A Day That Snuck Up

My father and I in the Adirondack Mountains. My favorite picture of us.

With the prolonged winter weather, plumbing issues, and car trouble I’ve experienced this year, I’ve often lost track of days as I work through it all. The late arrival of spring has me thinking it’s still April some days and therefore I was surprised to realize that one day in particular snuck up on me unawares: today, my father’s birthday.

As my mother said incredulously yesterday, my father would’ve turned 77 this year. That’s mind boggling to me because in my mind, my parents don’t really age. My father left this world when he was 68. His health had deteriorated in the last years of his life. But fortunately with the passage of time, I usually remember him as the healthy, fit man he was in his 50s. That really is a blessing and something I’m certain makes his spirit happy.

In past years I’ve felt sorrow in the days leading up to his birthday and on his birthday, but not this year. Admittedly, I’ve been stressed about getting my car’s transmission fixed, dealing with yard work, and so on, but even without those things, I don’t think I would’ve felt sad.

I miss my father every single day and I wish he was still here to help me with so many things, but overall I feel like I’m in a good place in my life. I’m content and happy and don’t feel as lost as I used to. I believe I owe that in large part to everything I inherited from my father. He taught me to always see the bright side of life, to look at things from different angles, and to appreciate all the blessings I have.

Life isn’t always easy, but it’s always a gift. So while I no longer have my father here to give gifts to on his birthday, he continues to give me the greatest gifts of love, strength, faith, gratitude, acceptance, and determination.

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Finding Light in Darkness

candlelight in darkness by JulieAnn Corbin

On this day seven years ago, my father walked on. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that many years, but I know it has. Although the pain and sadness of losing him will never go away, it has faded over the years. His spirt is always with me and I can still hear his voice and his laughter in my mind whenever I think of him.

This October has been the first October since his death when I didn’t feel overwhelmed with emotions of grief. I’ve been focusing on the blessings in my life and creating as much positive energy as possible because I know that’s what my father would want. It’s also what’s best for me and my girls.

I think my father would be proud of the woman I’ve become and how I’m raising my girls. He’d appreciate the fact that I haven’t settled for someone just to avoid being alone. He was a role model for the kind of man I deserve in my life and I’ve yet to meet his match. If I never meet his match, then I’ll remain single, simple as that. I am a tough, strong, independent woman and I’ve learned to enjoy every moment of my life. I cherish the time with my daughters and I make the most of my time when I don’t have them. Life is a blessing and must never be taken for granted.

My father with our cat Sylvester

My father with our cat Sylvester

On this day and every day, I honor my father’s eternal spirit. I recall all the wonderful memories of him and remember how tightly he always hugged me and that we always said, “I love you” when we parted. I will light candles in his memory and smudge my house with sage to cleanse the space and bring healing energy within. Even though the sadness of losing him is eternal, there is always light to be found in darkness and I will do my best to be that light.