Sunday, March 12, 2006

One and One is Two

In a few short weeks we'll be at a milestone... today however we're at another milestone as well.

Both of these anniversaries are bittersweet. One means that we've been on a journey for a year... two means someone has been gone from our lives for two years.

I can deal with the first one... but I haven't quite wrapped my fingers around the second one... the first is in 2 weeks and we'll have been ttc for a year. I will know before then if this cycle was successful or a bust. The second more painful one... is the anniversary of my father's death...

My dad was 65 years old - just 38 days shy of his 66th birthday. My dad had survived cancer and a stroke only to be felled by a combination of things... the flu and diabetes.

I need to tell you guys about my dad... My Dad truly helped to shape the person that I am. He even helped to shape D a bit... So here's some info on my Dad that you may not know.

My dad was 40 when I was born... on his second marriage... and all he wanted if you asked him was "a healthy baby" and anytime you asked him (which I did at least a few times) he would get this big grin on his face when he said it... he wasn't faking that happiness. He was so happy to have a baby that as long as it was healthy nothing else mattered. Let me also give a clarification... my Dad's first marriage resulted in a child... however my Dad was not the father... he married his first wife when she was 7 months pregnant... and his name is on the birth certificate... he NEVER treated my sibling as anything but HIS. I didn't find this out until I was probably 17... (I was a little slow on the uptake... my dad had brown hair, brown eyes, - my sibling blond hair, blue eyes... a height difference as well...) Anyways... biology didn't matter to my dad... and he did not treat me any differently than he did the other kids... we just were closer than the other kids... primarily because while I was growing up my Dad worked closer to home... more time to spend with me etc...

My Dad never allowed my sex to be an issue... a girl can do anything, be anything and do not let anyone tell you differently. He truly believed that nothing in this world but myself would stop me from achieving whatever goal I had my mind set on...

My dad was also the one who took me to the ER when I had to have stitches on the day of his mom's funeral because I was showing everyone how "grandma died" (She fell out of a chair... (I ended up with stitches in my forehead due to that one.) Over the years he'd take me for blood draws, doctor's appts, ER visits, etc. And always his calm presence helped. He never let on that he was scared or worried... just that things were going to be alright. He did this with himself... when he was diagnosed with cancer I was 11 years old... and I remember going to the hospital and him telling me to get my homework done and that all would be okay. I believed him and it was.

My dad held me to a higher standard than my brothers and sister. I was the one who brought home A's... not C's... and if it was a B+ or A- why wasn't it an A... he expected that of me. It wasn't always easy, and I didn't always thank him for that but ultimately I think it made me a better person for it.

He loved watching me play softball... and he'd stand behind home plate while I was catching yelling out "you need your glove higher", "your crouched too low", or when I was hitting "Why are you swinging at those that was a high ball!" The umpires would make comments to me when they realized that was my dad back there yelling at me... My dad was able to umpire one of my games... and he called me out at home... Can you believe it... I was safe too... and he called me out! He did not want to be thought of as playing favorites.

When I was 16 I was involved in a pretty awful car accident... it left me in intensive care for about 2 weeks and the hospital for a total of 3 weeks... My dad when he got to the hospital kept it together... he never let on that they had been told that the next 24 hours were critical... that depending on what my liver and kidney's did things could get dicey. He just came in and said "we'll get through this and I'll be here every step of the way." He was... he came after work once I got out of ICU and when I was in ICU he didn't go home until I became less critical... because home was an hour away and that was just too far for him.

When I started driving Dad had such faith in me that he'd ride in the back while a friend rode in front... and every so often he would say "SLOW DOWN" (not yelling it just a quiet deep voice) This same friend and I were called "floozies" on more than one occasion due to our attire and makeup.

My dad also had faith... and he shared that faith with D... D wasn't raised with Christianity being a large presence in his life... I on the other hand was... and my faith while I'm not open about is something that is always present and something I feel is important in our marriage... D was willing to "go through the motions" and "take the classes" but my dad made a point of talking about faith and what it meant to him... and slowly D started to go to church on Wednesday nights... The week prior to my dad's death we had all gone to church and for some odd reason the minister wanted each family to introduce themselves... My dad stood up proud as a peacock (he was only 5'5") and introduced my mom, myself, and then introduced D as his son. D was honored... and when I say honored... he truly knew that my dad approved.

My Dad knew before anyone else about D... he knew I thought that D was the ONE... and the first meeting D had I had invited him to spend the night at my parents house... my parents were fine with that... (I'm an adult) D was terrified that he would wake up with a shotgun in his face... well that wasn't my Dad's style... and the gun cabinet was in the room we were sleeping in... However when my Dad died... D found out the truth... my Dad had a whole collection of guns and ammunition under his bed... and if he had wanted to shoot him he could have... D was thankful he liked him from the beginning.

My dad was my closest confidant... we didn't keep secrets... he was my staunchest supporter, my biggest advocate... he was beside me every step of the way... and the day he died... a large hole was left where he used to be. I don't cry for the things that I regret... I cry for the things I wish we had had the chance to do which fortunately are few... such as being walked down the aisle... and him being there when I have my first child... I cry now because it's not the way I wanted it to be... but even in death my dad gave me a sign.

Remember how I mentioned that whole speeding issue I have... well on my way to the hospital on the day my dad died... I got pulled over... and I got a ticket (yes I deserved it) Well the freak that I am when I got to the hospital I asked what the time of death was... (it's a nurse thing okay?) I can't help it curiousity was there... It took me hearing the number and actually seeing the number and pulling out the ticket and showing it to the nurses... The time of death and the time of the ticket were the same. I think I freaked the nurse's out a bit... I know it freaked D out a bit... to me it brought comfort... and while it could be a coincidence... I choose to look at it as a sign from above... my dad reminding me he's watching... and so is God... and to SLOW DOWN! So... that's my dad... in a nutshell... he was a dirty ditch digger, a jack of all trades, a handyman, an engineer, a truck driver, a hard working never not had a job kind of guy who could play barbies with the best of them and color like a mad man... he was simply put my dad and no matter how many years have passed... I still miss him and cherish the memories.

In closing... a line from Father and Daughter by Paul Simon... I wanted to dance with my dad to this song... because I truly felt it showed how we felt about one another... even singing the song in my head I feel closer to him... so...

As long as one and one is two... there could never be a father who loves his daughter more than I love you...

4 comments:

Mandy said...

I can't believe that it's almost been two years already. Your Dad was amazing, I miss him too. I know that he's so proud of you for who you are and what you've accomplished. Even if we did start out as floozies! LOL ((hugs))

Jill said...

Hi, Samara. This is a beautiful post. I'm so sorry that your dad died, but I'm glad that you had such a great relationship with him while he was alive. He sounds like he was a great guy, and your description of your relationship reminds me a lot of me and my dad.

Jennie said...

I know I'm coming in late to this post but just wanted to say how beautifully you remember your dad, you honour him and he'd be proud of who you are today

Sami said...

I think the one thing I try to remember is that he's always with me - no matter what I've never doubted that. Even now when things aren't always rosie I know that he's there in my heart and cheering me on and reminding me of the strength I can find in myself.