Monday, December 7, 2015

Death and birthdays

This is my dad. Today is his birthday. He died 4 years and 9 months ago suddenly from what was said to be sepsis...  I was 9 months pregnant with Grayson at the time... yes you read that right. Grayson was due one week after my dad died. Death is something that is talked about frequently at our house. My eyes get "watery" from time to time. My kids ask about my dad and although he may not be here with us, he is a big part of our life. He's a giant part of who I am, why I do the things I do. When he died, I'm positive that a part of my heart died with him.

Sometimes I cry alone, sometimes I don't hide my tears. It's okay for my kids to see that I'm sad or that I miss him. It's okay for them to understand that I wish he was here to share in our life, our experiences and the memories that are being made today. Today, I fought the tears until now... it's nap time at our house. I know he wouldn't want me sad, he wouldn't want me to cry over his death. I'm positive that I can hear his voice in my head today, telling me that he's sorry, that he's proud of me, that he's proud of my life, my marriage, my school, my career but mostly of my kids. The picture above is my dad meeting Bella for the very first time. He drove up with Kat from Kansas City and he was smitten. His love for her could be felt in the air, it could be seen on his face. His smile lit up the room when he held her. I remember him saying how tiny she was. I also remember knowing for the very first time how much my parents loved me when I become a parent myself.

His ashes sit in an urn on my dresser. Bella wants me to be creamated so that "you can live on my dresser too just like your daddy lives on yours". She often tells me she's sorry my daddy died and that she's sorry that I'm sad that I miss him. What I would give to feel his arms around me one more time. What I would hear for him to tell me "Sis, you're getting big" when I was pregnant.
This is the last picture of him and I. This was on our way out of Kansas City. I was about 6 1/2 months pregnant with Grayson Ryan at the time. My dad knew his name. This year when setting up the tree, I was reminded when I pulled out an ornament that Grayson's middle name was originally Ryan.... Two days after my dad died, on our way to the hospital, my husband said we should name him Grayson John after my dad. I remember being in labor, holding my belly and yelling that I didn't want to do this, that my body was too tired, that my heart was too broken. Then, after 12 hours of labor, when they put that sweet boy on my chest, I knew my dad had brought him to me. That my dad had held him first and gave me the strength that I needed in those moments. Grayson John was born.

Before nap is over I'll pull myself back together. Then today, on his birthday, I'll hug my kids a little tighter, I'll snuggle them a little longer, I'll kiss them a little more, I'll be sure that they feel my love like I felt my dad's. I'll be sure that they know that there's nothing else I'd rather be than their mother, because I knew he was proud to be a father. I'll be sure they know how unique they are, just like I knew. I'll be sure that my love is seen, heard and felt for years to come. Although he may not be here to celebrate, I'll honor him in the way that I know how. I will embrace each day just as he did. I will try to live each day like it could be my last, just as he did. Happy Birthday Dad, I hope you are celebrating in a big way. We love you, we miss you.

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