I hate that I'm so far away from the rest of my family. I don't know what tomorrow or Sunday will look like for me emotionally. I've been remembering what I was doing exactly a year ago, all week. I've already passed the time that I last heard his voice. My mom called me when they were on their way out of town to visit her sister. They had just gone to Florida, and I told them, "well your next trip had better be to California!!". I didn't even get to talk to him first hand because he was driving, but it was the last time I heard his voice.
I hate the thought of him sitting alone in the house for days after he died, but there is absolutely nothing I can do to change it. The only reassurance is that whatever took him, took him quickly because he had the phone sitting right next to him.
The worst part is remembering March 11th. The worst day of my life. Laying on the couch, watching tv before bed and getting the phone call from my brother. It's HORRIBLE what stress can do to your body, physically. I spent the next few months fighting the anxiety, and my limbs going numb from it. I got a WHOLE lot done those months because I couldn't sit still or it would overtake me. Anytime I would lay down and not be doing something, it would start. I would shoot up off the couch and get to work doing something.
This picture is from his last visit to California. The girls discovered Star Wars, and since we only had one dvd, he bought the rest of the set and watched them constantly with the girls. That look on his face is one of "look what I've got". He was never happier than when he had one of his three grand-daughters. I still remember when I was in elementary school, but one of the later years, and for some reason I sat on his lap. I remember clear as day, that he was holding me and and rocking me, he looked at my mom with that same exact face, and said "look who I've got".
My dad was the hardest worker this world has ever known. He slaved away his whole life to provide for his family. There was nothing he wouldn't do for his family, and others. The week before he died, he asked his neighbor if he had a car, because he noticed him getting rides to work. The neighbor said "no", and my dad's response was, "well, now you do". He gave him the keys to his old car, because he had just bought a new one.
Everywhere I look, I see my dad. This house that he and I painted on his vacation, the bathtub that he installed for the girls, because we only had two showers when we moved in, the play set he bought and built for the girls in the backyard, the gazebo he bought and built for me, the school supplies he bought before my first year of homeschooling (he never bought a small amount of everything- I'll have markers and Popsicle sticks till the kids are in junior high, lol), and countless other things. The past two weeks, I've heard some of his favorite music on the classic rock station. The Doobie Brothers, BTO, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin...they were all his favorites and I can't bring myself to change the channel when one of his "reel to reel" songs comes on. I can still see him blasting his reel to reel hippie music and singing and tapping his feet.
I miss you everyday dad. I even miss your ridiculously loud snoring anytime you sat still for more than five minutes. Most of all, I wish you were here to see all of your grand kids grow. Seven years of being a grandparent is not enough.
Life goes on...until it doesn't.