Everyday

A letter to my father on Mother’s Day

Dear daddy,

Hey there, how have you been?  I hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying whatever it is out in that big great unknown.  Tell grandma Mary, grandma Betty and grandpa that I say hello.  Oh and please give Raspberry and Pudge a pat on the head for me!  I hope they are keeping you company and your lap warm.

So today is Mother’s Day and  I wanted to thank you for giving me the best gift I could have ever asked for.  I know you paid the ultimate sacrifice but you didn’t leave us, it was just your time to go.

Thank you for giving me my mother back.

I missed her so much over the past 13 years and now I get to spend the first of many more holidays together.  Even though I wish it could have been on better terms, I can’t tell you how happy I am to be able to spend time with her again (you understand, you were with her over 40 years).

Sure we have our moments, but just so you know, mom is doing just fine.  She misses you like crazy and still talks about you like you are here.  But I have seen her grow so much in the short amount of time you have been gone.  She is so much stronger than she gives herself credit for.  Honestly, I’m just so proud of her.

She helps us around the house and thinks your son-in-law is a hoot.  She laughs at the crazy songs I sing for all the animals (yeah you’re a grandpa to 5 fur babies).  And I know you would have never guessed it, but Mom has fallen in love with our newest family member, Lola!  I know, right?  Mom loving a dog so dearly; I never would have seen it coming either.  We rescued Lola but in so many ways she has rescued us and helped us all through the hard days.  I think about you a lot when I go on walks with her.  I think you would have liked her.  Lucy is still not too sure and I think she misses you too.  She lays in your chair a lot and sleeps there at night.

But back to mom.  I notice more and more that she doesn’t worry as much and I think she likes herself better more each day.  Being vegan suites her just fine and I like when we have dinner together every night.  I cook and she cleans and it’s just nice to feel like a family again.  She’s lost weight and has been so excited to buy new clothes.  She spends money a little more freely now, nothing crazy but just enjoys herself more (sometimes I have to remind her of what you would say “just buy the damn thing”).  She has become so much more spontaneous and just “goes with the flow” when it comes to last-minute vegan hot dogs or ice cream trips!  We laugh together a lot and are there for each other no mater what is going on.  Sometimes she is stubborn but you already know that!  I try my hardest to be the best daughter and wife and fur-mommy I can be.  You had something to do with that and I hope I still make you proud from wherever you are.

Sorry I keep getting off target.  So mom’s still not too keen about living in Texas but I think it is growing on her more and more everyday.  Sunny days are her best times.  I got her a necklace with a little sun to remind her of the better times.  We go for walks together with Lola a lot and while I work she makes sure the fur babies are safe and well fed.  We even have little happy hours in the backyard and watch our crazy neighbors.  She spent her first week alone with all 5 animals while Hector and I went to Hawaii.  Again, something we couldn’t have done without your gift to us.  I had a good time visiting with you there.  When you look into the ocean and realize how small you are it’s easier to connect to those who have passed on.  The beauty was amazing and I hope wherever you are is just as beautiful.

I also wanted you to know that I have tried my hardest to keep up my end of the deal as well.  I said I would make sure we took care of each other without you and we have.  Hector loves mom too.  He likes having a little family to take care of and he wishes it could have turned out differently.

Truth is, we all miss you.  Whether there is a holiday or a vacation or just another day, we all think about you everyday.  You are with us all the time, but I know you already know that.

I love you,

Ashley

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Blogging, Everyday, Fitness

I felt consumed

I was up at 5am for some early morning speed work at the track.  It was crazy cold, with feels like temp of about 35 degrees (well crazy cold for Central Texas).  So I layered up, ate my sweet potato breakfast and was out the door.  It was really dark at the track and only 3 other people showed up.  The work was hard; 8×400 repeats at about 5k pace with 2 mins rest between.  The view was great as the sun began to start it’s day.  If camera contact lenses existed, I would have taken a picture.  We were also taunted by an owl; with each lap came his distinct ho hoo.  He probably watched us and thought we were all crazy running around and around in circles.  His day was coming to an end while I was just starting.

It felt good to have gotten that accomplished before most people had even had their first cup of coffee.  The runner’s high did wear off pretty quickly into the progressing day.  Work was taxing.  My work has never really been “hard” in the almost two years I’ve been there, but there is a first for everything.  I had the Midas Touch but in the worst possible way.  Everything I touched turned to absolute shit.  It was horrible and I let it get to me.  I could feel anxiety creeping in to take over my day.  It wound up being 7 long hours of nothing good.  7 hours that I just wanted to end more than anything.  I wanted nothing more than to come home, draw a hot bath for my achy muscles, and wash away my tears fears.

I finally came home.  It was finally time to unwind.  I went to my soaker tub, poured the epsom salt, started the hot water, and put on some of my favorite music.   I mentally eased my way into relaxation.  After a couple drags, I began to think.  I thought about the music I was listening to.  It made me think about my dad.  I wondered if he had been scared during the last hours of his life?  I think about things like that a lot.  Death is so foreign to me and so out of anyone’s control.  I felt consumed.  I became consumed by my own morbid thoughts.  But then the music crept back into my mind.  “……echoed in the wells of silence.  And the people bowed their heads and prayed……”  I really want to make a video using that song*.  I would dedicate it to my father.  I wanted to share it with the world.  Should I go back to school?  Would I be able to make it?  To learn?  To teach and be heard?  I have no idea, but I feel a need to share my thoughts.  Maybe I need to talk to someone?  Sometimes I wonder how I get around these feelings.  What was I doing?  What will tomorrow look like?  What about the space between?

I got out of the tub and finally felt relaxed and ready to end the day.  Tomorrow had to be better.  There would be another sun rise waiting for me in the morning.  There would be another workout to tackle and another day to go onto.  Another day to love my family and miss my dad.  Another day closer to figuring it all out.  I wonder if the owl has nights like this?

 

 

 

 

**Song reference was to:  The Sound of Silence, composed by Paul Simon.  But by far my favorite rendition was performed by Disturbed.  I highly recommend listening to it here if you have never heard it before.  It is very powerful.

 

 

 

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Everyday

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my wonderful mother’s birthday.

I wish that I could give her everything she would desire, but I know this year the only thing she would wish for is to have my father back.  He died on July 21st and both of our live’s haven’t been the same.

My mom loves to receive Hallmark cards for every occasion.  She has told me in the past that even if I was late with a gift, that I better always have a card for her.

This year, I didn’t get her a card (sorry mom).

When I was at the card store searching through all the birthday cards they all seemed “fake” and “cold”.  Something that a million dollar corporation puts out that really doesn’t cater to all of the emotions that a single person can have at any given time.  How exactly do you wish anyone a happy birthday after they have had one of the hardest years of their life?

All I can do today is to let my mom know that she is very loved and that my husband and I can only hope to live up to my dad’s last wishes to take good care of her.  I try my best everyday.  I hope you know that mom.  I love you more than you could ever know and I miss daddy too.  It is bitter-sweet.  With his death, he gave me my greatest wish, to have you in my life again and not with miles between us.

Thank you daddy and I love you.

The holidays are coming up fast.  We all will be faced with new emotions as we feel the void of our missing loved one.  I’m truly grateful that we have each other and we will get through it all together.  I promise that to you, today, as always.

I love you mom and Happy Birthday.

 

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Blogging, Everyday

Feeding my fire

I feel like I need a reset button.  A control, alt, delete for my life this year.  End task now and restart.

2017 has been a really hard year.  I’m not writing this looking for sympathy, but to merely remind myself that even though things were treacherous at times, I have to keep moving forward.  My husband tells me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for but I need a break and a hard reset.  I need to look past the sadness and come out on the other side stronger than before.  I’m not sure yet what that might look like, but I have a feeling deep down in my very being that some big changes are in my future.

This year was full of changes.  I had to say goodbye to one of my fur babies after 13 years back in the spring.  I had never felt my heart hurt the way it did as I said goodbye for the last time.  Loosing her brought me to a different level of empathy.  And just as I thought I couldn’t hurt any worse, I lost my dad to cancer.  It went undetected for what was probably years, but took his life in less than a month.  I never understood what it was like to lose a loved one; a parent.  It feels like a small piece of your very being dies right along with them.  One of the two people who made you whole, who gave you life, is no more.  My mother lost her life partner of over 40 years.  Literally half of her heart and soul.  She had been with my father longer then any other signal human being.  I cannot even begin to understand her loss.

Loosing him meant gaining her in my life.  I am an only child and I was the only family she had left.  So she chose to pack up and change her entire life and move 1000 miles away to be with me and my husband.  We have all faced an array of feelings because of this.  The three of us are reforming the small family that I came from.  Years of being apart are bring us closer together but it is tragic that we had to lose someone along the way to get here.  It is bitter-sweet.

In the last week that I spent with my father he made me promise him to keep writing.  Yell from the roof tops about my beliefs.  To make sure my voice was heard any way that I could.  He had always believed in me and I want to make him proud.  I want who he was to live on through who I am.

This is one of the first entires I have made since he died.  I have been so tired and so uninspired.  I haven’t been writing, reading, running or really anything else that I used to enjoy.  Each day feels so long but at the same time goes by so fast.  But lately I can feel a small fire inside of me that keeps pushing me forward.  It keeps me from wanting to just crawl up in a ball and give up.  If I do that, then I would fail myself and worst of all fail him.

You only need one small spark to set the world a blaze.  

 

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