Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.
I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.
Up now is one of my internet little sisters. Though we've never met in person, it doesn't matter. There is an unspoken bond we share that connects all the girls wandering the world without their fathers. Megan is the voice behind Modern Mama Dramas and can be found on her blog here and on her Facebook page here. She's currently awaiting the arrival of her third son, and someday...someday we're going to find one another in real life.
I can’t even remember when I first found Kelly’s blog; it was a few years ago, I know that much. I followed her posts discreetly for some time until one post; one post that was so powerful, I knew I had to come out of the shadows and leave a comment. I tried to find that one post but do you see how many posts this woman has made?!
I know what it was about, anyways, even if I don’t remember the specific post. It was a post about losing her father.
I lost my dad nine years ago this February. It was and still is, the worst loss I have sustained and when I read that one post, I knew I needed to reach out to someone who was dealing with the same loss. I am so glad that I did because I have found a very real friend in Kelly and she has helped me deal with my own grief, as I hope I have helped her.
This is my story.
I was nineteen years old, weeks from turning 20, when I made a fateful call to my dad. He lived with, and took care, of his mom, my grandmother, who answered the phone that afternoon. I asked for Dad and waited while she went to get him. She came back on the line and said the strangest thing, “I’ll have to call you back. He isn’t breathing.”
I don’t know why it didn’t register but it didn’t. My grandma was an alcoholic and maybe I just assumed she was drunk. Maybe my brain knew it couldn’t process what it was learning so it starting the blocking out process right then. I honestly don’t know but I went on with my day, went shopping and eventually made it back my mom’s house, hours later. She lived with her mom too and when we walked in the door, my grandma was on the phone. She looked me right in the eyes and handed the phone to my mom. “It’s for you.”, she said.
My knees buckled and I hit the floor.
I knew it.
I heard the words echoing in my head, again & again. “He’s not breathing.”
“He’s not breathing.”
“He’s not breathing.”
Still, I couldn’t process it. It couldn’t be true. Not my dad. ‘He’s only 46. He can’t die! His birthday is almost here. HE CAN’T DIE!’
It took me hours to get to his house. I was a mess. The coroner had already taken his body by the time I got there. I couldn’t even go into his room. My mom did. There was a small patch of blood and spit on his bed. He’d had a seizure and smothered himself. After living with epilepsy for 30+ years, a seizure had killed him.
I was numb.
I was in shock.
I went home to the apartment I shared with my boyfriend at the time. I cried myself to sleep and woke up in a white room. I saw my dad, in a leather jacket he hadn’t worn in years, sitting on a bench with his elbows on his knees and his head bent. He looked up and saw me. He stood and I ran to him. He hugged me and I could feel the stubble of his beard, smell his leather coat. This has to be real.
We talked & eventually, I woke up feeling as if I had truly spent the night with him.
Then I remembered he was gone and I would never talk to him again and every dream of him after that was just that: a dream.
The next few months were Hell on Earth for me, battling with my family for his things, grieving for him and simply trying to live my life. I blocked out a lot and refused to deal with even more. I couldn’t cope with it. It was too much for me. There is so much that happened during that time I wish I could do differently. So very, very much.
A year later, I was pregnant with my first son. I knew Phoenix was a boy. I felt like he was a gift. I was getting a piece of my dad back, in the form of the most beautiful, lovable little boy ever. My dad was reminding me that he will never truly be gone from my life because I am a part of him. As long as I can remember him, as long as I do what I know would make him proud, he lives on.
It’s been a long, hard road since losing my dad. I have two boys now and a third on the way. I have been in a long-term, committed relationship with their father for eight trying years and I’ve moved to a new city, in a new state, the state my dad was born in. I have grown up; grown into a woman, into a mom. I know my dad would be proud of where I am today & who I have become. I know he is with me, watching over me and my family. I see him in my boys and I talk with him the way some folks probably talk to God, asking him for help or guidance or strength or just talking to him.
With Father’s Day around the corner, I think about him even more. I wish he was still here but I am so thankful for the time I had with him, so thankful for him. Not all fathers are created equally so I feel incredibly lucky to have had one of the greatest fathers who ever lived.
You were better to me than your father was to you, Dad; you broke many cycles and taught me many, many things. You showed me the power of quiet strength, made me push myself to be a better me, taught me to expand my comfort zone and required my very best in everything I did. I had no idea how much I would come to rely on your words, which makes me even more grateful for them. You planted the seeds that have helped me grow into the person I am today.
I love you. I miss you.
Happy Father’s Day to every dad out there and hugs to all of us who are wishing we had one more chance to say, “I love you, Dad.”
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