Friday, August 15, 2008

Daddy's Girl

There was a time when I was daddy's little girl. When the sun rose and set around my father. My mom loves to remind me of the time when I was 5 and very specifically told her so. Even when they divorced all I wanted was to be daddy's little girl. It didn't work out that way. My dad went on to start his 2nd life. I went on to start my 1st.

It's over 10 years later. Now I look at my daughter, who believes that the sun rises and sets around her father. He's the fun parent. The background noise to writing this post is them giggling and laughing as they wrestle and hold dancing contests. They cook, play sports, read and live for one another.

It doesn't bother me nearly as much as it did my mother. It probably never will. Maybe it's because I know how much a girl needs her daddy. Maybe because I never, not even in his death, gave up waiting for my own to come around.

Monday, June 9, 2008

There Are No Goodbyes


Dear Dad,

It's a little over a month since you passed away and every night that I close my eyes you're all I see. Sleeping has become an effort. I have no idea how to process this anymore than I already have. I was with you when you passed, and it was so peaceful. You took your last two breaths looking into Carmen's eyes and then you were gone. When the priest came in to give you your last rites, you opened your eyes every time he became dramatic or repeated himself. It was entertaining to watch. Tina tried to say it's because a greater force was reaching you. Uncle Tommy and I are under the impression it's because you weren't impressed with the theatrics. Knowing you all my life, I'm inclined to believe we are right in this case.

There's not a day that goes by that you aren't on my mind. There are things that I really wish we could have talked about, and in my opinion you went far to early. I was looking forward to spending the summer with you, and just hanging out. But life typically makes it's own plans, and as I've learned so does death. The last day that we got to see each other when you were awake was when I came up to the hospital with my wedding dress. I found out after the fact that wearing before the wedding (aside from fittings) is bad luck. I think the powers that be can make an exception in our instance. It meant so much for me to have you see me all dressed up. And from your reaction, it meant a lot to you too. I'm glad we got our dance even if it was early.


The ceremony was perfect, and the day was supposed to have thunderstorms but instead we got the best weather we ever could have hoped for. Just as it started the clouds opened up and let in so much sun. The sunset was amazing as well. All in all, we got married, and we did it our way and I know you were proud. The only thing that could have made it better was for you to be there with us walking me down the aisle. Mommy did instead, and as honored as she was, she wished you would have had the opportunity.

I know that Boo is having a hard time of all of this. I hear it in her voice every time she calls. Sometimes I don't know what to say, so I just let her cry. Sometimes I just cry with her. Mommy refuses to accept that you're gone, and I know that she put off going to see you because that would have forced her hand. I know you understand that.

I wish there was a way to make this easier on everyone. I wish there was a way to bargain with God, or the devil, and be able to bring you back for the next 20 years. I know that we didn't always get along, and I know that we weren't close in the typically family sense, but I miss you and need you so much to be in my life.

I keep coming across situations where I want to show you things. The day after your funeral we took Emma to the American Museum of Natural History, and when we went into the ocean room, all I could think was, "Daddy has got to see these pictures, he'd think they were so neat." But there's no way I could send them to you. Boo signed onto your email account one day, and I just sat there staring at the computer screen. I'd give 5 years of my life for you to have been on the other side of the computer for just 20 minutes.



I dunno what to do anymore. We sprinkled some of your ashes at the beach in Charleston. It was strange, it was overcast the entire time we were there. The moment your ashes hit the water, the sun came out. I'd like to imagine that was your way of telling me you were happy. In September, Dylan and I are going on your weekend voyage to Montauk to join Boo and everyone else to scatter your ashes. Maybe that will help. Maybe it won't. Maybe there will come a day when I can listen to your voicemails, and not sob. Everyone says it gets easier, but they say a lot of things that aren't true.


I just hope that you're at peace now. I hope that you're fishing somewhere where the beer never gets warms, and the bait is always fresh. And I hope that when it's my time to go, you'll come and meet me with a crab trap in hand.



I love you.

jen.

Friday, April 11, 2008

So Complicated.




I have no idea how to really even begin this.

I stopped writing in here a little over a week ago. I was sick with another throat infection. That was Thursday? Whatever the first day i didn't write. Then Saturday night I got the phone call from my step-mom telling me to get to NJ my dad was in bad shape. Dylan, Emma and I caught the first flight out on Sunday morning and I'm glad we did. Saturday night my dad had a heart attack and had to be put on a ventilator. They have him sedated and on a lot of pain medicines to keep him comfortable.

I have no idea whether or not he's going to leave the hospital again. I have no idea if he'll be taken off a ventilator or not. The nurse today who's in charge of maintaining all that said he's doing the majority of his breathing on his own. But when they try to change his sedation medicine his breathing becomes very rapid and shallow.

I'm still holding on to my dad. I'm not ready for him to die, although I think if he waited for me to be okay with it, he'd live forever. My wedding is in 9 days, and it brings me to tears every time to think of walking down the aisle without my dad by my side. I knew even before this, that he wouldn't have been able to make it to the wedding, and I suppose deep down inside it would have upset me not to have him there, but at least know he was home. I don't want to leave him and go back to Charleston, but I know that if I don't go thru with this, he'd be so disappointed in me. He was looking forward to it a lot. He was excited about it, and talked about it all the time. So I need to do this.

He responds to my stepmom's voice and it's one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced. He watches her when he can open his eyes. He'll follow her around the room if she's moving. The only love I know like that is Dylan's to me. I would say OUR love together, but I think in every relationship there's one stronger partner. One person in every relationship that can handle sickness like this better than the other one could. Dylan watched me the same way Boo watches my dad.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh So Neglected

So I started this blog hoping that maybe just maybe, I'd actually write more. Obviously I'm not keeping up with it. Which is why I signed myself up for NaBloPoMo. April's theme is letters, and god knows there's nothing more that makes me happy then composing open letters to various people.

But before this month long journey starts, I feel that I should say something about my last post. My dad wasn't able to have his lung removed. When they opened him up, they found that the cancer had spread to the chest lining. It wasn't picked up by the PET scans because it was directly behind the initial tumor. Since then, he's undergone many months of chemo, radiation, and various pills. His tumor has grown, and his breathing has become difficult. I'm relocating with Emma this summer to NJ to hang out and help take care of him. I'm not sure what the future holds for us but I know that I have to stay positive for him.

Which leads me to the only good news I've had in a while. Dylan and I are getting officially married on 4/20. While neither of us smoke pot, it just makes it that much more funny. It's also Hitler's birthday, Passover, and the 10 year anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Needless to say, it should be interesting.

That's all I have to update for now, but I'm anxiously awaiting the start of my letter writing month.