Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's been a long time..

This is a very hard post.

So it has been quite a while since my last post. Unfortunately, that is due to the fact that on March 13, my family lost someone very near and dear to our hearts. My father.

I got a call from the state police saying that he was being taken to the hospital. Of course we jumped in the car for the 1 hour trip to the hospital. When we got there, we were told that he had a massive heart attack and died instantly, despite my mothers valiant efforts to give him CPR. We are all devastated.

My dad was a great man. Oh sure, no one ever speaks ill of the dead but really, he was a wonderful man. He worked hard his entire life to take care of his family. Not just his wife and children but he was always there to help out other people as well. He was a giving person.

My parents would have been married 50 years this May. My mother of course is very sad. That is a long time to be married to someone, an oddity in this day and age. I can only hope and pray my marriage reaches that point.

My fondest memories growing up were our vacations to Chincoteague Va. Every single summer we would go there camping. We would load up in the truck pulling the pop-up camper. Us kids would get into the back of the truck. My parents would put mattresses in there and there was a cab on the back, but we would get so hot that the only thing we could do is go to sleep. But when we woke up, we would be crossing the bridge onto Chincoteague Island. And there we would go to the beach, go crabbing, swimming, fishing, run wild. It was great. It is something that me and my siblings now do with our own kids and my parents always join us. It will be very sad this summer without my dad, the grand kids pop-pop there to untangle the fishing lines, get the boat, steam the crabs, or a multitude of other tasks that he did. He did it without a complaint. He would just go and do what needed to be done. You know, there are not many men in this day and age who are like that any more. Men who will work more than one job just to support their families. Now they complain about too much work, too little money, & not enough time to play with friends. Not my dad though. He never complained. We will all truly miss him.

One thing that helped me immediately after his death was planning the funeral. My friend Laura sent me the funeral program she used for her dad and that was a huge help because I was able to use it as a guide. It was healing planning the scripture and music. It is amazing how having the viewings and going through those motions really do help the family get through that period.

It is amazing how much an email, phone call, cards, etc. helps you get through something like the death of a parent. Just the outpouring of support from friends and family who basically fed us for a week was amazing. We literally would not have had food for all of us at my moms because we were all there. My sibs, our spouses and kids. Mikes family was amazing. They made so much food. His one sister gave us a bag full of breakfast foods. Bagels, yogurt, coffee, etc. So thoughtful. Another sister prepared a huge platter of chicken tenders and broccoli/rice casserole. Seriously, without that food we would have probably been eating cereal.

I had friends from facebook come to the funeral parlor. That was shocking because we only recently reunited online and I haven't seen some of them since 1980! I am truly blessed with the number of friends and family that I have.

Another thing, a revelation of sorts I had. In the day or two after my dad died, we had to go to the store for clothes and food. I was walking around literally in shock. I noticed though that people were really nice to me. Strangers. You know how sometimes you go to the store and the cashiers are just rude? Well everyone we encountered was nice. I really appreciated that. I know they didn't know and were just doing their jobs but it made things so much easier. Anyway, I realized when I was going through that that we truly do need to always remember that we should treat people with compassion and treat them as we would want to be treated. That we need to really take care of each other. Even strangers. We don't know what kind of pain they may be in at any given moment. I am usually nice in public but I am going to make an effort to be nicer, more tolerant. I guess it just made me think we all need to be more compassionate all of the time, even to perfect strangers. Or maybe especially to strangers.

My father loved his grandchildren like you wouldn't believe. They truly were the light of his life. When we were growing up, he worked 2 and 3 jobs so that we could go to private schools and on vacation each year. We did not see him as much as my kids see their father. But with his grandchildren, he was very involved. One of the things I am saddest about is the loss of that relationship not only for the kids but for him as well because he was truly enjoying his life. I know this sounds hokey, but when i think of him in heaven, I picture him holding a chubby little baby, his grandchild, the baby I lost. It has truly brought a peace for me in relation to the miscarriage. I believe that we will be together again with our lost babies and it brings me peace that my baby is there with my dad. And also makes me happy because he still has one grandchild to be with until we are all together again.

Another thing, I lost some of my faith after my miscarriage. Well, Mikey and Caitey's bus driver wrote a long card to us about how glorious heaven is and how even though we miss him, he is 30 years old and healthy and happy again. I like to believe that she is correct. It has made me think more about the fact that we are all on a journey and the destination is heaven. Dad is there now with his parents, siblings and the baby. That makes me happy.
So there you have it.

My sad update. I will try to get on and post more. I want to put some pictures of the kids and my dad so look for them in the coming days. Until next time....


Leeann said...


Your father was a great man. You were blessed to have him and he was blessed to have you.

Always here for you,


CarolinaMomOf5 said...

Beautiful post, Nic. I'm sure your dad was smiling down at you from heaven as you posted your memories of him and feelings and thoughts during the aftermathof his death. Take care, hon.

Jamie said...

I am so sorry to hear this news Nic. Matt, Jack and I are thinking of you... hugs hun!