Honest to goodness, I have so much to say today that I don’t even know where to start! There are some amazing new products coming out, or that have just been released, but that’s just not where my heart is today.
So today, I’m going to choose to let you see a little bit about me. The real me. I’m not just some face behind a product or a selfie every morning. Sure, I believe in the products I use every single day, I wouldn’t keep using them if I didn’t. I’m striving every day to be the healthiest and happiest version of myself! But today is about more than that.
This week has been pretty emotional for me and I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it all with you. Of course you know that last week I was on an amazing vacation, one I won’t soon forget! I’m looking forward to many more adventures like this and beyond! Oh how I love to travel!!! But when I got home, it was back to reality.
My reality has two big milestones that have anniversaries this week.
The first isn’t my favorite. On Tuesday, July 21, was the 22nd anniversary of the death of my father. I’m not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me. I’m not going to say it gets easier, because it really doesn’t, but I’ve learned how I have to deal with it. I have to acknowledge it and the impact it has made on the woman I’ve become. I was 21 years old when he died. I wasn’t married. I didn’t have children. I was still in college. Still finding my way in the world. And just like that, he was gone. No warning. No goodbye. Just a phone call saying he had been found dead in his home. It still stings. It always will.
You see, my dad and I had a rocky relationship the last few years of his life. He loved me, of that I have no doubt. But he was an alcoholic. He had a hard time showing his love. He had a hard time with reality. This is why his marriage to my mom fell apart when I was young. My mom did the right thing, because he never did change. He simply didn’t have the emotional capability, I believe. I think he wanted to. I think he wanted to be the husband and father we needed, but he couldn’t. It didn’t make me love him less, but it made our relationship different that it could have been.
We didn’t talk much for a few years when I was a teen. I was having a hard time, and so was he. He lost his job. He lost his car. He had nothing, and our relationship was crap. I was depressed and starting to follow in his footsteps with drinking. I won’t get into that too much today, but suffice to say, it wasn’t pretty.
One day he called me while I was in my apartment at college. He was ready to seek some help. He had a placement at the rehabilitation facility at the VA near me. He wondered if I could drive him there early in the morning and pick him up in a month. I cried. He cried. We talked for a while and I agreed this was a step in the right direction. He got a ride to my apartment and he spent the night on the couch. We talked some more. There was more to say, but neither of us knew exactly how to say it. I dropped him off in the morning. 30 days later, I picked him up. He had a brightness I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I think he was really on a road to discovery. Our relationship grew back to something much stronger than it had been and I know I was very happy to have my dad back.
Six months later, it was summer. I had come back home for a friend’s wedding. It was a fun weekend and I needed to get back to college for work and class. I stopped by his house and we chatted for a bit. He wasn’t feeling well, but he assured me he was ok and he would see his doctor if it got worse. We hugged. I told him I loved him. I said, see you soon. That was the last time I saw him.
A week later, he was gone.
My life was shattered. How can he be gone? I just saw him! This isn’t fair! We had more mending to do! We had more to say! He was getting better! Why now??? Those answers would never come.
Fast forward to today. I think about him. All the time. I see him in my kids. I hear his laugh in a stranger’s. I see his smile on a TV ad. He’s with me. I still miss him. I get emotional just thinking about him, but I know life will move forward. I know he’s proud of me.
I’m not sure why I am telling you all this except to say, you just never know when you will see someone you love for the last time. Hug them! Tell them! That is the one thing I am so happy about; the last time we saw each other was a hug.
Isn’t he cute!!! I think so.
OK, the other amazing thing about this week happened 21 years ago, one year after losing Dad. I married the love of my life! I can’t imagine doing life without him, and thankfully I know he feels the same about me! We don’t see each other daily anymore due to his job, and that has taken some time to get used to, but it’s what life is, a series of challenges. They can destroy us or make us stronger. Thankfully, we just get better with age!!!
21 years and counting! The best part is, he will be home tonight so we can celebrate this weekend!
Life, it goes on. And I’m thankful! Thanks for reading!