Monday, November 22, 2010

finding a new normal

it has been a long time.
life got busy.
then life got bad.
it took me a while to get here to write... 18 days to be exact.
which for me... is a long time to not "talk".
i am an open book.
i like to be surrounded by love & support... what you see is what you get.
but this is hard... because writing it... well it makes it more real than this nightmare already is.

my dad died.
i still can't believe it is true. i wait for someone to pinch me and tell me that phone call at 11:13 pm over 2 weeks ago now... it was just a horrible nightmare i can't escape.

i dream of trips in the rum rum {the '67 austin healy with plates reading 'fun toy'}, trips to kuhns corner for hot dogs and later duchess when kuhn's corner closed, visiting nanny & stopping for carvel, golfing at patterson, his wildly inappropriate jokes that made us cringe and laugh at the same time, his lack of filter, or his annoying & cheesey jokes, email forwards, his insane obsession with Fairfield Univ basketball... going to games with him as a child and wanting to hide because he was SO embarrassing as he screamed at the refs "NEED MY GLASSES!!! THAT'S A WALK JACKASS!", the pride he oozed as I received my college degree and masters degree, the clean plate club, my very own santa, the things he got away with, his wealth of knowledge of diners, how he loved to go places where people knew him, or how every where we went, someone did know him, how all my friends always thought he was hilarious- even when i didn't, how he loved each of us {I am the youngest of 5} unconditionally... and defended each of our flaws & quirks, he always called me his "caboose", how he loved my husband. how he played with my kids. it was special- "my cane" tug of wars with jack, reading books to sam, how he tried to get sammy to talk more- he "heard" him say a lot of things... it made me laugh. no dad, sam can hardly utter "momma"... he did not just say "i love you"...  and how jack some how managed to get him to play hide & seek once... or the times jack demanded he color and do crafts with him. he did it!  i would kill for just one more of those hugs that, as my sister described perfectly, made you feel safe from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, or one more "knee squeeze" in the front seat, or one more pinch and declaration of "this is MY side", or to simply hear his voice... his deep distinct commanding voice that filled the room. it made people listen to him. even if they didn't want to! i would kill for him to come to my house and just annoy me again... because that is what he did. what i wouldn't give for that... just once more.

i have been surrounded by love and support.
it is overwhelming.
i have learned a lot about people around me.
a lot surprising.
a lot good and some bad.
some disappointing.
some overwhelmingly amazing.
some friends became closer friends that i will forever cherish after this past couple of weeks.
i have grown up more than i wanted to ever.
i feel broken... like a piece of my soul is forever gone.
but it is part of life... sadly.

i woke up last night, just an hour after i fell asleep, without even opening my eyes just quietly sobbing.
i miss my dad.

i was named after my dad. i used to hate that.
now... i cling to that.
i also look like my dad.
and i hope to be a lot like him in many ways.
the priest said to us "think of the things you loved about him. think of all he did. and try to emulate them in your life. this is how you will carry him on".
i will continue to volunteer... my dad taught me that. and i will do that in his honor.
i will sing my heart out at church and when they play the national anthem.
i will cheer for Big Blue!
i will quote cheesy jokes of his. maybe ;)
and many many other things.

i feel so grateful to the people in my life that have surrounded me to get through this horrendous time.
the tribute we gave to my dad was over the top!
just like he wanted.
but more importantly, exactly what he deserved!

i know he is here with me. my very own special angel.

i have a lot more to say about my dad. 
but for now i work towards finding my new normal. 
figuring out what life is like... without my dad. 
hoping each day gets easier.
hoping the tears jump up and bite me at less brutal times. 
hoping my brain functioning returns some time soon {did you know that a traumatic experience like this causes your brain to stop functioning the way it used to... true!}
i will continue to carry my dad in my heart... i will talk of him with ease so my children never forget him. 
and ever single day of my life... i will miss him deeply.



  1. I am sobbing reading your post. Your love for your dad? it's beautiful, and it shows in every word. The picture of him reading to Jack and Sammy, OMG, it's priceless.
    Hugs my friend :(

  2. Oh...I'm so sorry. I walk a similar path of pain and I know how it makes your heart physically hurt. Hugs and prayers to you.

  3. Oh Robyn - I am so sorry. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

  4. Robyn...I"m so glad to see you posted this. Its therapeutic to write about the crap too. My heart aches when I read this. I love the pictures. :)

  5. thanks ladies... its a trying & difficult time. writing about it helps a lot. and yes cristina... i loved my dad more than life. i was so very lucky to have a great dad! my only regret is i didn't hug him more and i busted his chops. a lot of people are far more regretful. life is short! family is first... my dad taught me that!

  6. A beautiful tribute to your dad and some AWESOME pics you have together! Cherish the good times and forget the bad, he will be somebody that you will STILL lean on...even if only in quiet moments sitting in the dark talking out loud.