Category Archives: loss
I can’t believe another Father’s Day is here, the second since we said goodbye to Daddy. It seems that time is passing so quickly. Last year on Father’s Day, I bought a card for Daddy. I did the same this year. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t here… It is important to me that he is honored on such an important day, one that recognizes the amazing man that he was. Just because he isn’t here, doesn’t mean I can’t thank him for everything he was – and is – to me, and for everything he did for me. It wouldn’t seem right.
This morning, we went to Bay Pines VA to place flowers by Daddy’s memorial. It is always overwhelming to see his name there. I believe he is everywhere, but seeing his name there always make it seem even more real that he is gone.
I’ve always thought that my dad was an incredible man. He was injured and in a wheelchair before he married my mom and before I was born. I never knew him any other way. The wheelchair never mattered, though, and it certainly never affected his ability to be a good father. He did everything he could to take care of his family. If anything, the wheelchair he sat in for 55 years made him work harder. I would often say that he did more from that wheelchair than many people did up on their feet. And that is the truth.
When you spend 12+ hours a day in the hospital with your dad over the last four weeks of his life (whether you realize it or not at the time), you do a lot of thinking. The 38 years and 8 months I had with him seemed much too short. I am fortunate that there were not things left unsaid and that we were very close up until the last time we spoke. If I was unable to say that, I would be even sadder. To be able to say goodbye to him and know that all was good between us was very important to me. He knew how much we all loved him. That I am sure of.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. You may not be here with us physically, but your presence is obvious in my world every day. You always were, and still are, a great influence on me and my life. I like to think I am a strong and determined person because of both you and Mommy. You will be with us today as we celebrate as a family. I miss you every single day, and even more so on these days we would have spent together as a family. You were the best father in the whole world. I love you and miss you so very much.
I’d like to think, I’ll always be Daddy’s little girl…
A very proud Daddy, with Mommy, Mike, and me in 2003
Our last family portrait taken in 2007
My all-time favorite photo of Daddy and I, April 2007
Today marks the end of the National Infertility Awareness Week. It has been my intention all week to write a post on my feelings about infertility and I just did not get around to it. I am making time this morning to do it because I feel it is very important.
I’ve touched briefly in my blog about our infertility struggles. It is a hard subject to talk about. It has been almost 6 years since we first decided to try for a baby, and 5 years since our miscarriage in what has been our only pregnancy to date. It was a very early miscarriage but that doesn’t lessen the pain, anger, hurt, and sadness we felt. As we approach the middle of January every year, I am reminded of the happiness and excitement we felt when we found out we were going to have a baby. When the end of January comes along, I am reminded of the incredible sense of loss we felt when that happiness was taken away from us. I remember it like it was yesterday. I realize, 5 years later, that those feelings will likely never go away. the pain of infertility is very real. I, myself, have battled with depression and anxiety over it. It is not something that can be forgotten or pushed aside.
The steps we took after that loss to try to have a child were always determined by our finances. That is the hard and cold truth. Our insurance does not cover infertility treatment, so much of what we did came out of our pockets and we will continue to pay on that for awhile. It is a monthly reminder of what we did and our strong desire to be parents.
I became friends with many women on an infertility message board. They are some of the strongest women I know. Some are still trying, and some have been blessed with a baby or two. Natural pregnancies, some with the help of modern technology, and others by adoption. None of them forget the struggle they faced. The road for every one facing infertility is different. Our bodies are different and no matter how advanced modern technology is, there are no easy answers or magic pills to guarantee that every one of us can have a baby.
Do not ignore infertility. Do not ignore the struggles that couples face to try to have a child. But you must also be kind when addressing it. Be mindful of what you say to someone who cannot have a child. Saying things like “some people aren’t meant to have a child” is one of the most hurtful things anyone can ever hear. Everyone’s struggles are different, but the desire of everyone facing infertility is the same… To have a child.
I can’t say that we’ve come to terms with the fact that we will likely never have a child. I don’t know that one ever really does. Age is not on our side. Neither are the unlimited funds for the medical assistance we would need. Changes need to be made to insurance to allow for infertility coverage. Some states mandate it, others do not. Florida is one of the ones that does not. The desire and ability to have a child should not be determined by finances and the ability to pay for treatment.
Don’t ignore infertility, a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples. Everyone knows at least 8 couples, which means everyone knows someone fighting this battle. It is a physical, emotional, and financial battle. Infertility awareness should last more than one week a year. To find out more about infertility, and all the resources available, visit http://www.resolve.org/.
For the last 15 months, I have avoided the hospital where my dad passed away. I’ve had to drive past it many times, although I would even try to avoid that. One time I intentionally drove through the parking lot because I was compelled to do so. I had hoped that I would not ever have to go back inside anytime soon.
Today was the day. My mom is having surgery next week and had to go in for pre-op. I went with her so she wouldn’t have to go alone. My need for her to not be alone outweighed the trepidation that I felt. In fact, I am writing this as I sit in the waiting room and wait for her.
When you spend 12 hours a day or more over a month’s time in a place, there are things you get used to. You learn your way around, you recognize and get to know people, you get used to the sterile smell of the halls and the rooms, the sounds, seeing patients on gurneys, and more.
Neither one of us wanted to walk in there to begin with, and I wasn’t sure what I dreaded most. We had to enter near the emergency room which we knew all too well. Passing the row of parked ambulances brought back a flood of memories. But it wasn’t until we walked in that I realized what would hit me the most. And it was the smell. That sterile smell that I had become accustomed to, and the smell of the soap in the bathroom. To me, sense of smell is very powerful and can be overwhelming, especially in situations like this. These might seem like trivial thoughts to have but when you relate them to the last time you saw someone, it is HUGE.
The last time we were here, we said goodbye to Daddy – and physically left him here. It is one of many thoughts I had that day. I knew it was just his body in that room when we left, and his spirit and all that we loved about him left with us and still remains with us. But at that moment, it felt like we were leaving him, and I hated that.
So to walk back into the same building today that we last saw him in 15 months ago was hard.
Next week we will ALL, I hope, be here as a family as my mom has surgery. No one is alone in this family despite fear, trepidation, and more. The hospital is a great one and everyone here is very kind and patient-oriented. All of this outweighs the bad parts of the walls, rooms, floors, and more that make up the hospital that holds the many memories of pain, loss, and grief we all felt.
I am glad I came with her today, not only to support her, but to get beyond the apprehension of going. The next time we are here, I can focus more on my mom, her surgery, and her recovery. All will be fine.