It’s been more than a month since I’ve written anything on this blog. My heart has been hurting for days and I know that I am not fully healed. I guess an explanation is necessary.
Tuesday, September 9th 2014: approximately 2:00pm.
It was any other normal day. Excited about seeing my parents on the 16th, getting my costume ready for Rose City Comic Con. I received a call from my sister in Oregon telling me my father had a heart attack. She didn’t know all that was going on but wanted me to call my husband and tell him. All she knew was he was on the way to the hospital.
My heart sank. I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t sound real to me.
I didn’t want to call my husband. What I wanted was to find out about my dad so I called my mom. As I was on the phone with her she told me they were trying to revive him. I was sick to my stomach. 3,000 miles away and I couldn’t hold my mom or be with my dad. The Chaplain at the hospital got on the phone to try and calm me down. I don’t remember how I was reacting but I do remember the chaplain asking me what she could do for me or what I wanted to do. I just told her I wanted to pray!
I asked God to save my father. Just keep him alive. But if it was his time to go, to take him home.
Just after I prayed my mom got back on the phone with me and told him he was gone.
My world seemed to come crashing down around me. I fell to the hard wood floor, my whole body convulsing from pain. Wailing at decibels that neighbors from 5 houses down the road could hear, I curled in a ball. I heard a car door from the street below and had a feeling it could be my husband. When i called him he said he was already there. I told him to get upstairs fast as I continued to wail.
I never thought, in my entire life, that I could every weep so loudly or that my body could feel that much pain. As my husband walked through the door I struggled to get up and grabbed his arms as I fell to the ground again screaming out that my dad was gone. He held me as cried and my body fell into exhaustion.
I don’t know how long it was before I stopped crying and became a bit more lucid, however my heart still felt heavy. I was far away from my family as they were grieving. I had no one but my husband where I was. To take my mind off of all the phone calls that were coming in and the tears that were being shed, I went back to making my cos-play.
On my birthday, August 26th, my dad and mom had sent me some money. I used that to purchase the fabric for my cos-play. Working on the project in a way, kept my mind off what had happened but also reminded me that he would’ve never wanted me to drop what I was doing and not finish it. So I did.
That Thursday my husband and I flew out to Oregon to help the rest of my family and grieve with them.
That next week we cremated my father and had his ashes placed in the Willamette National Cemetery. That weekend we had a Celebration of Life Service at our church and got to share laughter, tears, and many stories I never even knew about.
About two weeks before he passed he called me just to tell me that he was proud of me. It was the most random phone call I ever received from him, but it was good. The weekend before he passed him and my mom went on a road trip around Eastern Oregon. When they got back my dad told my mom that would be their last long drive. It’s like he knew he was going to be going home soon.
It’s now been over a month but the pain has not subsided. It still hurts. I keep thinking about all the things I won’t get to experience with him. Like getting to see the look on his face when I have a baby of my own or watching me get my master’s degree. So many things that I have yet to do and he will not be there for me to share my joy with.
My father was someone that I always came to for advice. He was a strong and gruff man but with a kind and tender heart. He would cry at moments that would surprise others, but not us. I remember moments when I was a kid of me falling asleep on his chest or him teaching me how to shoot for the first time.
I was really looking forward to coming back out to Oregon and getting to spend some time with my dad. I had plans to go fishing and hunting with him again, trudging the great outdoors. Now it’s all gone. Everyone tells me it will be all okay, and though I know that, it doesn’t keep the pain from creeping up.
I do know that it will take time for me to heal. I didn’t think I’d be able to write this now, but I’ve had some tremendous help from my friends and family reminding me that this was the best way to heal. So here I am.
Pain is still there, however my heart feels lighter.