this is kind of boring, but this seems to be my life.  Boring...Lol.  I thought I would put some more of my feelings out there because it has sort of been on my mind for several days.  Someone called me last week, and told me that it seems I have a lot of guilt weighing on me from my dad.  I was assured that I had nothing to feel guilty about.  That I did everything I could have done for my daddy and couldn't have done any better.  I really did appreciate hearing that.  I have thought about it, and I guess I will get my thoughts out about that. 

Do I feel guilty? Absolutely.  I do have a lot of guilt weighing on me.  Sure, I was good to my daddy.  But I don't think I was as good to him as people think.  I see things that I could have done better or things maybe I shouldn't have done.  Don't get me wrong, I was never mean to him or anything like that, but I guess it's the thoughts that you have in your head that make you feel so guilty.  The days he wanted to get out and I didn't because I was tired.  I would get him out, but in my mind I would be aggravated.  I never really showed it, but I felt it. And the thing is.....I knew I would feel bad when something happened to him as I was having those thoughts, but I couldn't control them.  One Sunday I can remember him wanting to go to church, but I didn't.  I was up late, and I was so tired.  I didn't take him.  How can I not feel bad about that?  It disgust me to even think about it.  I mean, really.  People think that I did so good by my daddy, but did I? 

That's another thing.  I often hear people say "Y'all were so good to your daddy.  Y'all are so great for what y'all did."  I'll admit....that is very nice to hear.  But when you think about it, isn't that what you're suppose to do?  Your parents (or most parents) spend their whole lives providing and caring for you.  When the tables are turned, shouldn't it be that way?  I mean, I cannot for the life of me imagine not taking care of them when it's their turn.  I know there are people out there that don't, but how could they not?  It makes me question.....For me to have dedicated the time I did to taking care of my dad,  and to still be so overwhelmed w/ guilt, how would I feel had I not done that for my dad?  I couldn't even imagine. I guess it's a little thing called compassion.
I will admit, I am not a very sympathetic person at all, but I do have a heart.  To watch someone suffer or truly hurt, it bothers me.  Emotionally, I can't handle it.  And not just....."Ouch, my toe is hurt" type thing.  I mean, to literally sit there and watch someone in severe pain and to slowly die.  This is one reason why I don't think I could ever be a nurse, doctor, or especially work w/ hospice.  I would be a complete basketcase.  I think about those hospice workers that helped w/ daddy a lot.  It takes a special person to be able to deal w/ that. 

Daddy's hospice nurse was Michelle Keasler.  I will never forget her for the rest of my life.  She came weekly to check on daddy, and we had eventually gotten close to her.  I could not imagine caring for someone weekly and getting attached to their family, and then losing the patient.  And it not just being once, but this happening, continuously. She did though.  She came in and talked w/ daddy, and then talked w/ us.  She really did care about us. You could see the hurt in her eyes when she would speak to us.  Daddy would get aggravated w/ Michelle a lot, though.  She was a great nurse and she took great care of him, but towards the end  he would get frustrated w/ her coming by all the time.  One time I can remember her coming over, and as she was leaving she said, "Bye, Vance.  I will be back on Tuesday to see you."  He said "Take your time!" LOL!  I said "Daddy!  That wasn't nice!"  He said "Ahhh! Shutup!  She knows I'm not playing w/ a full deck of cards!" LOL!  At least he threw that out there to somewhat spare her feelings....haha. 

I really am trying to move past all these emotions that I am having, but I know it will take time.  Although it's nice to hear, I know that no matter what anybody says, I probably will always feel that guilt.  After all, I'm only human, right?

Anyway,  I know all of my blogs are depressing, but I truly do have good days, too.  I have days that I laugh about things that happened w/ my daddy, and the things he use to say. I have days that I feel blessed that he's not in pain anymore.  I also have days that I feel so fortunate to share the love I did w/ him because many out there don't have that. At some point, I know that I will eventually pick myself up and continue on, but I also know that it will take time.  More time than I would like.  What has happened over this past year is not something that I can quickly overcome.  I always say to myself, "One day at a time, Taylor", and that's exactly how it is.....One day at a time.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

One of those moods.......

I figured I would do a little blogging since Chris is taking over the Xbox 360, and Desperate Housewives is out of the question.  Plus, Hayley is watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua so I simply have some free time on my hands.  Nothing much has gone on since my last blog.  My life is pretty well the same everyday.  It feels much like Groundhogs Day.......everyday.

I have really had my dad on my mind a lot over the past couple of days.  That usually happens when I have time to sit and think.  I guess everyone has their days.  I usually have a good few days, and then a couple of bad ones in between.  I can't help but to think of everything.  I know it has been 4 months since my father's passing, but I often still find myself questioning if all this is really happening.  It doesn't feel like I should be making it through life without him.  I know everybody who loses someone they love feels like this, I am sure, but it just doesn't feel normal.  It's almost like I am having to learn how to live all over again, but don't know where to begin.

People often say that I should think of the good times w/ my daddy, but it seems I can't even think about them.  When I think of the good times it's often overshadowed w/ sad thoughts of  "That will never happen again...."  I guess people just don't think about it from day to know when you are close to somebody......the thought of never seeing them again.  I guess that's something you don't really want to think about.

I find it hard to even listen to the radio anymore.  Me and daddy used to love to turn the music up and sing our hearts out, so it seems every single song on the radio reminds me of him and I am saddened all over again.  Sometimes when I am driving down the road I can still hear him say "Pull over here.....let me talk to my buddy.." or "Go ride by this place and let me show you something...".  I have a hard time getting through the grocery store.  There were very few times that I ever went to the grocery store w/out him, so of course when I go, I picture him standing there w/ me asking me to cook a particular food for him.  When I cook dinner, I think about him.  He loved when I cooked  so when I do cook something I always think "Daddy would be loving this right now."

I have found myself in this slump, and I am the type of person that once I get knocked down, it's hard to get back up.  I know my daddy would want me to go back to being me.  He used to love my fun nature.  The way I could laugh about much of anything and turn something serious into something comical.   I know that this is not the Taylor he would want, but I can't help it.  There are just too many things that play over and over again in my head that I can't get out.  Maybe w/ time it will get better.

I often question why???  Why did he have to go through all that?  Why did we?  It is so unfair.  He was 52.  Even when I get passed the thought of  "it was just his time", I can't get passed the thought of the way he suffered. Nobody should have to endure that.  Ever.  For him to suffer, or for us to have to watch him's just cruel.  My daddy may not have lived the life he should have lived, but he was a good person.  He would have done anything in this world for anyone, if at all possible.  He often put everybody elses needs before his own.   I don't know that I will ever have the answers.  I just hope someday soon the thoughts of his last days leave my mind so I can start thinking about the good days I had w/ him.

I remember a week before he passed so well.  He had definitely gotten worse over the months, but the last week of his life just happened so fast.  I remember leaving out for a Jason Aldean concert on the Friday before he had passed.  I was so excited and he knew I was.  I got ready for the concert and as I was leaving I said "Bye, daddy...I love you.  I will see you later tonight when I get home"...He said "Bye, baby.  Have fun and be careful.  I love you, too."  That plays over and over in my head.  The next night is when I realized that my daddy was no longer my daddy.  He was gone.  Eddie and Murphy were sleeping the living room with him, and Eddie came to my door at about 4 or 5 in the morning to tell me that something was wrong w/ my dad.  I knew when he knocked on my door that it was bad.....I thought he was dead.  When I walked down the hall into the living room I saw my daddy .  He was having his seizures.  Worse than I had ever seen before.  I didn't know what to do.  He was on Hospice so I knew I couldn't take him to the hospital.  I knew had I called Hospice they probably wouldn't have been able to do anything either.  As I stared at my dad, I realized that what I was looking at was worse than what I had initially thought.  At that moment, I remember thinking how relieved I was that my daddy was alive, but how very sad I was that he looked like that.

I had tried to stay strong for my dad the whole time he was sick. I've always been the type to never cry, so I knew that if I did, he would worry.   He would know it was bad.  I didn't want him to ever be scared.  As I stood in the living room and watched him, I couldn't keep the tears back any longer. I stepped out on my front porch and cried harder than I had ever cried before in my life.  I stayed out there a while because I didn't want to come back in because I knew he would be able to see the pain in my eyes.

That day I went to pick Hayley up from her Granny's (she had spent the night w/ her the night before....Thank God), I cried the whole way to her house and couldn't quit.  I cried when I got there, and I went by my sisters to cry w/ her.  I cried the whole way home.  At that point, I knew it was over.  The whole year of taking care of my daddy, and him being right by my side at any given time....was over.  It was only a matter of days  before I would never see him again.

That day I went to my daddy's to start getting ready for him to go home.  I am now so mad at myself for waiting as long as I did to get him home. I knew I couldn't let him die at my house or my sisters.....He needed to be home.  Where he wanted to be all along. I realized on that day, that he wouldn't die until he was where he was comfortable. When he had initially moved in w/ me he would always say "I can't wait for them to finish my house, I am ready to be home."  Then towards the last month or so of his life he never mentioned wanting to go home.  I think he knew that once he made it home, he would die.  I had spent a couple of days cleaning  his house and came home one evening and said "Daddy!  I almost have your house ready!  I know you are ready to go home."  He didn't say anything.  About an hour later he yelled for me, "Taylor!  Come here!"  I went in there and he said, "Are you ready for me to go home?"  I said "No!", He said "Are you sure?  Are you trying to get me home because you are tired of taking care of me?"  I said "No, daddy!...Where ever you are, I am."  He said  "Okay...I was just making sure."  When I think about that it breaks my heart.  Did he die thinking that I didn't want him here anymore?? 

He was so pitiful that week.  He would lay in the recliner and have his seizures off and on, and I would sit beside him on the floor.  I will never forget this.....One day I was sitting beside him, and he hadn't hardly spoken much of anything for a couple of days.  When he did, he didn't make much sense.  He was laying there and I said "Daddy, do you want me to sing to you??"  He opened his eyes, looked at me and plain as day said "Goooooooodddddd NO!" Lololol.   Bless his heart.  Even as sick as he was he knew he didn't want to hear that! LOLOL!

 Hospice always asked if we had told him he didn't have long to live.  No.  We didn't. We couldn't.  We couldn't find it in our hearts to do that.  How do you say something like that to somebody you love?  You just can't.  We lived our lives like he would pull through.  Obviously death is a very scary thing for anyone.  We didn't want him to have that worry on his last days.  We all knew what was happening, but we never spoke of it.

On the day my daddy passed away, Hospice had told us we needed to say our goodbyes.  They say that it helps people in his situation to let go and leave this world w/ the blessing of the people they love.  They wanted us to tell him it was okay to let go.  That we would be fine.  We did just that.  I lied to my daddy on that day.  I spoke to him, and told him I'd be fine.  That it was okay to let go.  I told him he need not worry about a thing because we would all make it just fine.  I knew as I was saying it that it wasn't the truth.  I did what I had to do for his sake.  As selfish as it may seem, I didn't want to tell him any of that.  It just wasn't true.  I knew I wouldn't be okay w/out him.  I knew my life would never be the same or even close to it.  Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to stop any of this.  The only choice I had was to give him the comfort he needed to let go. 

It's been said that people who are in that state (comatose) before passing, that they can still hear everything you are saying.  They may not be able to respond, but they can hear.  It's true. The night before he passed I was talking to him and trying to soothe him.  More or less letting him know that we'd be fine.  He didn't move, but I saw a tear coming from his eye.  He heard me.  He knew what was to come.   We kids were his life.  That is exactly why he fought for as long as he did.  He worried about us.  He worried about how we would make it w/out him.  I often worried about that, too.  And still do. 

The day my daddy passed,  I was in the room w/ him.  He was in his hospital bed and I sat across from him on the other bed.  Me and my family were speaking of my dad's parents (who had both already passed), when my daddy took his last breath.  It was almost like he was at peace hearing about his parents, and was just ready to be w/ them.  I was far from at peace.  I left the room, went to the back of the house, and laid there on the floor.  I was blank.  People were coming in and out, and I didn't have the strength to lift my head to even see who was coming or leaving.  I just laid there and cried.  Uncontrollably.  Probably for a good hour or so.  Chris begged me to get up.  I really wanted to, but just couldn't.  I honestly didn't have the strength, and I couldn't for the life of me grasp what had just happened.

One of the great things about my dad was that as much as he hurt for a good part of his life....he never complained about how he felt.  He would be miserable and somebody would call and ask how he was and he'd say "I guess I can't complain...I'm doing okay".  I'd ask him why he wouldn't tell people he was hurting and miserable and he'd say "There's no sense in them worrying about me." Like I said in a previous post, he'd be out in the yard playing w/ the kids and his sugar would be 600.  I'd say, "Daddy, are you okay?  You don't look good."  He'd say he was fine.  He just never made a big deal about how he felt.  Even at his weakest, he was strong.  Even though I knew deep down that he was tired of living, I also knew deep down that he would fight to live.....for us.   And he did.  He fought till the bitter end.

My daddy was everything to me.  Even at his worst, in my eyes, he was the best.  I know dying is a part of life.  That's clear.  But I also know that w/out certain people in your life, it's hard to live it.  He was my rock.

I have really found that since I have started blogging and getting all these thoughts out, that it really does help to relieve some of the pain.  I realize that the people reading these are thinking how brutal it is to hear all of this, but this truly is for my therapy.  I can only hope that anyone reading these would realize just how very important it is to cherish the people in your life because it's true.......One day they're here.....the next day they're gone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My trip!

Okay!  Here I am....again!  It's been a while, but it's been sort of a crazy week!  I left for Colorado last week, and haven't been home long.  Well, I have been home for a couple of days, but I've needed these days to recoup from my vacation.  I don't think we had a still moment the entire time I was away.  I am not used to that at all.

Colorado was great!  I got to try my hand in skiing.......and that was interesting to say the least.  I never knew it would be so hard.   The morning we left to go skiing I was sick so I knew it would probably be a rough day for me.  I was fine, just a little grouchy I guess you could say.  I honestly thought we would get out there and it would be a piece of cake.  Ummmm.....No.  Even putting on the flippin' ski boots was a task.  I literally was out of breath just from putting them on.  Hey!  They weigh like 30 lbs a piece.......or so it seemed.  I actually put my first pair on, walked out into the snow where we were to practice, looked around and thought "Why is nobody else in excruciating pain?!"  It was not but a few minutes later when I thought my legs would give out due to the lack of circulation.  I asked our instructor if that was normal, and he said no.  I had to go all the way back in and endure that brutal experience of  removing and replacing the boots again.  You never realize just how out of shape you are until something like putting on shoes makes you out of breath.  It made me realize how pitiful I am.  Anyway, I got out there and tried, and even though I wasn't the worst in our group, I knew I couldn't be even close to the best when our instructor sent me over to the 3-4 year old group for them to help give me lessons.  Our lessons lasted a couple of hours so by the end of that, I was drained.  Completely.  I didn't sleep well the night before.  I guess just from being sick, and being away from Hayley.  After we finished our lessons, Eddie wanted to hit what he called "Dead Man's Slope".....LOLOL.......or maybe I called it that after I saw a guy that was in our group come down it and end up all mangled in the net/fence.   It really wasn't a steep slope by any means, but after I failed miserably on the hill the size of my ditch.......I knew I wouldn't make it off that hill alive......or at least w/ bones in tact.  I honestly can say that the whole "ski" adventure was probably the worst workout I have ever had.  Sad, huh?!  I just knew I'd be miserably sore the next day and unable to walk.  Fortunately, I was wrong.

After skiing, I insisted on a nap.  Like I said before, I didn't sleep the night before.  I know it sounds crazy, but I think I had every thought in my head that night.  I guess it was normal thoughts, but who knows?  I'm not away from Hayley much, so I was feeling a little sick to my stomach.  I laid there thinking terrible thoughts.  What if something happened to Hayley??  What if it was something serious and I couldn't get there?  I even thought about the world coming to an end and me not being w/ Hayley when it happened.  I know, I am crazy, but if your a mom, I think you can understand.  Your mind tends to jump to worst case scenarios. 
Once we awoke from our nap we went to an Arenacross thing they had there.  I thought it might be somewhat interesting, until I got there.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it.  We got to drink beer and sit around and laugh.....just relax a little.  I have to admit......the fumes were a little much, along w/ the walk into the arena (it felt like a two mile walk...haha), but aside from that it wasn't the worst.  

The next morning I think we crammed everything we could have possibly done into one day.  We woke up and pretty well winged the rest of the day.  We started w/ ice skating.  I had never been so I was really looking forward to it.  I love to roller skate, and spent a good part of my childhood doing it, so I thought ice skating would be a breeze.  Wrong again.  Skating on a single blade on ice is in fact a good bit different from skating w/ wheels on a floor.  Once again, I was in a spot where the kids were breezing past me.  That really does something to your ego.  I am not an egotistical person at all, but when you're out somewhere like skiing, or ice skating, and you have little kids spinning circles around you, it tends to bump you down a couple of notches.  I used a cone most of the time to skate myself around the rink, and when I wasn't using the cone I was holding the wall.  Towards the end, I thought I would try to be a little brave, but I failed at that as well.  I attempted to cross one leg in front of the other, just as you do when roller skating and turning a corner.  I face planted.  And it hurt.  Badly.  I immediately gave up on the whole ice skating adventure and got off the floor.  I know....I am a wuss.  I am not like most people.  I don't live "dangerously", and I never have.  I just want to and be pain-free if at all possible.

After ice skating, we went to Walmart to get a memory card for my camera, then grabbed some lunch, and then headed off to the Denver Zoo.  I really enjoyed that.  Aside from my poor shoe choice (I decided I would wear my heel boots), everything went smoothly.  It was a beautiful day and it was fun to see all the pretty animals, but again, my shoe choice was all that was on my mind towards the end of our tour.  My feet were killing me.  The only thing that helped ease the pain was to think "It could be worse.......I could be walking around in ski boots", because that was definitely BRUTAL to say the least.

We left the Denver Zoo and found a Hibachi Japanese steakhouse to eat at.   It was great and I had a ball.  When we left there, we went to see Tron in 3D at the IMAX.  It was actually good, too.  I wasn't too keen on seeing it, but I really liked it.  By the end of the day, I was slammed.  All I could think about was crawling in the bed and passing out.  My feet felt like hamburger meat from the weekend, and I couldn't keep my eyes open. 

Our flight was the next day.  I spent most of the day in bed and then packing to come home. It started snowing that morning there so when we got to the airport the runways were snowy and icy, and it freaked me out a little.  I am really not scared to fly on planes, although I hate it, I'm not scared.  I just get a little nervous when it goes to land, but I was actually nervous to take off that day due to the icy runways.  It ended up okay though, and I am home safe, typing this. I had a great time.  A weekend full of laughs and adventures.  Something that was well needed. 

When we returned I realized that on the 30th (while we were away) marked 4 months since I lost my father.  I didn't realize it on that day because I was so busy, but I was grateful for that.  It's good when you can keep yourself busy and occupied and you don't have time to sit and dwell.  Of course I thought about my daddy.  It's obvious I think about him everyday.  I thought about how much he would have loved Colorado. much he would have loved to have even flown on a plane.  That is something that always saddens me when I think about it......the things he never got to do.  The places he never got to see.  The love he had for being outside and doing things (when he was healthy).  I know he would have had a ball.  I always liked doing new things w/ him.  He was much like a kid, and you could see the excitement all over his face and it would make my heart smile.  Deep down I know that he is watching over me and smiling at the places I am getting to see and the things I am getting to do.  I could hear his voice as I was trying to ski, "Just do it, Taylor!  It's not going to hurt you!" LOL!  I know without a shadow of a doubt had he been there, he would have really hit THE actual "Dead Man's Slope!" LOL!