Four years ago today, my father passed away. He and I were very close. Father and daughter and great friends. The day he died was the worst day of my life and I experienced a level of pain and sorrow I hadn’t known existed. I don’t wish that kind of hurt upon anyone I care about.
The whole first year was rough, the second year only slightly easier, the third had its ups and downs but this fourth year has been decidedly different in a very positive way. His spirit is always close to me but this year it’s even closer as he supports and encourages me in the pursuit of my dreams. I grabbed onto my dreams with both hands this year and held tight to them as I work to achieve them.
I published my first e-book Massachusetts Adventures: Boston on Father’s Day in honor of my dad and while very few have read it, I’m still proud of myself and I know he’s proud too. I worked my adorable butt off freelance writing so I could quit my office job this past July and I’m making a successful go of it. I finally took my daughters and my mother on a vacation to New England this past August and showed my girls Boston as I promised. Since June, I’ve managed to head up to New England every other month, which has been my goal since my first visit there two years ago. Those are several very big dreams accomplished! They’re just small steps on the bigger journey though.
It’s been a long healing process after losing my father and I’ll never quite be whole without him, but I’m in a much better place now than ever before. I’m able to look back on my many years with him in happiness and the scars of his untimely passing are less painful and slowly disappearing in the light of positive experiences in my life.
To continue to honor his spirit this month and always, I’m going to be writing up my more recent adventures in New England and finally adding more books to my e-book series. I’m going to rename my e-book series from “Massachusetts Adventures” to “New England Adventures” as I continue to explore that amazingly beautiful area of the country. That’s going to require me redoing the cover of my first book but I’m sure I’m up to the task!
I have great expectations for the upcoming year and all the years beyond it. I know I will achieve my dreams and keep dreaming up even bigger ones to chase. I believe in myself and I know my own strength and I’m certain I can accomplish whatever I put my determined mind to! Thanks, Dad, you taught your girl well!
I’m pasting in the post I wrote up last year in honor of his memory. I was given an unexpected and wonderful gift last October. It was a huge step toward healing my heart and finally remembering in happiness all the greatness of my father.
Casting Shadows – 10/22/2012
My father was a great man. He wasn’t perfect by any means but as I say, perfect is boring and quite honestly, unattainable. What made my father great was his kind heart, caring nature, quirky sense of humor, passion for and knowledge of history, and most importantly, the love he had for his family. That love lives on even though he has departed this world and every day his spirit touches me in some way. I am a mere shadow of the person he was but I strive every day to attain such greatness.
I expected last week to be tough and it certainly had its low moments but they were countered by some amazingly unexpected high moments. Life has tested me over the past couple months and given me challenges I managed to overcome even though I stumbled a bit. My faith in certain things left me but my hope for those same things remained.
This past week I was shown that even though I lose faith and succumb to the darker side of shadows, faith never completely gives up on me. Hope is a very powerful force and it is intertwined with faith whether we realize it or not. There was one thing I could not give up on, despite saying I had and trying to convince myself I had. I can’t explain why I didn’t give up, why I couldn’t let go, aside from the fact that I just didn’t want to. There was perhaps a different reason, a deeper meaning behind my inability to release that last little bit of hope. Whatever the reason, a great gift was bestowed upon me last week and it proved to me that I have the most amazing best friend in the world! It also showed me that shadows are not something to be feared because they can not exist without light.
So while I expected my path last week to go one way, it went a completely new way and in a lovely upward direction. I still had sad moments where the tears from missing my father flowed freely, but amid those moments the love of my friends and family shined through, lifted me up and kept me strong. I learned to smile again and I laughed without restraint and I sang loudly and off key in my car to songs that I hadn’t wanted to hear anymore until that moment.
My oldest daughter noted that I was going around the house singing my snippets of show tunes again and when I asked if it bothered her she said “No!” For her to say that tells me that I was lower than I realized. The 10 year old girl who had always rolled her eyes and grumbled when her mother sang “I feel pretty” was now smiling at the sound of my voice and that was yet another blessed gift. I am one person but I am made better and held together by the spirits of my family and friends. I shall never take that for granted again and I will pay heed to my father’s voice in my head when he tells me “Be patient.” Slow down, breathe, relax, have faith, hold hope and continue on the path and the rewards will always be surprising.