Monday, January 31, 2011

Life goes on??

I keep finding myself feeling guilty for the good times since it happened. When something makes me laugh, or smile or just feel happy. How could I possibly be happy without my Daddy. I still cannot imagine life without him. This still all feels so...foggy. Like I'm just going through the motions. Thank goodness for my children. Otherwise I don't think I'd get out of bed and clean and make call after call, and errand after errand and make meals and pack lunches and laundry...

I feel like I perform best under pressure. I always loved that about performing. Whether it was dancing, singing, acting, marching band...anything really. The pressure and rush of terror right before I got to perform. Something I LOOOOVE to do. I really REALLY miss performing. So I have made a promise to myself to get back into dance. At least 1 class a week. After volunteering at Dobson last year with Mrs. Wolf, I got all the gear, I have all the necessary stuff. I just need to get my butt to a studio. I hate to think my children will never get to see their Mom do one of her greatest passions. Thankfully I have the few photos, and about a MILLION stories from my Vegas Showgirl days to pass down to them someday. But I really wanna make it a point to start dancing and performing again. However that has to happen. I'm GOING to do it! :)

I found myself with a few moments of downtime today, and instead of just sitting down and taking a second for myself, I was up and cleaning a shelf that hasn't been cleaned in what I can only imagine has been years. Then that turned into me cleaning the kitchen. Then the floors.

I finally decided I had done enough...haha!...and came outside ready to write. So here we are.

It's been 12 days, 12 horribly emotional days. So many ups and downs. I was so happy that the Memorial on Saturday went so amazingly well. SOOO many people showed up. I was so touched. Hearing everyone speak so highly of my Daddy, laughing at memories of times they had spent together, it was so wonderful. The kindness of the people that my Daddy has met over his 60 years on this Earth has proven to me yet again that there really is GOOD in the world. It's in all of us. We just need to spend more time extending kindness to others, strangers, family members, friends, co-workers. You could have asked every single person at the Memorial and they would all say that my Daddy was ALWAYS kind and funny and extended that to EVERYONE he EVER met. It was so inspiring to grow up around, and still sticks so strongly with me. Something my children will hopefully get from me as well.

My Daddy's high school friend drove all the way from California to be at the Memorial (it was SO great to meet him!!. My Daddy's first wife was there (and it was SO neat to meet her!) Two of my clients who I grown a great friendship with brought two HUGE baskets FULL of food and toiletries and just about anything someone might need. Then on top of that, gas cards, grocery store cards. THEN on top of that Chrissy gave me the most beautiful necklace with a photo of my Daddy that I took. It hasn't left my neck since I got it :)

The kindness that was extended to me and my siblings...there are just not enough words to express how much it means to us. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I find myself still thinking when I wake up for just once second, that this has all been a dream. But then the image of what I saw when I found him reminds me quickly that I am in fact living in reality. Then on my way to the post office today I found myself dialing my Daddy's number to ask him a question. I know it's all these little things, and triggers that are going to haunt me for quite some time. It's not easy, and I am surely suffering, but I just still feel like I can handle anything. So onward and upward I go!

So for right this moment, I'm okay. I'm watching my beautiful children play in the backyard with huge smiles and tons of giggles, I'm breathing, I'm making it through each day. I don't think I can ask for much more...

Tomorrow is another day :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Daddy

I love you. I have from the second I arrived on this earth, and will until I take my last breath. You have always been my hero. At 5 foot 7, you were bigger than a superhero. You made me feel like there was NO ONE in the entire world that meant more to you than me. You treated me with respect, and honored my opinions. You were the PERFECT Daddy.

Dance recitals, school plays, choir concerts, band concerts...ANYTHING...you were always there. You always glowed after my different performances. Like you were practically radioactive. Glowing with pride and joy.

You worked hard your entire life to provide for us, building your own business, never missing a day of work, always doing what you had to for your family.

You touched SO many peoples lives. Whether they met you once, or knew you a long time. You had a certain way about you. So warm and inviting. Always willing to listen, and were a lot of people's "go to" person when they were having a tough time.

You were the GREATEST person I have ever had the pleasure to know. Let alone the fact that I got the absolute honor of being your daughter. I have always been nothing but proud of you and the person you were. I have no regrets with our relationship. You couldn't have done a single thing differently. You are and will continue to be my hero.

I promise to make you so very proud of what I make of my life. With my photography, which I owe so much of that to you. I will continue to strive to get better and better with each client. I promise to continue to make you proud of my relationship with my own children. I promise to use every open opportunity to make someone smile or laugh as you ALWAYS did.

I still cannot believe I won't hold your hand ever again, or get one of your long bear hugs, or our movie rituals,  watching GLEE, there are so many parts of my day to day routine that involved you.

I think about you constantly, and that will NEVER change. I feel you near, and know you are helping me through this. I know you always will be.

I love you Daddy and ALWAYS will

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clean-up

So the kids and I have returned home today. I instructed the kids that they couldn't go outside cause it was really dirty and someone would be coming to clean soon so they can go outside (to their favorite part of the house) and play. Landen immediately said "because Papa's dead out there huh??" So many weird things like that keep coming out of Landen. Little things, asking about a note too! Just weird. But he still hasn't gotten emotional about it. Just very matter of fact. Reminding his sister when she says stuff about Papa (as they called him) that he is dead, and is not coming back.

I contacted the rental agency that my Daddy rented our house from and informed them of the situation after finding out that apparently the renters insurance policy my Daddy had doesn't cover the clean-up since it is outdoors. So them then rental agency said they would call the homeowner and get in contact with their homeowners insurance and get back to me. Which of course, they didn't. So I called, and was informed that neither my Daddy's renters insurance or the owner's homeowners insurance will NOT cover the clean up due to it being a suicide.

So 7 days later here we are here at the house while the left over remains of a shotgun wound to my Daddy's head is just sitting in our backyard. While we are trapped inside. All because two insurance companies are fighting not to have to be the one to pay for the clean up. It's just SICK!

I got a call around 1 that someone from a clean up company was going to come by to take photos and give the homeowner an estimate. The man told me that in all the years he's been working doing clean-up (and stressed that many were suicides, both indoors and outside) and that he had NEVER heard of someone having both renters and homeowners and NEITHER company approving the clean up.

Todd (without me even asking) drove all the way here after work (at 6pm) from North Phoenix to go the grocery store down the street. Filled up the refrigerator and pantry with food, drinks, dinners...a whole TON of stuff. Which couldn't of come at a better time since we had little to no food in the house. So thank goodness for that random acts of kindness.

Thankfully after speaking with the Manager at the rental agency and explaining my inability to pay the rent February 1st. I was told that if I make no more payments, I will still have until then end of February, maybe the first week of March until they will attempt to evict us. So at least I have a little over a month to figure out where the heck the kids and I are going to live. So I've got to find someone where to move the last weekend of February.

I'm really hoping that the cleanup crew gets the okay to come back and clean up tomorrow. So that my kids can return to being able to play outside, and can go out there with no idea of where the horror happened.

I am just SOOO beyond overwhelmed. I just don't know how we're gonna survive financially. This all just sucks!

Daddy's Little Grill

So I mentioned before I would explain my blog title, so here it is:

This past year was my Daddy's 60th birthday. I have ALWAYS been a stickler for finding the perfect card. I love finding ones that I swore I wrote myself. So after spending about 30 minutes looking at cards, I found this one:



This was the perfect card due to the fact that my Daddy LOVED to grill, and HATED (jokingly of course) that I am a total master at grilling.

Every time we'd buy meat or anything for the grill, he'd always just look at me and tell me, "well get to it my little grill master!" 

So when I found this card, I got chills. It was just SO PERFECT!! 

It's so many of these wonderful, happy, incredible moments that I've shared with my Daddy that allow me to smile past the pain. It's so easy to think of my Daddy and smile. Cause that's all he ever did for others, made them laugh and smile. If you've met him, even just once, you know exactly what I mean.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Forgiveness

I'm NOT angry. I'm not. I cannot in my mind think of one single time my Daddy and I had an argument. Or a time that I remember being super mad at him...or anything of the sort. I can honestly say that my Daddy and I had the BEST relationship a Father and Daughter could ever have.

From as early as I can remember, he always went out of his way to spend special time with me. We went for walks around our neighborhood, went to breakfast, looked at cars, made frequent trips to electronics stores just wandering down the isles looking at everything. We shared a bond that even through this tragedy is as strong as ever.

Today has by far been the worst yet. After being up all night with extreme tremors, hot flashes, shortness of breath and spending most of the night in the bathroom...my body went into shock. My hands started going numb, I started getting overwhelmingly dizzy and then to the point I felt I was going to black out. So at about 4am when my Mom woke to the sounds of me violently vomiting, and seeing my shake uncontrollably, we decided to go to the ER.

I've heard of PTSD, and really only ever grouped it with Soldiers returning from war. But apparently I am exhibiting the same symptoms. So the overwhelming stress is flaring my Crohn's Disease and making all of this twice as hard. But you know what....tomorrow is yet again another day. One more day I WILL wake up, one more day I WILL be thankful for being alive and one more day that I WILL cry and grief. But now more than ever, I KNOW without any doubt that there is NOTHING I cannot make it through.

I got fluids, some meds to help my anxiety and hopefully helping me sleep. So I'm better off than I was early this morning, and hopeful that I will be able to eat soon.

I love you Daddy, I always have and ALWAYS will.

Love,

Your Little Grill

(I will eventually explain my blog title, as it was an inside joke with my Daddy and I)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The one thing I can't handle

I made it through going to the mortuary, signing the paperwork to have my Daddy cremated, I made it through going to the police station to get a copy of the note he left me (I hadn't read it), I've somehow made it through 3 nights, but the one thing I just can't handle....is facing my kids. Todd came to get them about 3 hours after the police came. He came as soon as we were able to get a hold of him. He was such a great support that day, and continues to be nothing but amazing.

My heart is racing at even thinking about having to tell them that their Papa, the one they have lived with for the last 3 years is dead. My Daddy and my children were SOOO close. Normally they beat me inside everyday so they can run up and say hi and give hugs and kisses to Papa. But for whatever reason they didn't on Wednesday. I run that thought through my head often. Why on this one day did I decided not to get the mail, so I beat the kids inside. If I would have gotten the mail like I did EVERY other day. They would have gone inside, seen Papa wasn't in his chair and gone to look for him in his room, and then outside. If his car wasn't there, outside would of been the first place they would of gone. Right out to their new bikes and their big backyard full of goodies. Something stopped us both. I am thankful for whatever that is. The only thing that could make any of this any worse is if I knew anyone else had to share the burden of seeing what I saw. Especially my kiddos!!

I have all these pamphlets telling me what to say and how to say it. But I just can't find the strength to tell them yet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Is he REALLY gone??

January 19, 2011

The worst day of my life.

It started out just like any other day, I woke, did the morning routine, made breakfast, made Landen's lunch, took him to school, came home and cleaned the house, and then at 11:00am I heard the garage door open and knew my Daddy was home.

My Daddy was very predictable, woke up at the same time, visited his best friends every Friday, grocery store every Thursday morning...I always knew where he was just by knowing the day and time. But this Wednesday when he should be on his way to see patients, he was home. But I knew work had been slow...just in my head I just shrugged it off...

Hoping to cheer him up. I showed him how amazing the house looked, he had been so down the past few days and he was distant and cold. Didn't look me in the eye, was just...I dunno...not himself. Not the Daddy that took any opportunity he could to hug me, or tell me how much he loved me, or the kids. But not today.

He just went and laid down on the couch. I started thinking how odd it was that he didn't go to his bedroom and change out of his dress clothes, or even take off his shoes. I asked if I could get him anything and just simply replied "no thank you". That was the last time I talked to him.

A few hours later, trying not to wake him, thinking he must not feel well, I left to go pick up Landen from school. Then the kids and I went to the park.

Upon my return about an hour later...started the beginning of the nightmare I am stuck in at this very moment.

I opened the garage door and noticed a note left on the counter. Something my Daddy did often. Grocery list, note to remind himself something, or normally if his car wasn't there a note saying where he was. Only the only thing I could see was "call the police".

The next half hour is foggy and honestly I don't know how I functioned after I read the note fully

Please DO NOT go outside


Call the police


I'm sorry


I managed to get the kids into their bedroom and ran outside. Yelling "oh no! oh no! OH NO! OH NO!!!!!!" What I saw, what I can't get out of my head...is my Daddy (excuse my words) splattered across our backyard.

I fell to the ground

Again somehow I managed to make it back inside and console the kids enough to get them to stop crying (they didn't see anything, but they knew something was up) I got them drinks, got them stuff to play with, turned on cartoons and gave them hugs and kisses and told them that Mommy had to go outside and make a phone call and that if they would stay in their bedroom I'd give them lots of candy. Bless my obedient children, they listened. Never leaving their bedroom.

I called 911, and what felt like 3 days later there was an arsenal of police cars, fire trucks, forensic vans, it was a total zoo. Something straight out of a movie. It still seems so unreal.

Sitting in the house with dozens of detectives, and firemen and forensic investigators, and crime scene photographers...it was so horrifying. Then having to answer questions...4 hours. The whole zoo took over 4 hours.

Everyone has been nothing but amazing. I am so blessed to have the family and friends I have. It is YOU that is keeping me going.

I started thinking last night when I couldn't sleep that I should write. It always helps, and there is SOOO much I need to get out. I can't hold it in, it will only eat me alive.

I've had a lot of people asking questions, and honestly, I just am not ready to have the same conversation over and over again. So I figured this could maybe answer some questions and maybe just maybe stop someone from ending their own life. I can promise you first hand that the image of seeing the most important man in my life in the manner he was in will be forever burned in my head.

Today was spent making calls, visiting a mortuary, going to the house for some clothes. I'm currently staying with my Mom and the kids are with Todd.

I plan to return home once the cleanup crew comes. Which apparently isn't high on the priority list. So I just have to wait...wait for the rental agency to contact the homeowner who then has to contact the homeowners insurance, who then has to file a claim, who will THEN send someone to come clean. It just horrifies me that it's just gonna sit that way for days and days. It seems so wrong.

This all just seems so wrong.

Thank you all so much for your amazing support!! I apologize for my distance, or unanswered phone calls/texts.

Tomorrow is another day...