Two years ago today was the worst day I have ever experienced. Two years ago today my father died. Two years ago today the bottom fell out of my world.
It was Sunday morning and Keith and I had decided not to go to church because we were tired. We were laying in bed when mom called to tell me that daddy had had a heart attack and they were waiting for the ambulance and my brother. She called again to tell me they were on the way to the hospital. My sister-in-law called to tell me that he didn't make it.
I remember hanging up and my legs collapsing, with Keith there to catch me. I remember hurting so bad and so deeply. And I remember that hurt lasting so long. And wondering if it was "ok" for it to hurt so deeply.
Two years have passed though and the physical pain isn't there so much. I still have times where tears well up in my eyes at inopportune moments. And I still think of him every day. But now it's more with a fondness and a sort of bittersweetness instead of the sucker punch of before.
In those two years I think I've changed from this experience. I'm hoping that I'm more compassionate towards the people I know when they have lifechanging experiences. Yet on the other hand I know I'm less patient towards many things that just don't matter. Life can change so dramatically in just an instant and I hope to live all those instants rather than waste them.
In all that time I never questioned whether or not daddy was better off now. I know that he is in heaven dancing at the footsteps of Jesus - and is now dancing with his mother as well. And I know that he is no longer in pain. But I do miss him.
I'm thankful in those two years that I have had a strong faith to see me through. For I know that without faith it would have been even more difficult. And I'm also very thankful that I had a relationship with my father that enabled me to miss him so much. I have been very blessed in that way.
And we move on. I now have a much closer relationship with my brother than ever before. Mom and I have been close for a long time - I've been lucky that way - and our relationship is even stronger now. You reach out to the ones that are close to you, that love you, and that you love. And you do survive.
I feel secure and honored by the love of my husband, who has stood by my side through it all. Both literally and figuratively. Through thick and thin. Even during the times he didn't really understand what I was feeling. His strength helped guide me.
This year the pain is not nearly as intense, but it's there. And I imagine I'll think of my father a lot today. And that's ok. Because I no longer will be concerned about those that say I should be "over it" by now. They simply don't understand.
I know that each year will continue to be better. And on significant days we'll all think of the ones we've loved and lost - and perhaps pine for them for a bit. Then we'll turn to those we still have and love and rejoice in them with every ounce of our strength. And praise God for all we have and for all we've had.
Life is good.