The definition of "normal" is such a broad, multi-dimensional word that it is defined as one such meaning to one person but could be a variation of that to another. It really is a genius word. Normal. In this text, I use the word normal to define what my functions were in life before whirl-wind, mayhem, and chaos entered it. Before death struck, injury occurred and the thoughts I had about being productive were that of everyday feelings for me.
Being normal is something I have been digging and yearning for in these months that have passed. But, dear reader, I have found myself on the mend. It is amazing to me how conversations with people who don't strive to make you feel better by saying "I'm sorry for your loss" or "I know how you feel" can help you over night. I am not disregarding those statements, hugs and cards that people, friends and family have given to me. For all of those, I am truly thankful. Finding a solution to the problem by having you answer your own questions. Oh, what the power of thinking can surely do. The power by which you can see the light bulb on the other side of the table go off by the reflection in their eyes. I have found THAT.
There isn't a song yet that I have really identified with my father's passing. Maybe I never will because frankly with our story, I don't think there are feelings in a song that can match that. But, I keep searching. I don't make it a habit to consume me but the "suggestions" box in You Tube when I listen to a favorite song in the moment has been so far so good to me.
I still get up and pace the house sometimes but i think that it is just restlessness of the mind and I have a paper journal for that. Sometimes it is journal entries like July 16, 2105 - "bitch, go to sleep" that really make me chuckle when I get up in the morning. I enjoy that page. However, last night I laid in bed with my eyes staring at the ceiling and I had my Oprah aha moment. Why? Why am I searching for him to be in the ground somewhere when he never could sit still for very long? Why am I asking him to be somewhere, where if he was alive, he wouldn't have been? Why must I keep pressing myself to be able to go to a "spot" to speak to him or remember him by when really, truly he was a road junkie. He thrived on new places, discoveries in his truck. He thrived on not being in one place all the time. He couldn't. It wasn't him. Maybe my brother gets that from him. My brother is a truck driver, however ironic that turned out. I never knew where my dad was or a way to find him when I searched for him when he was alive, so I brushed it under the rug and kept telling myself "he is somewhere, I can feel it." I sent him a graduation card when I was graduating high school. I thought I knew he had a business in Southern Michigan, so I sent it there. Graduation came and went and I thought maybe he just didn't want to see everyone. Maybe it as me and I carried that burden for the whole 15 days until the envelope came back non-deliverable, bad address. I never blamed him for that. I gave up then. I stopped looking and I prayed that should it be the Lord's will that one day we meet again, I will open my arms. I promised God I would. Now I know they say you can't bargain with God but I think it took 10 years for there to be a perfect place and a perfect time for us to reconnect. For that, I have to be thankful.
I can't say that I am back to total"normal". I can't say that I am not going to have my moments of grief. But I have to believe that doing every day tasks and having an every day routine will help comfort pain and weakness in my heart. It will help me work towards a better me because of it. If anyone can mourn the loss of a parent in a life filled journey, you have done that parent proud.
So doing normal for me will be getting back on the band wagon in my time of need. I will be treating my body and mind with kindness. I have created a new tab that restarts the journey for me in my fitness and health. I don't have any goals right now but just to be healthy. I don't have an expectations than to outlive the sickness that burdened my father. I have to believe I can do better and I will.
For now friends, be kind. be wise. and love without fear.
Yesterday I had lunch with one of my dearest, closest friends. He has been mentioned a few times in previous blogs. He is intelligent and has been through enough gut wrenching life experiences to come out wiser and more efficient. Even though we are separated in age by ten years, I feel as though our experiences are quite similar. Losing a father, having a divorce and being an active parent of a little girl, we can relate to each other and experiences. It is refreshing because sometimes I don't even have to put together a single word and in between the tears and the mumbles, it is understood.
Lunch. Since he has been abreast with the situation of my dad, we just jumped into it. My loneliness, my wandering, my aching heart, my reason for feeling discontent, and more importantly, my loss of control on my health. A few things resonated with me. Where I am (was) is a 0 on a 0-10 scale with 10 being the highest point in my life. When I thought I had hit rock bottom many times, I had no clue. THIS, this is my rock bottom. I can only go up from here. Sure, will I get a few more zero's? Probably. But I am pretty sure moving forward, I will be able to identify it sooner and catch myself before I start scraping the pavements of sorrow. I was a 10 the evening that Andrew got down on his knee. I have had other 10's but nothing like the euphoria that moment gave me. As much as I would love to say it was when I had my daughter, I was 20 years old and terrified out of my mind. We talked about how to find my comfort zone on the 0-10 scale and really what I need to do to find closure with my father's death.
In order to find closure, I have found this blog again (and that helps) but I need to put him in a place in the ground so I have somewhere to go. I often identify my relatives that have passed by connecting their spiritual being with where their body is. I know that his body means nothing to where his spirit goes BUT for me, it helps. Right now, he is sitting in an urn in my aunt's house, waiting to be planted in the bottom of the urn that grows into a beautiful tree. Finally, I need to find the song that is most prominent in the way I had a relationship with him or how I identify with him and comfort my soul listening to that.
Since leaving lunch, I determined that I need to get back on board with a coach to help bring back my healthy eating and training. That is who I am. It is what I love to do and it is part of my healthy mental and physical lifestyle. I spoke with the local trainer/coach at my gym and Monday I am having him put me on a plan that I will adhere to in the next 90 days before I marry the love of my life.
I have 90 days. I want to be mentally and physically where I was because I deserve it. I deserve to have a genuine smile in pictures that will represent the beginning and the lasting love I will have. My dad deserves it. The train wreck is going to get cleaned up now and I am more than happy to put in the work.
Something very powerful to remember is we often become our parents when we get older. When I am in my 50's like my parents, I promise to myself to not have the health issues that I know I can control. Prevention happens now.
My friend is such an inspiration, motivator and breathe of fresh air. When my friend hugs me, I can feel him embracing me and my sorrows, squeezing me to let me know that he is here to help. That is the best part of my day. Hug often.
**Thank you Steven for being in my life**
When mental health and a soul meet and stride in a positive direction, there really is no other choice than the physical part of one's being to make those positive strides as well.
It is a funny thing. Grieving. Many can try to write a book, articles and formulate these "educated" studies on what it is, how it is processed in one's being and give identifying phases so that one can judge another person in their grieving process. After a death or tramatic event often times a doctor will say "he/she is angry that is the second phase of the process, he/she has three more to go". To go where? To get well? To feel normal? To identify that "yay, I have made it, I can forget now"? Life is a grieving process. We grieve the loss of an animal, a relationship (platonic or romantic), clothes that don't fit, loss of a vehicle, we grieve. For some things, yes, these is a "process" but it is a never ending process. You never fully recover because there will always be a topic of conversation about the animal, clothing, vehicle, relationship will always come up. Always. You can't run from it. You aren't healed. It just becomes easier when you vocalize with relatives and strangers about what it is that is being grieved. That is the phase. The phase is about how "tolerable" you are every day that passes when you talk about what you are grieving.
The grieving process comes for me a little bit later and it never stays in the same place at one moment in time. When my Papa Moe died November of 2009 I called and made arrangements for the appointments, I wrote his obituary, called all the close friends and relatives and answered most of the questions when the funeral home director would ask them. When he would ask my Oma a question, she would nod to me with a blank stare and her eyes were empty. It was the same kind of emptiness you would find in staring down the hospital hallway wondering if they forgot about you. The same emptiness that I found in my Papa's eyes when he met his maker. She was empty and I had no choice but to worry about her emptiness in order to get all the paperwork processed. I didn't cry until the year anniversary of his death. I didn't really even think about his death until the anniversary, then I was scared. I was scared that he would be angry at me for missing his birthday that year, their anniversary, or any other important anniversary of memories we made. I forgot, all of that. I was empty, my brain was on auto pilot because I knew that in 365 days of November 11,2009 I would have to relive the day that I never wanted to relive again. Grief comes in waves now with him. Mostly thankfulness that the cancer that crippled his body and emphysema that inhibited his breathing never was able to touch his soul and deter him away from his Lord.
I thought after discussing my grieving process with whom ever came in my path, I knew what my process was and I knew myself. <~ But I didn't. At all. When my dad died, my "process" was no longer any kind of process. It was chaos. Pure fucking chaos (sorry for the language). I raced to my grandma's, hugged everyone and I found myself in my grandpa's lap like I was 8 years old again, wondering where my daddy could possibly be and why I wasn't with him. I was young. My mother and family never hid him from my brother and me. Would answer honestly when we asked. I remember being 8. My brother and me had just gotten done with our bubble baths (those were our favorite) and ice cream. the nightly ritual would be brush the teeth and crawl in the lap of my grandpa who would then rock me to sleep. He was rocking me to the noise of Wheel of Fortune and I was staring off into the distance of the three pictures my grandma had on the book shelf. They were graduation pictures. Individual pictures of my aunt, my uncle and my dad. He was in the middle. A tall slender man and at 8 years old I fantasized about where he was, what he was doing and why he wasn't here. Not that I didn't want my grandpa's lap (I wouldn't trade that for the world) but it wasn't my daddy's. I never asked my grandpa that day because he never spoke about him. Ever. At the age of 28 on February 20, I was right where I needed to be in my grieving process. I was an 8 year old girl. I couldn't put the pieces together, call anyone or even fathom writing an obituary. I had to have my moment, my five minutes to just BE. Be right where I needed to be. I needed to be a child, grieving for her daddy, in her second daddy's lap. Moments after, I wrote the obituary because I wanted to, and I sat quietly unless it specifically pertained to me at the funeral home. I had empty eyes. Putting together a full sentence was not a requirement so I didn't do it. I have never had the denial, anger, or bargaining "phases" of grief. I have accepted his death because I am not allowed to bargain by God's decisions. It's not me. I have however slumped into depression. Not clinical depression but my emotional eating has taken over me.
I find myself not caring. Not caring about what I am putting into my body and I firmly believe it is because I don't believe in my mental health. I have accepted my dad's death but I haven't let the situation that claimed his life shake me into making decisions in my life for the better. I have gotten comfortable with just being mediocre and lost my passion for weight lifting and seeing positive changes in my body and the numbers at the gym. I lost my path to keep me sane. It is there somewhere. I am trying to reclaim that. Little by little I starting to fight. Fight for what I need because I deserve it.
This is me, pushing, forcing, making strides with my mental health so that the positive changes in my physical health will follow.This blog I have lost track of and really I should have been using it as a blank canvas to spill out all of my angers, frustrations, triumphs and proclamations through this whole entire weight loss and now, grieving process.
And so I will do so. Work. Run. Mom. is in full effect and the chances of me stopping is not in sight.
Happy New Year!
I am sure by now, we have all realized that I severely suck at keeping up with a blog, yet I find ample time to read other's blogs. It is a vicious cycle. Vicious, I tell you. So where am I with everything? Well, let me just do a little fill in, then we will jump into 2015 shenanigans!!
1. Still engaged, still planning a wedding...October 2015 can't come fast enough.
2. My job is going fantastically with a trip this month to Jacksonville, FL for some training!
3. My beautiful daughter will be 9, 9! this year. I can't simply believe it.
4. I fell off the weight loss bandwagon (still lifting but not caring what I ate) BUT that has soon come back to being strict (more on that in a minute).
5. Christmas was a blast and was the most meaningful it has been since I was a child.
6. I FINALLY am getting around the being more dedicated to clothing and make up choices (part of jumping in to being a "big girl" I suppose)
I try not to do that "New Year, New Me" gig. It just isn't for me. Last year, my journey started on January 6th and it just seemed fitting to restart on the same day. I have been binge free for two days and have been still struggling with feeling "hungry". Now, I put hungry in quotes because I am focusing on drinking more water, especially when I know that I just ate 2 hours ago and I am in fact NOT hungry. So, what shenanigans do I have planned? See below!
1. CONTINUE GROWING MY BLOG, MY FACEBOOK PAGE AND EDUCATING MYSELF ON BLOGGING.
2. CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON MY TRAINING PLAN AND INCREASE MY STRENGTH.
3. STAY ON TRACK WITH MEAL PLANNING.
4. GET MORE ORGANIZED.
5. TRAVEL MORE.
6. READ MORE.
7. SPEND MORE TIME BEING PRESENT.
8. WORK TO GROW MY LIFESTYLE BLOG.
9. GIVE MORE TIME TO MY CHURCH.
10. PAY DOWN MORE DEBT.
This year is all about taking time to focus on the things that matter. Focus on building my relationship with myself, God, and my family. Purging things I don't need while expressing myself more through my clothes and make-up (which I love). Being financially free and traveling are also two huge goals for me this year. LOVE my life and be mentally present every day so that I can enjoy it.
You only have one life, LIVE it each day!
Onward 2015, I've GOT this!