Welcome to October's Use Your Words challenge. Here is how it works: each participating blogger submits four to six words or short phrases, for another blogger to craft into a post. The post can be about anything, as long as each word is used at least once. The words are assigned randomly, so no blogger knows who gets the words the submitted, and have no clue which words they will receive, until they are assigned the words. The bloggers can interpret the words into any kind of post they want, and the posts are usually quite unique.
My words are:
My words are:
blueberry ~ fantastic ~ love ~ scared ~ zoo
It was submitted by: http://theblogging911.com/blog
Since I received the phone call, from the Sheriff, telling me my father had passed away, I have done so much reflecting on life. Thinking about my dad. Thinking about our life together. Thinking about my life apart from him. Really, just a lot of thinking. I have also been doing a lot of crying. Thankfully, not all of the tears have been sad. Some have been happy, and a few have been from laughter. My dad was a very funny man, and I owe him much thanks for all the laughs.
My dad and I have had a complicated relationship, but no matter what, I love him. I will always love him.There will never be a past tense for that. No matter how upset he made me, how much he frustrated me, or how annoyed he would make me... I always loved him. I think the same can be said for him. No matter what I have done, how badly I have upset him, or how annoyed he was with me... He always loved me.
I have some fantastic memories of him, and I have discovered over the past few weeks, that so many other people can say the same. His death has hurt a lot of people. I am sure it has made some people happy. My daddy was not an easy guy. He was complex, and knowing him was definitely an experience. He was such a contradiction of sorts, just like I am. I guess I got that from him. Chad said it best, I think... He was an asshole, but he was our asshole.
My daddy taught me the importance of love and kindness. He taught me to stand up for what I believe in. He taught me that the old saying is true, it is definitely better to give than receive. He helped give me my inner voice, which I was able to use to defend myself, and those around me who need defending. He sure talked a lot, another trait I got from him. When I saw him at the funeral home, his mouth was open, and it made me giggle. It was so appropriate, that even in death, he couldn't keep his mouth shut.
He was so strong and so stubborn. In fact, I am honestly still shocked that he passed away, because I thought he was simply too stubborn to die. I have often joked that he would outlive me, and in truth, many times I thought that was the absolute truth. He started fighting cancer before I was even born, and he never quit fighting it. He did not let it slow him down. No matter how sick he got, he never lost his inner fire, that burned hot with determination.
I do not know, if he purposely hid how sick he was at the end, because he did not want me to be scared, or if he really just thought he was going to kick cancer's ass yet again, but even at the end, he was talking about the future and making plans. I can only hope, that if faced with similar obstacles, I handle it will as much strength and determination as him.
One of the things he will be most remember for, is food. Whether it is the food he grew in his gardens, and gave away, feeding much of the community around him, or the food he prepared in his kitchen, that would make any mouth water. Those are definitely two things I would have loved to inherit from him. I cannot grow a garden, even if my life depended on it, but I can grow weeds. Well, the grow on their own, I just watch them grow. I can do okay in the kitchen, but nothing compared to him. I miss his cooking, and will always regret not going home for more visits, and enjoying more meals with him.
Growing up, we did not do some of the more normal things, like zoo trips, beach trips, or Disney trips. We did have many adventures together. We traveled all over the USA, and had so much fun doing it. It was normal, for him to pull me out of school for a week or two, and just go on a road trip to visit friends. We never drove straight. We would zigzag all over, and explore the places we passed through. I think he had a nomadic heart, and I inherited it from him. I have been here for ten years, and it is driving me bonkers. I want to go, leave, explore. Yet, some how, Chad got me to lay down roots, and so I am here, to stay. At least for now.
I am so worried, that with these cysts in my head, I am going to forget all my memories, especially my earliest ones. It makes me wish I had many more pictures than I do, especially of my childhood. Pictures have a way of bring back my memories, even the ones I have mostly forgotten. I really do not want to forget my life at all, not even the bad parts, because they have all made me me.
I especially do not want to forget my good ones. The ones of shenanigans with my best friend Shannon, while her parents and my dad would be picking vegetables and cooking. I do not want to forget all the blueberry bushes, my dad planted for me, all along the perimeter of his garden, or the slow Summer days I spent eating all of the blueberries. All. Of. Them. I do not want to forget Summer nights spent of our friend's porch, all of us kids taking turns churning home made ice cream. Our parents would be talking and laughing. My daddy would play the guitar, and we would all sing.
I do not want to forget all the times I helped him help other people. All the times he helped families get aid, to pay their bills that had piled up, while one of the parents had been sick. I do not want to forget all the food we delivered to people in need. I do not want to forget listening to him debate with politicians. I do not want to forget him telling me he loves me, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.
I do not want to forget things, and be unable to tell Gigi more about her Papa. He loved her so much. I think he may even have loved her more than he loved me, and I am okay with that. Gigi is a very special little girl, and I am blessed to be her Mama, even though she is a total Daddy's girl. I can respect that, and understand it, because I am a Daddy's girl too. Despite the difficulties in our relationship, he was my Daddy, and I love him very, very much. So, it makes total sense to me, to see Gigi being a Daddy's girl. Chad is an amazing dad. I cannot blame her one bit. Plus, I know she loves me a whole bunch. That is good enough for me.
I am sorry I am still be pretty radio silent. I am just trying to get through these emotions, and come out on the other side in one piece. I just thought this would be so much easier, than it has been. This experience has taught me a lot. I wasted so much time, focusing on the bad memories, and letting them impact my current attitude. I should have spent so much more time focusing on the good times, because now I can see that those are the ones that matter. In the end all that truly matters are the good memories, and all the love. It has definitely been a learning experience.
Parent child relationships are hard. They have lots of bumps and falls. There is anger and sadness and frustration. Those are very powerful things. In the end though, the happiness and laughter and fun and LOVE matter the most. I wasted so many years, letting the hurt still hurt, and the anger fester. Now, all of that is so far gone from my thoughts, and all this goodness has replaced it, and I should have let it replace it years ago. Leave it to my daddy, to teach me something, even in death.
He was good at that. Teaching me things. Except for cooking and guitar playing. He was a terrible teacher for both. I think maybe because he was naturally talented at both. He played guitar by ear and cooked by taste. That is two natural talents I definitely do not possess. Something else he was great at, was being there for me. He always was. No matter what, when I needed him, he was there. I only wish I had been there for him. I think that is what breaks my heart the most. I hope he can forgive me.
Well, there you have it. My words used. I appreciate y'all reading along. I just really needed to talk about my Daddy, and as soon as I saw the word blueberry, my mind filled with memories about him. He ruined several foods for me. Not by making them terribly, but by making them so well, no others can ever compare to his. He also had a knack for growing the most delicious fruits and vegetables. To this day, I have never eaten a blueberry, that tastes as delicious as those, on the bushes he planted for me. I think it may have been the love he poured into them, that made them extra good.
Well, now that I have used my words, be sure to check out the other blogs featuring this month's Use Your Words posts. I will meet you there. I just need some coffee, a blanket, and some tissues.
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: