Monday, February 29, 2016

Face Your Fears

That was the title of the piece I presented at Listen to your mother. I'll share it with you if they decide not to pick me to share my story. I struggled with naming what I had written because titles are tough for me to come by. I can write and write but titling something is always something I find challenging.

Today, I'm facing a different kind of challenge. I'm on edge, I'm sad. I feel broken. My heart is heavy. Each year around this time, I struggle. I fight the tears more often than not through March. Tomorrow is March. I'm partially dreading it being March 1st... I've told the story and I'm sure for the rest of you it gets old. On March 10, 2011 my dad died... suddenly and unexpectedly. Two days later, I gave birth to my second child, my first son. His name had been decided but on the way to the hospital my sweet husband decided his middle name should be changed to that of my fathers. And so in that moment without anyone knowing but us, he became Grayson John instead of Grayson Ryan. After his birth, we shared the change with our families and friends. This year, that boy will be 5. This year, my father will have been gone 5 years.

Five seems like a big milestone for some reason and this year seems harder than years passed. And so I sit with tears streaming down my face while my boys nap and my girl is at school.  Mostly, I try to cry when they can't see me. I don't want them to always remember me crying when I think about my dad. I want to be able to share my stories of him with them. I want to be able to share his zest for life, his unwavering love, his drive to live each day to its fullest with my children.

Today, I'm reminded that my boys have never met their Papa John. Today, I'm reminded how Bella asked "how come the doctors didn't save him, I thought hospitals made you better". Today, I'm reminded that life has somehow gone on. Today, my heart has a hole that is not filled and can never heal. Today, it feels like salt is pouring into that wound. I'm reminded that life isn't fair and love never ends even when someone passes away. Today, I'm reminded that the road of grief doesn't just end or get easier. Sometimes its more smooth than others, today it's a mountain that I'm trying to climb.

Today, I will remind myself that it's okay to be sad, it's okay to miss him and wish he was here. It's okay to cry while no one else is around. I will fight through the first few weeks of March knowing that my dad is someone, someway showing himself through my son. Grayson loves wolves. He's asked to have a "Wolf birthday party". My dad's entire computer room was decorated in Harley stuff and wolves. He had a tattoo of a wolf on his chest and one on his arm. Grayson is unaware of any of that. Today, I will cherish that my kind hearted son has a little bit of my dad shining through.I will fight through the first couple of weeks of March knowing that my son and my dad's love of wolves has intersected. I will plan a wolf party (whatever that entails!) to celebrate my son's birth.

Maybe the title of this blog should have been milestones and mourning....

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