Saying Goodbye

It isn’t easy for me to write this post. As I write this it has been two years since my father celebrated his last birthday alive. At 52 years of age he lost the battle with cancer a month and a half after that birthday. That day of celebration was beautiful each moment of that last six months I cherish. Every sacrifice I made to be there was worth it. I knew that it was exactly where I was supposed to be that last six months of his life was so full. I am thankful for the amazing family that walked through the valley of death together. That is no place to be alone. The last two years have gone by so quickly and some days it was easy but some days it was hard. I remember a few days where I would be mad because he wasn’t here so angry that he was missing this part of my life. Days where I just needed a hug from my dad but he wasn’t there anymore. Days I just wanted to call him and tell him about my day because he was a good listener. Some days when I felt like the one that didn’t fit because I am so much like my dad and Paul is like mom. So many huge moments like graduating with my Bachelors. Turning 28. Seeing Paul travel to Africa. Mom realizing her potential. So I am going to do something that I may regret a little because it will be extremely personal but I am going to write my dad a letter telling him a few things as if he has just been out of town for the last almost two years. This is what is personal and hard about this post. I am writing my father a birthday card update. If you know me understand I am okay. If you don’t know you I hope these words are helpful. If you have experienced a loss or know someone who has. I would be glad to share my whole story. I may feel hurt occasionally but I have never stopped living. I have loved and lost.

daddy-bday1

Happy Birthday Daddy,

It has been almost two years since I have seen you. I want to tell you what has been happening since then. When you left us. Paul and I drove to Texas. It was an adventure I learned that I should never be trapped in a car with Paul after he has had two 5 Hour Energy’s in the span of 10 hours. He almost didn’t survive the trip.

After that mom and I went to visit your family with Grandma Kay. Your parents didn’t take you leaving well. Nanny has not been feeling well. We are not sure how much longer we will have her here with us.

After we got back to NC I prayed about what I was supposed to do! After much prayer and consideration I packed up what I had with me there in NC and moved back to TX with the hopes of finishing my degree.

It’s December and Mom will be moving here. She found a foreclosure in Cedar Hill that she likes. I like it. It even has a pool. I am glad the family will still be together.

In January I was able to start my last year and a half of school.

In February I fell. The doctor said it was a seizure. I was really scared. He said that it was likely I had been though this before but had never been diagnosed. They put me on these crazy anti-convulsion meds that make me sleep for 12 hours after which I wake up feeling like I barely slept… Now I know what it feels like to be a zombie. On top of all that I am not allowed to drive for the next six months. I don’t have a job and I am in the middle of school! I hate this! It is hard! I need your help! You aren’t here.

It has been a few months that doctor figured out a better dosage. It isn’t as hard but I still miss you. The three of us went on a cruise with Grandma and Grandpa! Alaska was amazing. I sprained my shoulder while zip-lining in Juneau. It is almost your birthday. I love birthdays. I just had mine and I can drive again.

So I may have overestimated my ability to apply myself in school this semester I decided to duel enroll. I am taking classes at two schools altogether I am going to finish out the semester with 25 credit hours. I hope I make it.

I made it! I can’t believe I made it through that! With straight A’s for all my classes at CFNI and at DBU I finished with a B & C. Not bad. I finally found a job. Nothing exciting I am back in retail but it is good work while I am in school.

Christmas… I had to work so I am in Cedar Hill with almost no one to celebrate with… Paul and Mom went to NC to spend the holiday with Grandma and Grandpa. But… It snowed this afternoon… I can’t believe a White Christmas in Texas! It was a beautiful day!

Happy New Year! I am starting my last semester of school in May I get to graduate, after some careful consideration I realized it is best if I stick with one school graduating in May with my Bachelors is enough for me. Because I really don’t want to still be in school when I turn 30.

I can’t believe how quickly that went by. Just like that I am all done. I am now the proud owner of a Bachelors in Practical Theology Majoring in Worship from Christ For the Nations Institute. I remember in 2007 when you were there as I completed my Associates. Paul wasn’t there but you know I really don’t mind because guess what Dad! He finally got to go on the mission field he went to Africa!

I can’t believe I am actually 28. I had one of the best birthdays ever. So many amazing people here to celebrate with me. I think you would have loved to know them all. I know you remember some of them when you were here once or twice. I have an amazing Church family here. They have helped make these last almost two years possible.

Hi daddy, It is your birthday. You aren’t here. I had a great day yesterday and today has the potential for so much. I have been working a great summer job but it is time for me to get a big girl job. I have been working on getting my studio in a better place as far as a sustainable income but I know it takes time. I have been living with mom. But guess what, there is a beautiful house that I may be able to rent. It is perfect for me. I am waiting to hear back about it but it is the type of house where I could eventually start a family. Things are falling into place. I am looking forward to tomorrow. Each day holds the potential for steering my future forever. I love you and miss you. I wish you could be here for what comes next but I know you can’t be. Maybe someday I will be able to tell you about it but for now I will have to leave you by saying goodbye.

Goodbye Daddy! Your life was a precious gift to me thank you for being a part of it! I love you!

Alicia

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