I realize this morning I haven't updated about our family for a long time.
Jacob: Continues to have a lot on his plate with school, work, 4-H animals, FFA, and youth group. He will be participating in a 30 hour famine this weekend to raise awareness of child hunger. Spent most of the winter trapping, and was all geared up to head to the fur buyer this weekend, when he had a very disappointing conversation with our local game warden about the price of furs this season. I'm not sure if he will hang on to them until next year, or send them someplace out of our area. Getting ready for golf season. Talk of attending prom this year! Makes his mom smile every single day.
Tristen: Ready to graduate this May and head to high school. (EEK!) We are in full party planning mode. Has decided it was time to grow suddenly, and has shot up 2 inches since school started. Was the Jr High basketball boys manager this year. Spends HOURS shooting baskets in the backyard and has become a pretty mean trick shot shooter. Looking forward to track season. Makes his mom smile every single day.
Danny: Will be sending off our pigs next week. Keeps himself more than busy with extension council and fair board, work, and side projects, honey do's, and livestock, and wouldn't change any of it...well, probably not MOST of it, anyway! ;) His wife will forever be grateful for the role he has stepped into since December 3rd, and the slack that he has picked up without question. Makes his wife smile every single day.
And me: Ready for spring. Been spending a lot of time painting at a local art studio..
Missing my Dad more and more each day. Constantly amazed at my family. Have been dealing with some health issues. After many tests, they DID find the reason for my pain I have been experiencing. They also found, during one of the tests, that my kidneys and ureters are not very happy, and will not fix the initial problem until my kidney issues are addressed. I feel like I am chasing my own tail. It looks like check up appointments with urologists will now be part of my life. Ready for weather to warm up and STAY, so I can get back to walking.
Thanks for checking in on us!! =)
Monday, February 17, 2014
I realize this morning I haven't updated about our family for a long time.
Posted by Becky at 1:08 PM
Friday, February 7, 2014
Currently, there is 8 inches, give or take a little each way, of snow on the ground here where I live. We are on our second snow day, with school already canceled for tomorrow. The snow is not even the worst of it. It IS COLD.
Sometimes I feel bad about whining, because we have been so desperate for moisture.
But winter has always been really hard for me. And this one has been especially.
I am so sick of it.
I'm tired of feeling trapped in my house. I'm tired of darkness, and how the cold hurts my bones when I'm out in it.
I'm ready for a new season.
Spring brings hope.
And dirt on my fingernails.
Spring....Let's do this!
Posted by Becky at 7:19 AM
Sunday, January 12, 2014
I'm missing my Dad a lot today, and just feel the need to write, so I'm writing about him. Writing has helped me a lot lately. Sometimes I just write total non-sense, but it doesn't seem to matter WHAT I write. It helps calm my thoughts. So..here goes:
It's hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.
My Dad was a great dad. He was quiet. My cousin, Shawn, wrote this on my Facebook page the day he died, and I thought it summed him up perfectly: " I remember his tan and his mustache, looking back I guess now I sort of see him like granddad Burt, not much to say, but not unattentive either, present and observing its my best description of his tolerance for us back then. I remember a lot of "hmmphs".
Wasn't I fat?? My aunt said I must have kept him up all night long...my dad looks grumpy. You know who I see in this picture? My Tristen. It makes my heart smile.
He was not our disciplinarian. He would get on to us when we needed it, or when mom wasn't around. I remember him smacking my butt one time, after I slapped my brothers back with a bandana and left a welt..;).. but for the most part that part was left to my mother. My father HATED conflict, which I always found amusing, given his career choice. He hated arguing with us, and my mother told me recently that was a huge hurdle she had to learn to deal with when they first got married. He shut down, and retreated when things got heated. He was the one who stayed calm, and cool, and always ended any conflict in our lives..even recently...with either "Keep plugging away" "Keep on keepin' on!" or "This too shall pass".
My dad was 39 years old..1997..when he had his first heart attack. I've thought about that a lot lately. That day that our lives changed. He might have hung around for 16 years after that first attack, but our lives were never the same. That day on would be filled with hospitals, and surgeries, and bottles and bottles of medications, and tears, and little teeny tiny bottles of nitro, and secretly counting how many he had stuck on his tongue as he turned his back so we wouldn't see him, never wanting to admit to us he was hurting.
He was 39 years old. I am almost 35. My husband, right now, is older than my dad was on that February day. Dad was working a search warrant, and started to feel sick and sweaty. Jene Allen hauled him into the hospital.
I had started feeling sick at school that day. Not sick sick..just weird sick..Almost like I knew something was wrong, somewhere, and all I could think of was I just wanted to go home. I called home, no one answered, so I called the sheriffs office, thinking my mom was at work. The dispatcher working acted really strange, and said she thought my mom was at the hospital, and maybe I should try there. I finally got her, and left school to go to the hospital, to find my dad on a gurney, all sweaty, grey, and sick looking, and about to be flown out to a hospital 2 hours away. And the journey began.
I remember I had been handed something from his pocket...it was a coin with a saying on it, or a cross..I can't remember to be sure, but I held on to it for the entire ride to Wichita. When we got the the hospital, they had no record of him, but told us we should go to the cardiac care unit..that's where he SHOULD be. We get to that floor, and asked for him, and immediately the nurses all bunch up together and start whispering. My mother panics.. starting to think he died in flight...a nurse would come over, ask a question, run back over to her huddle. Turns out, our local dispatcher had called all the surrounding newspapers, and little town sheriff having a heart attack and being air lifted out must have been a hot story. They had to put Dad "incognito" because of the papers that kept calling wanting info. Dad's cardiologist came in and asked " Just WHO ARE you?" It must have been a really slow news week for south central Kansas.
I snagged this information off my dads blog, but in the end, my dad ended up with: 23 heart caths--2 of which almost killed him, one involving a full blown code, and one leaving him on life support for couple of days. Apparently, he developed an allergy to the dye used, and they had to start giving him bags of Benydral and steroids beforehand, (And my Dad on Benydrel was HYSTERICAL!) 12 stents, Defib/pacemaker implant, 2 open heart surgeries with 4 bypasses total, and 1 experimental trans-myocardial revascularzation---which is pretty much a laser that pokes little holes in the heart, to promote new tissue growth.
He had battle scars on his chest, under his breast, and on his legs.
Think about one little ol' human heart, taking all of that, and managing to keep beating.
Every girl thinks there Daddies are strong, but when you see your Dad..on his knees...trying to pull start the rototiller, so he can till his garden...4 days after coming home from open heart surgery..you have to stop and wonder if, in fact, your Dad really MAY be SUPERMAN. He said "Well, after I got it started, I was ok.." That was the year he had to retire. And it was the best and the last full sized garden, that he ever planted. He told me, as I walked through admiring those big beautiful plants "Just one year, I wanted to do it right."
When my dad retired, their household shifted. My mother became the one who worked the most, while my Dad stayed at home with my sister, Michelle. He got her up for school, went to class parties, coached basketball, volunteered his time on organizations. I always felt sorry for her, because she doesn't remember having a healthy Dad, but she got his undivided attention all those years, so we both won, I think.
My quiet and keep to himself father suddenly turned into a giant goober when grandchildren were added. I have told my boys they were BLESSED they were to be born when they were...they got to experience the some what healthy years, when he was still tinkering around the farm, working on the tractor, or plowing his garden. He brought Jacob to the hospital to meet his new baby brother.. He went to cub scout camp with them, and carried them around, and hauled them on his shoulders. He baby sat toddlers with ear infections, came to the ER to check on babies with high fevers, removed swollen sunflower seeds from Jacob's nose, showed them how to blow up toys with firecrackers, and made them laugh HYSTERICALLY when he showed them his famous "belly roll"...Those boys were, until the day he was buried, his right hand men.
My Dad loved the outdoors, and the farm. He would pack us up, to take us to check on cows, and to see the new baby calf with prettiest marking on her face, or to see wheat sprouting up. We have this hill right outside a field... One side has a hump in it, and then a little ways down, the other side has a hump. Dad would rev the jeep up down the road, gaining up speed, and would start yelling YEEEE-HAWWWWWW. We would be laughing and screaming, and we would hit that hill, it felt like we were air born, ... and it would tilt us way over to one side, and then way over the other, and we would laugh all the way home.
After his family, my Dad's greatest love was his job. He loved being a police officer, and he loved the PEOPLE in law enforcement. Two of these people in his job where his very best friends, "back in the day". One, he watched be buried four years ago. Dave had cancer, and when he was admitted on Hospice, they had a bet on who would get to Heaven first. It was just the kind of humor they had. The other man, Jene, was a pall bearer. The same man who took my dad to the hospital on that life changing day. When I see Jene, he always reminds me of my dad, and how my dad SHOULD be--healthy and strong.
My early childhood memories involve a lot of card games with these men and their families, with tall glasses of ice tea, and "#1 wants to know if the coffee is on?" coming through the radio. I remember falling asleep, Would they EVER stop talking???, to the laughter and warmth, coming from that dining room.
I remember he would be so in tune with things, that he could tell when something "big" was about to happen. He would pace the floors, or some nights, get up, get dressed and be smoking a cigarette, just waiting for the call to go. Sometimes, after a bad one, he would come home and silently just hug us, and I remember sometimes he would put his head in his hands, and just cry at our dining table. He had to retire, and hadn't been a police officer in 14 years or so, but he had requested being buried in his uniform. That night we were to view at the funeral home, I had had a panic attack on the way...I fogged up the windows and couldn't catch my breath. I don't know why I was scared, but I was terrified. I walked in and retreated to a corner to compose myself while everyone viewed. My sister came and got me, made me come out, and she held my hand...And I was shocked. He was clean shaven, and all gussied up...he looked 20 years younger than he had the day before, laying in his bed. He looked like my DAD...strong and healthy, not sick and weak.. As weird as it sounds...it was amazing.
He was a lover of music. ALL music...something I got from him. He won the John Phillip Sousa award when he was in high school for his trumpet. And you could always tell my dad's mood by what kind of music was blaring when you pulled into the driveway. Usually this meant he was super happy, and had been cleaning. He could sing bass to any song, effortless it seemed. I remember going out with him in his patrol car for some reason, and the song Africa by Toto came on, and he sang the entire base line. I just looked out the window, listening, wondering "HOW does he DO that??" That song will forever remind me of him. Standing next to him during church...I would mouth and pretend to sing, but really...I just listened to him. Silent Night was the very best. We got to complete a bucket list item for him, when my brother and sister and I took him to Hutch a few years ago to see Chicago in concert. He loved them, and Kansas, Toto, to ones like Trans Siberian Orchestra. He also LOVED Amayna...which is beautiful Native American flute music.
He loved animals, as anyone who attended his service found out when his "special friends" got a shout out by the preacher. He had been home bound for pretty much the past 4 years, and his dogs..Tuffy, Taffi, and Tucker...were everything to him, and got him through the day..someone to talk to. When Dad was not feeling well, they stayed glued to his side. Tuffy passed away at the age of 16 a few years ago, but one time we had to call the ambulance for Dad. She clamped her butt right next to my dads side, and snapped and snarled at anyone who dared to come near him. There were cops, and ambulance workers all patiently waiting, standing there, staring at us, while we rock-paper-scissors to see which of us would be the one to get her. My brother lost, and ended up somehow getting a leash on her, and drug her off..literally, to the bathroom.
They were so in tune with him, my mom is fairly certain she knows EXACTLY when my dad passed away... Taffi came into my mothers room...something she never ever does...like she knew something was wrong and was trying to tell her.
Anybody who knew my dad well knows about his wicked sense of humor. Inappropriate at times, shocking at others, always hysterical. We laughed over things that really weren't all that funny during his illness, but that's how we made it through. And he had the best laugh. Especially when he really got to going. One of those laughs that made YOU laugh.
He was a BEAUTIFUL writer. He had a writing style that was uniquely his own. I'm not sure I can describe it, but when I go back and read his blog posts, I can "hear" him. He wrote EXACTLY how he would speak. I was blessed with wonderful and flowing letters..my most treasured is one he wrote to me on my wedding day.
I mentioned this in my Christmas post, but my Dad LOVED being Santa Claus. Mom would buy our gifts, and he most of the time surely didn't even have any idea what he was setting out, but he always left us a note, along with a piece of rolled up bologna with cheese and peanut butter, wrapped in saran wrap, for our dog we had growing up. He loved surprising people. One year, my mom had been baking banana bread in the kitchen to give our family as gifts, and the UPS guy came...my dad ran back in and grabbed a warm loaf to hand to him. I will never forget the look on that drivers face...or my moms when she realized she was a loaf short. ;)
The year my Grandmother died, my Uncle Andy bought my Granddad a little microwave. They put a bow on it, with "Love, Andy-Claus", and snuck it over after Grandad was sleeping. I didn't get to go...I was told to stay home and "keep watch", which looking back now was the polite way of saying "you talk to much and will blow it!" ;) (Come on..I was 8!) But I watched them sneak over, and took my job to "keep watch" VERY seriously, with my nose pressed to the cold glass. I will never forget how magical that felt to be apart of.
My Dad LOVED my husband, Danny. He really did love him, just like a son. Together they had spent many hours fixing fence and building corrals, tinkering around, fixing things. Much to our horror, Danny snuck into the hospital with a McDonalds Big Mac, after his first bypass surgery, just because Dad had asked for one, and Danny is a big softie. (Danny always just said, "Well he was HUNGRY!") They had a special understanding of each other. Danny loved him right back, and the past few years had picked him up off the floor too many times to be counted, made strawberry ice cream runs for him, sat up with him one entire night at the hospital while he was hallucinating, sending me and my exhausted mother to our beds. He helped move his body the day we lost him, and carried his casket out of the church. Danny always treated him with respect..when he was strong and healthy, when he was sick, and after he was gone.
One thing most people don't get the opportunity to do, is to experience the death process with a parent. As strange as that sounds, I am thankful for it, even as long and heartbreaking as his was. My dad was declared terminal 4 years before he died. I had 4 years of making sure whatever it was I wanted him to know, he knew..and 4 years of heartbreaking, yet reassuring conversations. He was ready to die, to be free of his broken and tired body. He looked forward to Heaven, and seeing his parents. As sad as those conversations were at the time, they bring me peace today.
He had been so close to death so many times, he had had some amazing, hair on your neck stand up, beautiful stories to tell. He KNEW what was waiting for him when this life was over. And he couldn't wait to get there.
Even though I had plenty of time to prepare for losing him..I have regret. I regret not showing him our family pictures..I was hiding them until he saw our Christmas card, so that the card was ALL new pictures he hadn't seen before...how silly is that?. I regret not spending more time with him, but I don't think any time would have ever been enough. I regret his last Thanksgiving dinner was at the Hospice House, served on a tray. I regret the last words I ever spoke to him were "BEHAVE! And drink your water!!" I regret..I regret...I regret!
Its been almost 6 weeks since we lost him. I'm starting to sleep better, finding myself awake only once or twice a week now, and I've even been able to sleep all night long a few times. I still wake up a lot, which is infuriating. The saddest part to me is that life really DOES go on. People stop asking or telling you how sorry they are..they stop talking about him. It's a lot like how I felt like during the week of funeral planning. We were so busy, and so caught up in our tears, it almost shocked me at times when I remembered that outside our doors, the world was still turning. I just don't want the world to forget him.
Through all of this, the people who have helped the most have been the ones that have been totally real. You have the people that say "It was what was best." or "He's not suffering anymore". While these are very true, the ones that have meant the most to me have been the honest ones. "You won't sleep again for a long time...you have to go just go through it." "It just sucks. Everything about it." "Its been 30+ years and I still miss my mom every day." It means they have been through it, know exactly how I feel, and are still standing in front of me. They survived. It's the people who hold your hand through a funeral. And the people who bring you dinner, and stock your freezer, and don't even bat an eye when you confess you have only cooked dinner for your family 3 times in almost 6 weeks.
Sometimes I think I'm starting to move forward. Other days its all I can to to hope the day just sends soon, so I can go to bed and try again the next day. Those days are long and sad. And its the silliest of things that can smack you hard.
Just yesterday I was deleting pictures off my phone and found one of a plant outside at the Hospice House. My dad had hauled me outside to show me this plant, and ask if I knew what it was. I didn't but I promised I would find out, and maybe get him one for home. He was fascinated by the look and feel of the leaves, and NEEDED to know what it was. That picture broke my heart.
I really, REALLY, miss that guy!
Posted by Becky at 3:08 PM
Sunday, January 5, 2014
2013 will be a year I won't ever forget. It wasn't all bad. It was a lot like a really good book that had a super sad ending.
We lost my Dad.
I watched my baby sister become a mom, to a chubby little brown eyed guy.
I lost 40 lbs--which I STILL can't believe I did! ME!
Didn't drink a single DROP of soda .Not a ONE!
I did a 5 AND a 10K. Again, ME! I did that!
Successfully showed in open Havanas in October for the first time. I say it was a success because I was positive I was going to be eaten for lunch. I was more than pleased to come home with a Best Opposite of Breed, as well both chocolate variety wins in the specialty show.
Lose more weight..this one doesn't scare me at all anymore.
Start running more..and TOTALLY RUN a 5K sometime this year. Yea..this one scares me...which tells me I NEED to do it...just as soon as it gets a little warmer outside. ;)
Put a certain amount in our savings account.
Did you make any goals for this year?
Posted by Becky at 10:53 AM
Friday, December 27, 2013
This Christmas wasn't what it was suppose to be at the very beginning of the month.
But it ended up being the Christmas we have dreaded ever since my Dad was declared terminal.
Our 1st Christmas without him.
A little history about us: I love Christmas. Like LOOOOOOVE Christmas. So did my Dad. I remember when I was younger Dad would put up Christmas lights that would compete with Clark Griswold. Anything that would hold still got lights. He loved it all, and most of all, he loved being Santa. To us. To anyone. He loved surprising people and making them smile.
And then...my Grandmother died December 10th, 1988. I was 8 years old. And just like that, my Dad's Christmas light went off. It may have flickered on a few times, but it was never quite the same.
So...25 years later...exactly a week before the day my Grandmother did..my Dad left us. I'm afraid I will feel this way about Christmas forever, and that he's passed on the "curse" to me.
I don't want to NOT love Christmas.
But this Christmas was hard. And exhausting. (This is the best word I can use to describe grief. Pure EXHAUSTION!!) And the entire goal of this season was to just make it though. I saw a quote on Pinterest that summed it up perfectly. "It's like Christmas lights. One single bulb goes out keeps the rest from lighting."
At times I would just panic as I saw the countdown grow closer and closer. I told Danny one day it was strange...it was like I had lost a week somewhere. And then realized, we kind of did.
I remember sitting at the table Christmas Eve and just looking around. It LOOKED the same, but as Tristen said later: It felt like a whole bunch of people were missing. It just felt weird. And wrong. And awkward.
Everything was just so strange. No phone calls to him first thing the morning to discuss what Santa had dropped off. No one asking if there would be cinnamon rolls made. No one saying "you better hurry up and get to bed...I heard Santie Claus is getting close!"
We got through it. And I told myself to just let the holiday happen. If I got everything done like I normally did, super. If I didn't feel like making 100,000 batches of candy, I wasn't going to feel bad. We ate off paper plates..WITH SNOWFLAKES!..instead of the pretty china plates...I didn't make any candy. No Christmas cookies. Most of my gifts were shoved in gift bags instead of made up pretty packages.
Christmas isn't really about any of those things, is it?
And that's what I told myself when that tiny bit of guilt or sadness started in...I didn't WANT NOR DID I have the energy to do any of those things ..therefore...I didn't NEED to do those things this year.
I did spend a lot of time on the couch curled up with my guys, watching old 80's movies. I spent some good sister time with my sister, and loved on her baby. (Speaking of..several times I thought about our family, and what a surprise Jayden's arrival was for Michelle. But...wow...God certainly knew what he was doing when he sent that little boy to her. That little guy made my Dad hang on for just a few more precious weeks, and his little smile has gotten us through the hardest time of our lives. He has been passed around, loved on, cried and snotted on... Not too shabby for a brown eyed guy who can't even talk yet! What a blessing he is.)
It's hard to be TOO sad when there is a Santa hiney bouncing around!!
"Hey! I think I'd like to try a milk shake! Tristen??... Hey, Tristen? Please?" (BTW--look at my blonde haired kid's DARK hair!! Crazy!!
I didn't attend our favorite candlelight service, but I listened to Christmas songs that made me cry. I've cried a lot, and I've prayed even more.
We have offically survived the first Christmas without him. I know next year it will still be sad, and diffrent, and I'm told it may never be the same again. But my hope is that the sparkle will be back. Or at least some of it... Because I DO love Christmas.
Some of our highlights:
Sleeping until 8AM!!! This has NEVER happened before..we WOKE the KIDS up!!!
Jacob loves his new golf set and just needs the snow to disappear so he can try those puppies out!
Tristen got exactly what he asked for. Socks. Lots and lots of socks. He seriously asked for socks. Before anyone starts feeling sorry for the poor sock deprived kid, he had plenty of socks before. The guy loves socks and having tons and tons of them just makes him happy. Socks for everyone!
Becky got a KITCHEN AID mixer from Santa, in a stunning shade of Santa RED! And a Duck Dynasty cookbook from her husband that made her scratch her head a little bit..That makes 4 DD books received as gifts this year at our house! But I sure am enjoying looking around and seeing everyone laying around reading.
Interestingly enough, Danny's favorite gift is a meat grinder attachment he received for MY MIXER. Funny, huh?? Oh that Santa has a sense of humor...
For Christmas lunch we had peppered turkey breast..THANKS, FFA!...homemade mashed potatoes that my family declared THE BEST because of the new mixer. I explained while the MIXER MAY HAVE WHIPPED them better, I ADDED the INGREDIENTS TO the mixer..therefore I STILL get credit for the mashed potatoes =P, homemade rolls and cream cheese corn.
Something new I did this year for my DC kids was an Elf on the Shelf. We named him Mistletoe Max, and as funny as it sounds, I will forever be thankful for that creepy little Elf. He made his grand entrance the morning that my Dad passed away, so he sat on my table for over a week. BUT--he gave me something festive to focus on, and its really hard NOT be have some sort of Christmas spirit while watching eyes light up at spotting him or squeals of delight when he brought treats. I had so much stinking fun with him!
He TP'ed our tree,
Hung out with us a little,
Got caught fishing in our fish tank,
And sent us a message about what the season was REALLY about!
We did have to work really hard at teaching my mom his name though. My brother picked him up off the table and asked "WHAT is THIS?" Mom replied "Oh, thats Becky's ELF, MAGIC MIKE."
I really thought I might wet my pants from laughing and BEGGED her to learn correct name before telling anyone about him.
I hope you and your family had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more."
Posted by Becky at 8:11 PM
Monday, December 9, 2013
This post will be random. I have so many thoughts swirling around my head, sometimes its feels as though I'm losing my mind. I just want to write. and write.and write. So this may sound a bit like a drunk, blubbering, idiot, and I won't feel bad at all if everyone just needs to skip this post.
I'm not exactly sure how to explain to someone who hasn't lost a parent what its like, but this sadness, it is like nothing I have ever experienced. Right now I'm taking in a lot of comfort in those around me who HAVE gone through this and tell me it DOES get better. I'm holding them to it!
Though my dad's death wasn't unexpected, I'm not really sure you are really EVER ready. We had prepared and talked about it many times. He had been on Hospice for 4 years. How many people can say that?
I have heard stories about people on Hospice passing away, and how it takes the Hospice workers sometimes a long time to get to the house, because of distance. They are the ones who pronounce the death. I always thought how hard and creepy for the families that would be to have to sit with a body of someone they love,while waiting on appropriate people to arrive. This is not the case. That private time we had with my dad was precious, with him in his own bed, in his own house. A lot like that time right after you've had a new baby, and its just you and your husband, quietly counting fingers and toes, and the visitors haven't started pouring in yet, though instead of joy, you feel heartbreak, and trying so hard to memorize facial features. Even after he was pronounced, they didn't make us move him until we were ready. I feel as though we were given a huge gift and think we are incredibly lucky.
I found a funeral when you are distraught is a little like your wedding day. You know-- those things you hear about later that happened, but you don't remember them or had any clue they were going on. That is a little what this has been like. I know there were people there, I just don't remember seeing anyone as we walked to our seats, except my friend Lori standing and she was all I could think about getting to. I reached out my hand, and she didn't let go. It was like she was warmth and light, and I just needed to get to her.
My Dad was tucked in with a blanket that I made. There is a story to it. It was suppose to be my dad's Christmas present, and it hadn't been started yet. I had never made a blanket before and had thought I had PLENTY of time to take my time. The day he died I decided there was no way I was looking at that fabric, that I had OBSESSED over, getting JUST the RIGHT combo for HIM, and just throwing it away or just keep moving it around forever. So, I made a goal to start and finish it and bury him with it. With in that blanket are lots and lots of tears and prayers, and a few frantic curse words. My aunt gave me the worlds fastest "how to do binding" instructions, and I'm pretty sure everyone honestly had thought I had surely lost my mind. I gave me something to obsess and think about. But I'm glad I did it.
My Uncles had to drive to a neighboring town to their motel to change clothes for the service. And my uncle got a speeding ticket. 84 in a 65. That folks, is a $210.00 ticket. Is it wrong we laughed and laughed about it? The people in the fellowship hall who didn't know this story surely had to think we had lost our minds. But I'm pretty sure there was some "Heyyyy!! Watch THIS, guys!!" going on up there in Heaven!!!! Oh..and the Kansas Highway patrol officer who issued the ticket?? He was coming TO Dad's funeral when the ticket was issued. It was hysterical, and very appropriate for the occasion. My dad would have just HE-HAWED over this, and slapped the back of that officer, while never stopping giving my uncle a hard time.
Speaking of the boys in blue, my dad was a police officer or involved with the sheriffs office for 31 years, and was a sheriff in our little town from 1996 to 1998, when he resigned for health reasons. He loved his work, and had requested to be buried in his uniform. In fact, he had taken his clothes to our local funeral home 3 years ago, for safe keeping and so they would be ready. At the family meeting at the funeral home, it was brought out, and I very carefully inspected it. And my heart broke and I smiled huge...all at the same time!!..when I discovered he had stuck a PEN in the breast POCKET of his uniform shirt.
My cousin, Jesse, is a local law enforcement officer. He was very involved with my dads life, and he can immediately came when my mom called him Tuesday. I tell him he has broad shoulders, becuase he has carried my entire family this past week. I realized at the family meeting at the funeral home, that he had a black band over his badge...signifying the death of a officer. Tuesday, everywhere I looked I would see these black bands...even on our local fish and game officer. And as stepped out to walk out to our seats, there was an entire section of blue in that church. And as they carried Dad out, those beautiful men were lined up, saluting.
As we went down the road that would take us to the cemetery, we were greeted with this sight. And again, I cried so hard I thought I was going to die.
This would be a salute from our local fire department. What you CAN'T see is how COLD it was, and how they stood so still, when they had to have been freezing. I was honored they would do this for my dad. They had done a flag ceremony, and done a Last Call at the church, but this was harder for me.
At the graveside, the honor guard did the 21 gun salute and TAPS was played. Remember how I said it was cold? I discovered around the time the preacher started to speak, that I could not tell if I was shaking because I was upset, or because of the cold. I just remember Danny suddenly put his arms around, and how thankful I was for his arms and warmth and I thought I couldn't possibly stand up a minute longer.
I am tired of crying. My friend Melanie had told me that its possible to cry tears straight out your nose. She was right. Its also possible to run out of tears. Like you go through the motions of crying and ARE crying, but your eyes just can't keep up with your sadness, and just seem to give up for awhile.
I'm tired of not sleeping, and when I do sleep, I'm tired of my dreams. They are very vivid and bizarre and always wake me up. And I'm tired of waking up crying. Every stinking morning.
This feels a little like Christmas morning. You know the feeling: You've worked so hard for a month and have worked so hard and wrapped those package...and then you stand in the middle of the living room with all the mess of wrapping paper, and think wow--thats it?? Now what?
The MORAL of our story...is this: It does not matter HOW they leave. When they are gone..there are no words to describe it. Even if you've had years and years, and many a conversations about this day. Nothing can describe it.
My dad taught me so much. More than I could ever sit here and write about. But what he did teach me most about was living. About fighting. About dignity. He always wanted to do things his way. And he did.
Until his very last second.
Posted by Becky at 7:56 PM
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Tuesday morning my momma discovered that my dad had went to sleep, and had quietly passed away during the night. No pain, no struggle, just peace. He was sweetly sleeping in his bed, with his pillow bunched up, just like he likes it. If you were going to leave this earth in an ideal way, this would be it. He went to sleep all warm and cozy in his bed, and woke up next to Jesus.
My family and I have been in sort of a grief induced numb state. I had told myself I was SURE I had already gone through some the grieving process, before I had even lost him. I have since learned this is complete crap. Its just something you tell yourself.
I knew I was going to lose my dad.And I knew I would be losing him soon. There had been so many signs and changes.
But I have never felt anything like this. Raw, deep, to your core, can hardly stand up, sadness.
I kissed him today for the last time. The first guy I loved. The first guy I held hands with, danced with. The guy who ran beside me when I was learning to ride a bike. The guy who looked so handsome in a police uniform, and who cried when he gave me away on my wedding day.
The guy who fought so long and so hard.
The guy who told me death was nothing to be afraid of, and accepted it more than I was ever comfortable with.
I watched my husband and my 2 boys, along with 3 other amazing men, carry him out of the church. I'm pretty sure had my best friend not been there holding my hand AND me UP, I surely would have died too. It is horrible to watch a casket be closed, and carried out, with your daddy inside of it. My mind can not even begin to imagine that I will never ever see him again. Or hear him laugh.
I'd like to share more about my dad, and his service, and I will soon, but for right now, just some pictures.
I see a lot of my Tristen in this picture.
My Dad with his beloved purple truck. Isn't he stylin??
Dad with my little brother, Eric
I just found this picture in a box while looking for pictures for a poster board. I had never seen it before, but I love it. He looks so young, and handsome.
With one of his best friends, David. Dave died about 4 years ago. I hope they are sitting at a table, drinking ice tea and strong coffee, telling "stories".
Working on the tractor, annoyed with my picture taking. He was still strong and tan in this picture. I think this was around 2002.
Again, my wedding, with my sisters flower girl head piece. No...he had not been drinking. ;)
With the grand-babies he loved so much. I am so thankful he got to meet Jayden.
My dad's youngest brother, Andy, posted this song on his Facebook page Tuesday.
"For my big brother Mike, who went home today."
I have listened to it over and over and over again.
Will post again soon!
Posted by Becky at 10:58 PM