I don't know what's going on with me lately, but I feel like the grief of losing my dad has finally caught up with me. It's been almost a year and a half since I received that awful phone call. I hesitate to blog about my dad because I don't want to upset my mom. I've thought about many blogs about my dad for months, but put off writing them for one reason or another. Hurt. Ache. Pain. Longing. Sadness. Tears.
For most of this time, I've been putting off accepting that he's really gone. It's not SUPER hard to do when you live 2,000 miles away. I don't know if I've ever told how it happened. It's very surreal. The last time I heard his voice, was in the background of a phone call when my mom called to say they were driving to Illinois to visit her sister. They had just got back from a Florida vacation, so I told her "Ok, but your NEXT trip had BETTER be to California!!"
My dad had to go back to Ohio to get ready for work and my mom stayed the rest of the week because her sister was having her 50th anniversary party that weekend. After a couple of days (unknown to me because we'd said she would just call me when they were back home) of my dad not answering the phone, my mom had to take further action. Long story short, my brother and his wife had to drive over to their house in the middle of the night in a blizzard, have the police break the door, and found him. He was in his favorite recliner, with the phone still on the receiver right next to him. They assured us that even if an EMT had been sitting on the couch when it happened, there would have been nothing they could have done.
I HATE when I get a phone call from a family member late at night or really early in the morning. It makes my heart skip a beat now. My call came late at night, and I can still hear my brother relaying the news. Just six months earlier I had hugged him goodbye in his hospital bed, one day post-colon cancer surgery. I had no idea it would be my last hug ever.
After the initial several months of grief, the physical symptoms of anxiety (couldn't lay on the couch and watch tv alone at night because that's what I was doing when my brother called; limbs going numb; shortness of breath) went away. I think in the time between then and now, I shut it out. I still realized he's fully gone, I was sad, but for some reason...I stopped crying. Like, ever. You know in the movie The Holiday when she hadn't cried for years, even when she tried? Yeah, that was me. Until now.
I've faced a bunch of challenges lately, just various "not-so-easy" things getting the Etsy shop open, pure exhaustion, and a few other things. The other day I typed "Doobie Brothers" into Pandora. My dad LOVED classic rock music. He was in his 20's in the 1970's so he was all into that kind of music. He recorded hours upon hours of music onto his reel-to-reels and that's what I grew up listening to as a child. He had a dog named Zeppelin before I was born. I guess the dog growled at my brother when he was a baby and my dad got rid of him right away.
Now I've moved into this stage of welcoming the sadness. It's a weird place to be, and I certainly don't welcome the fact that he's gone. Not at all. But I feel like I am finally accepting it, slowly. It really DID happen. I REALLY miss him. But the heartbreaking and heartwarming thing is that my new Doobie Brothers Pandora station makes me feel like I am watching him sing (terribly, by the way) at the top of his lungs. I remember those days he would break out his reel to reels fondly, and I feel connected to him. I realized two things through this station: 1. The aliens must have been working overtime in the 70's because there are a TON of album covers with ufo's and aliens on them (there's a REALLY funny story in UFO's and my dad too...for another time!), and 2. I know more lyrics to Eagle's music than any artist in the last ten years. Miss you daddy, meet you in the basement with the loud music. ;)