Crazy how time can sometimes be at a stand still in life and yet, other times it just refuses to slow down.
I find myself looking at Avery after she's done something out of the blue and so grown up to me for a 3 year old and I almost go into a panic. Slow down! Stop growing up on me. I think to myself over and over or You were just my baby girl yesterday....where has the time gone!?. I kid you not, I found her pink baby blanket 2 nights ago and literally grabbed it to my chest and sobbed like a weirdo in the bathroom. How is it already possible that this pink blanket can't even cover her legs anymore when just yesterday I was swaddling her in it!!
Today marks the 10th anniversary of my dad passing away.
I sit here and think of everything that has happened since this day back in 2001. I can still see myself, sitting at work and getting the call. I still remember my friend coming to pick me up and my youth pastor meeting me in that horrible consolation room at Denton Reginal. My mom, sitting with the funeral coordinator and a hospital staff member and her being so calm and yet knowing she was falling apart on the inside. How confused I was when for the last 3 years we had done everything from a nursing home to home care to hospice and roughing it on our own to keep him with us and just like that, he passed away in bed at home. How upset at myself I was. I had moved out months earlier from it being just too hard to live there with other family members moving in and helping out with his care and to also escape how painful it was to deal with all his medical issues and watch him become a stranger to me.
As Nan has told me repeatedly, it's hard to not have regret with death.
I have my regrets, I've dealt with this regret and am no longer haunted by it. As much as I wish we could get do overs I also know he knows how I feel about him even though I never really made it easy on him and I never truly told him how much I loved him as much as I could have. Yes, he was my grandfather, but he was also my dad. A true definition of that word in every sense. His actions spoke so much for what we both lacked in communication. I didn't even attend his memorial or his ash scattering ceremony. I left the day after he died to a ski trip with my youth group(at the urging of my mom) and never skied but just dealt with it all with a few friends and my youth pastor. 2 weeks later, I missed an entire week of school just lying in bed and crying. I was so sick for 3 days letting it all sink in.
I think the hardest realization of it hit me on my wedding day. Something I shared in a past entry about thinking about the walk down the aisle and how I wished so badly that Jonathon wasn't the one giving me away and how weird it was to not have a Father/daughter dance at the reception even though my biological father was there. Gary did dance with me and I remember thinking how wrong it was! He just wasn't the right man for that job on that day. (totally different now as he IS my dad)
The only other time his death really came up again was the day Avery was born. Here I was, a mom finally. Surrounded by those who would love her as much as they love me, a day of joy and celebration and a very important man was missing. Evan knew this and simply reminded me that he had already met Avery before we did and how he loves her in heaven just as much as if he was down here with us. We still keep some of his traditions going with Avery so she can keep them going when she has a family. For me that says a lot for my dad. He was always trying to make everyone happy, he always kept traditions and he always had a smile of his face.
So yesterday when it dawned on me what today would mean, I didn't cry (I did today). I just sat in bed and started thinking of Avery and all the things that have happened the last 3 years and about my brother and his son and just overall how HAPPY and proud my dad is of us even though he isn't here with us. I know he would approve of who I am at 27. I know he would be proud of everything I've done and of Jonathon too.
Just so weird to think it's been a decade since we lost him.