So, two days ago, it was two months since Dad passed away and left us. I’ll say right now that it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with in life, but I have absolutely zero regrets. That’s very important. While Dad was here, I spent many vacation hours and tons of gas driving 9 hours each way to see Dad and the Texas family, and we have some great memories as of late as a result. In what could be considered a selfish move, I wanted to spend as much time with Dad as possible, not only for him to have some new happy memories (he had Alzheimer’s) but also for me. I felt as if Dad would be leaving us soon, so I wanted to spend every living second I could with him and go on all those family trips and come home for every birthday or Mother or Father’s Day. It was so important to me to be able to devote so much of my vacation time to going down to see him and be with him.
I’ve learned one important lesson in all this.. and that’s never to have regrets. Resolve issues with your immediate family as soon as you can, because you never know when they’ll be gone. Accept responsibility for an argument if you hadn’t talked in ages (as I did with my Dad in the late 90’s when we weren’t talking) and be the bigger person if you have to (I did) and agree to disagree and admit your mutual love for one another. That helped my Dad and I be able to get through our most difficult moments we shared, and it meant 20+ more years I got to spend with Dad after we hadn’t talked for a few years. Not having regrets is the biggest lesson I learned, and also, not to hold others accountable for ‘being there’ as much as you feel they should. What I mean by that is… if people at work treat you like the plague because your Dad died, don’t necessarily get too mad – they may have their own unresolved issues to deal with and just cant face the same reality that we are. We can’t expect or assume others to be at the same emotional level of maturity or being as open as we may feel. I know that some people probably withdraw when something like this happens, a death to someone so close to you, but others, like me, seek validation in the comfort of others, and then I retreat and become antisocial for 50% of the other time.
In all, I’m so glad we had our amazing Celebration of Life party and that Dad had the military burial he always deserved, and that he wanted. He used to talk about it one day, and we did him so right.
God bless you all. Have a safe and happy Fall, and be the best version of you that you can be.
PS Grad school begins tomorrow. Yuck! But excited. I’ve already got my Bachelors Degree as of a month ago, but my actual ceremony in Phoenix is in about a month. Wish me luck, and thanks for everyone’s support over the years.
Life goes on,