A year seems to have flown by and it still escapes me how to cope with this tremendous loss. Its not to say that I don't get up everyday, and smile and laugh.. I would be doing him a disservice to do anything but, however I still think about him all the time, I remember conversations, laugh about things said and done between us.. I hold my memories close to my heart.. and this is how I honor him everyday.
When I was a kid we use to visit Papa on weekends, I loved the Nome's in the gardens... all 972 of them. Being from the city sitting on the floor of the barn and feeding the chipmunks peanuts was not one of my regular activities. I loved that little house on Maplewood Avenue, I looked forward to my time there, as long as he was there. Once when Papa was away working in the city I decided that I would spend a week with nan at their house.. it lasted all of two days! Dad had to drive the 2 hours to get me as I sat on the porch waiting for him and then we made the 2 hour drive back, guess I wasn't cut out for being a long term house guest.
Its funny how playing a certain role in a family dynamic allows you to get away with different things, in Papa's later years in life he said what he thought and did what he wanted and took no shit for doing so.. Let me tell you I could never get away with voicing my opinions the way he did.. haha I'm not sure anyone could! However we expected it, we knew that he was going to tell it like it was whether we wanted to hear it or not.. he was going to be honest and we respected him all the more for it!
I say that I lost someone great, but as a family we lost our pillar... we lost the one person who held it all together, from the beginning. Have you ever thought about the term "real love" what defines it? Not until I was much older and out on my own did I realize that not every family is like our family, not every family has unconditional love, support, closeness. Not every family is lucky enough to have the values and morals that one needs to be a good person, to be the person that everyone else knows they can be. My family, my parents.. how lucky am I? I never went without, I never wanted for anything.. and material things aside I had everything I ever needed. Was my family perfect? absolutely not, but whose is? We never see perfection when we know nothing else, we never see the many blessings until we don't have it everyday. I didn't know how just how lucky I was until I didn't see it everyday.. haha talk about the grass not being so green on the other side.. how many times did you yell as a teenager "I CANT WAIT TO MOVE OUT!!" if you did, I'm sure you see it differently now.. and if you say those things now to your parents, really think about it.. because you are probably a lot luckier than you think.
I see these things now... I know that I couldn't have asked for better parents growing up, I learned how to be an honest person, a kind person, a person who puts other people first because I know that all my life I have come first to someone too. But if I learned that from them, who did they learn it from? Is it all one long line of wonderful people.. I don't know.. maybe. As far as I can see back it started with my Papa. He taught us all what it was like to be a family.. most family gatherings especially in his last years were for him. He taught us to love one another despite our flaws because blood is thicker than water, and we only have each other.. he taught us all to be the kind of person that was respected.. and in the end we wanted that because of the great respect we had for him.
I have no regrets when it comes to my relationship with him and because of that I have peace. After he died I struggled with indescribable guilt, guilt for not being there, guilt for not saying goodbye.. I made choices and my choices took me away from him when I felt like he needed me most, and because of that I will probably never have the closure that everyone else has. But I know he gets it, I know he understands.. I know that he supported my decision to be in the position I was and I know that he knows although I wasn't by his side physically I was there the whole way. I know that his last day here on earth was exactly how he would have wanted it... surrounded by love and family, I know that he is abundantly happy where he is and for that I am grateful. More than anything I am thankful that he taught us all so well that he left us with the means to go on without his beloved and sometimes outspoken guidance.
I may have lost him, but oh how blessed I was to have had him and in times of loss sometimes its hard to look back and see what was, and not what is now. I hope for all of you that have suffered a loss that you eventually get to a point where you can remember the laughs, the good times, those great conversations.. because that's why we make memories!
Today March 17, 2012 marks the one year anniversary the world lost a great man, and I hope today he is up in heaven drinking green beer and telling bad jokes at which he will laugh that lovable belly laugh!
I miss you tons you big horses dick!! I love you more than words can say!
Thanks for the visit! <3