Boy, can a lot happen in a year. Where do I even begin? Actually, I know exactly where to begin, I just don’t want too.
This past year has, without doubt, been the hardest year of my short, 25 years on this Earth. It started out normally enough, but then my whole world changed in an instant on January 15, 2012…my dad died.
I will never forget that moment. It was just a normal evening…my house was a mess, with laundry scattered everywhere. I was too engrosed in I Love Lucy reruns to care about laundry or anything else. I had the front door open, like always, when i saw a pickup pull up – my uncle’s. I figured he and my aunt had gone to eat or something and were just stopping by to say hi.
Looking back now, I should have known immediately that something was wrong…the look on my aunt’s face.
She sat down next to me on the couch and my uncle just stood in front of me. That’s when she told me my daddy died. All I remember saying is “no” over and over. My uncle called my mom and as soon as i heard her voice, I lost it. I asked her what happened…my dad had had pneumonia. He had the year before, too, pretty bad. I just talked to mom a day or two before and they didn’t think it was as bad this time.
But his oxygen got low earlier that evening so they went to the emergency room just to be safe. And he stopped breathing. I didn’t even know they had gone to the hospital.
I couldn’t believe it. I refused to. My aunt and uncle helped me throw clothes and stuff in a bag, and we loaded up Buster and Duke, and they drove me the three hours to my parents’ house. It was the longest drive of my life.
I wasn’t prepared to face any of it, but i especially wasn’t prepared for 50 or so people at the house when we got there. It was overwhelming to say the least. But looking at it now, it just showed how many people cared about him.
Needless to say, the next couple of weeks were not pretty. It’s weird how some things are sharp memories and others are just a blurr. I remember having to go shopping because i didnt bring anything to wear for a funeral. I couldnt wear sweats. That was miserable – its one of thosr blurr memories. Then there was the viewing.
Up until that point, I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like seeing my dad like that. And i wasn’t ready. I turned the corner to go in the room and the second my eyes hit him, i fell apart. I couldn’t go in there. I remember my aunt and cousin just holding me while i cried, until i could walk in.
At first, I couldnt go up to him. Thats really all I remember. I slowly got closer. I couldn’t touch him though. I was afraid to. I wanted so bad for it to all be a dream and i knew if i touched him, i wouldn’t be able to hang on to that…and that was about all i had holding me together.
There were so many people at his funeral…i never realized how many lives he touched. But he did. He was such a good man. And without a doubt the best daddy any one have had.
Going back to work after all of that was miserable. But then again, everything was miserable. I ended up in a very dark place. I couldn’t break free of the grief. Then the anger…not just anger, but rage and fury…started. Now i joke that i was like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. But it’s true. In an instant, over the smallest things, I would completely loose myself in the rage. Then it would subside i would break down just bawling because felt guilty and ashamed for reacting that way.
This went all went on much longer than it should have. But finally, almost seven months after loosing my dad, i went to the doctor and he started me on anti-depressants. He first month or so wasn’t much better, and i was sick all the time. But then they started to work.
Don’t me wrong, they arent magic pills that everything ok. But they help. They help alot. It has taken all this time, this seven or eight months of taking them, for me really start conciously working with the pills to break thru the haze.
But break thru i did. It was weird. The day of the one year anniversary of my dad’s death, a switch flipped. That’s the only way i can think of to possibly describe it. It wasnt that everything was suddenly daisies. But for the first time in a year, I really saw the darkness fading and the light start to shine thru. And almost every day has been ever so slightly brighter.
I am finally feelling happy again. I dont feel like a zombie anymore. I still have my moments, and i know that i always will. But i feel like i can handle them now. I dont feel like the darkness is taking over my entire life anymore.
Its an ongoing process that wont ever end. And im ok with that.
This is a new begining for me. No more living to please others or worrying about what every one thinks. Its my life and I’m going to live it as I see fit. Because now i truly know that one single moment is all it takes to change your life forever.