Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Father's Day...Without Daddy

*PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION* Brutal honesty takes place and graphic details

This Sunday will be 5 months to the day from the worst day of my life. The day I lost my Daddy to suicide. I have come to learn how shocked people are when I talk so freely when asked how I'm doing, or the brutality of the truth of that day. I really hope that just one person who has thought about taking their life hears/reads my struggle and thinks twice. It's as simple as that. The aftermath if you will. The aftermath of suicide is rarely something someone who is considering suicide thinks about. Something I think would have drastically altered January 19th of this year for myself, my family, and my children.

Until that day, I would have always carried nothing but good memories of my Daddy.

I always remember him being around, engaged in my life, supportive, loving, just PERFECT. He was 5'7 on a good day, but could have been 7 feet tall. He was one of the funniest people I've ever had the joy of being around. I don't remember a single dance, choir, band, drama (etc!) that I performed in that he didn't attend. I even have the memory of singing a duet with him at a choir concert. He was really as good as they get!

That being said, all of those amazing memories are muted a bit. Those memories are fogged by the memory of that day. Every moment. From the time I woke up to the time I think I fell asleep for an hour. I can remember it was 3:46 when I pulled into the driveway. 3:48 when I red the note on the kitchen counter telling me to dial 911 and not to go outside. The only time that was foggy was the minutes I stood over my Daddy's body. The remains of a shotgun wound to the head. He laid in the kiddie pool we spent most of our summer nights watching the kids play in. I just stood there screaming. I couldn't look away, I wanted it to be a nightmare. I wanted to wake up.

There was NO WAY this could be reality. But it was. It was bloody, it was my Daddy without most of his head. I could go into such graphic detail. But I think I've probably crossed that border already. Like I warned...brutal honesty. I remember telling the female 911 dispatcher that I was more than 100% certain that he wasn't alive. She even asked if I had tried to revive him. I replied "he doesn't have a mouth, or most of his brain. His brain is sitting beside him!!" Poor lady.  I then remember standing at the front door watching the paramedics race to the backyard like they could somehow save him. I remember the detective that came to tell me my Daddy was in fact dead. Yeah I got that, the second I saw him. I remember being on the phone with my Mom. I remember how amazingly strong she was. She really kept her cool, which honestly was the ONLY thing that kept me from totally losing it. I remember Todd being there, he was so strong for me too. I remember the 2 amazing crisis intervention people that came from the fire department. Who had the kids in the room enjoying that whole 4 hour circus. They had no idea about the madness outside. The rest of the night was spent in and out of conversation. I finally fell asleep for a little bit. I think it was like 3:45am...

To my Daddy. Thank you! For always being there, for giving me the wonderful sense of humor I have great pride in, for teaching me patience and kindness to EVERYONE, for giving me my musical talents, for taking me on walks and talking to me with respect, for every second we shared. I love you, I will alway love you.

I will celebrate Father's Day with the Father of my children. The man I love. I cannot believe my Daddy won't be there. It still doesn't feel real. But I can promise you I won't spend the day sad. There's just no reason for it. I had the BEST damn Father in the whole world. So I'm going to celebrate that, with or without him! I am also going to celebrate Todd. He is an amazing Father, Hubby and friend. He was there for me every single minute I needed him since January 19. That alone is reason enough. So to you my love, thank you!

I am still hoping for the day that my graphic memories are somehow magically removed from my brain. But I know that the key to getting through this, is to know that they will always be there, just will slowly become more distant memories. I will focus my time now focusing on my future and my family's future. The past is just that the past, and I have no interest on what has happened, only what is yet ahead. To watching Landen and Nora celebrate another year of life. To Nora's first day of big girl school. To growing old with my soul mate. To the experiences that are yet ahead for me and Forever Photography. It sure sounds better than thinking for one more second about January 19.

Thank you to every single person who has read my blogs, it takes a lot of compassion to read what I've wrote. I appreciate the support greatly! To the people who I've learned are NOT supporters of my life. FUCK seriously...haha...I wish everyone of you well. I just never thought that family or supposed friends could do, say or think some of the things that these nay-sayers have...but that is guilt I thankfully don't have to live with. I was and have always been there for my family. I have supported them, even opened my home to them, I have loved them unconditionally. Then when I need my "family" the most...POOF...they're gone. Over money, bullshit, lies and GUILT. Again, something I won't have to live with.

Okay, that's it folks. My last entry.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

10 Years Later

It’s been 10 years since I graduated from High School. The graduating class of 2001 celebrated 10 years this past weekend and I didn’t attend. Why? I wish I had a 1 line answer, but sadly I do not. Since the day I found my Father after he commit suicide, I have not been the same happy go lucky girl I’d like my graduating class to remember. I pride myself on being friends with anyone and everyone. In High School I was not stuck in one “group” I just loved people, and performing. It was what consumed my entire high school career. Drama, Dance, Choir, Marching Band, Speech & Debate, Student Council, SPURS Club, whatever I could fit into the 5:30am-6pm schedule I held while attending high school. I loved going every single day, but remember I was more than ready to leave when Graduation Day came.

I had always planned on going to the Reunion, I looked forward to seeing my past classmates. But after thinking about it I found myself anxious, almost panicking at the thought of going. Which startled me. I am anything but shy or afraid to see or interact with people, I love performing, how could I be so anxious…
After talking to a few people about how I was feeling I realized that it wasn’t worth pushing it. I was scared to talk about what happened with my Father’s suicide, what I saw, what I’ve been through…On the other hand, I didn’t want it to be a White Elephant in the room either. I just didn’t want to pay money to go see a lot of people I have had the pleasure of keeping in touch with thru Myspace or Facebook. The internet kind of took the real fun out of Reunions…

You already know what most people have been up to. Seen photos, status updates, blogs etc. Not that I wouldn’t want to actually see them, but I don’t know that I would want anyone to see me. That’s sad, but it’s the brutal truth. I was always skinny in high school, I’ve been skinny my whole life. But being skinny and being sick with an incurable disease are two different things. I hope each time I get on a scale that the number will jump up. I don’t have curves, I feel frail, I hate it. I don’t feel like a 28 year old woman that’s for damn sure!

I hope that by the time the 20 year reunion comes I will be healthy, happy and able to speak about all the great things that have happened since January 19, 2011.

I am happy to say that Todd and I are still going strong. He has been there for me every single day since January 19th, and has without a doubt, had the worst of the backlash that has come along with my struggle. We are soul mates and I couldn’t be more sure of that than I am today. I am still loving our home and what it means to all be together again under one roof. The kids are so beyond blissful. It makes all the struggle worth it. Everything I do is for them. We are loving having my Mom (“Gramma” as the kids call her) close by. She is another reason I am able to keep strong. She is always there for me, just to listen, or help anyway she can. I have a few great friends who have been AHMAZING. I feel very blessed.

I am continuing on my Photography journey. It makes me happy, it makes others happy…it’s a win-win. I had the pleasure of shooting my first Wedding. It was at a super cute little Chapel in Gilbert. An old farmhouse with real wood floors, real wood siding, and cute little pops of decorating. The bride was STUNNING, the groom looked very much like Bradley Cooper, they were both very photogenic making my job VERY easy. I was very pleased with the outcome, but sad that I couldn’t share that milestone with my Daddy.

Father’s Day is coming this Sunday and I am trying to prepare for a difficult day. Sadly the 19th is not only Father’s Day but the 5 month Anniversary of his death. This has always seemed to be a hard day each month. Shocking me each time by how much time has gone by, when I can remember it all so clearly like it was just yesterday.

I continue to push forward, focusing on the positive, having hope, and loving life in Maricopa.
I hope those that did attend the 10-year reunion will come again to the 20 year so we chat about what’s happened these next 10 years. I plan to have a happy story to tell.