That morning was actually quite happy. I remember waking up and laying on the couch for a bit while my mom made breakfast. My dad wasn't feeling well so they were going in late to work ( did you see that? LATE? he was actually going to go into work).
I remember watching TV while my dad sat in one chair and my brother in the other. I know my dad was fine and then all of a sudden he said something so off the wall I remember laughing and saying "What?"...at that point I felt this surge of "something is wrong". I looked up and screamed at my mom to come in the room. The rest is a blur. I just know I called my best friend and told her I didn't need a ride that morning, while sobbing. Her grandpa came over right away to support my mom.
I know we went to the county hospital and then he was air lifted to the quad cities, where he stayed.
I never got to tell him how much I loved him, how sorry I was, that I wasn't ready for him to leave.
Sadness and numbness were all I felt at that point, for about a week straight. I know that there was a blizzard when his funeral was scheduled, but other than that I remember two things. Not crying during the visitation and standing the entire time by my mom. The other would be crying, or sobbing is more like it during the funeral after seeing all of my friends walked by. It wasn't until that point that I could release. I hadn't shed a single tear since we turned off the machines. Why? Did I not love him enough? Why couldn't I cry? Everyone around me was crying. Well you can only hold so much in before you need to release it, and I did.
My life had changed forever and now we had to get on with our lives...but how?
I have felt guilty for so many years, I thought that guilt was gone, but as I write this story out for all of you I realize it never left, I just shoved it away.
Guilt about how I treated him
Guilt about being happy since he's been gone
Guilt about being unhappy
Guilt about leaving my mom to go hang out with friends
What did I do with that guilt? I ate my feelings is what I did! I blew up in a matter of months, looking back at pictures from 8th grade graduation still make me nauseous. They are AWFUL! I had the "squinty eyes" because my face was so fat!
So now what? Where do I go from here, all things I felt! The only thing that made me feel better was food. I didn't have a lot of friends at this point, because I shut a lot of people out, I was angry that their lives were still normal. Why did i have to lose my dad? Why me? You know the pity party. Well I played it and I played it HARD! I never played another sport. Mostly because I knew my dad wouldn't be there watching me like he used to. He used to sit in the stands and I could hear him cheering on the court ( at the time SUPER EMBARRASSING), I just couldn't do it without him. I found different outlets like music to keep me going.
I went through a lot of turmoil that second semester, after all I had to get through graduation and confirmation. I still have the cross necklace that came from my mom AND dad for my confirmation. That simple cross with a teeny tiny diamond in the center may not look like much to anybody else, but it is the last piece of anything that my dad helped pick out for ME. The meaning behind that jewelery is huge to me.
|its silver, not gold although it looks gold|
Getting through that summer was awful, I ate, and ate and ate. We had a trampoline, but rarely used it. I watched my brother and we were both NON active. After summer came what? Ohhh yess Freshman year of high school....HURRAY! That fall I was on Flags, or color guard as some of you call it. I loved it, I thought it was fun and I made some good friends. However, the uniforms were atrocious. I am talking long sleeve sequined GREEEN swim suit. That is pretty much what it was with a tiny little "skirt" attached. It was AWFUL!. I still had TERRIBLE bangs ( because I was told I "couldn't" have the thin bangs that everyone else had- my hair stylist was an idiot!), puffy face, acne, and a round mid section...I was one sexy beast!....
|Fall 2001 (this took me all week to post)|
Well the beast part may have been closer to accurate. No I am not hating on myself, they are truly AWFUL! By January my mom decided we would go on a "diet". I started counting calories...and guess what I lost about 30 lbs. It was amazing. I felt prettier, I didn't have stupid bangs anymore, and I was eating health "ier". I remember my favorite after school snack being crystal light and cheddar pretzels (not a cheese dip).Here's a picture from the beginning of sophomore year when I turned 16.
|Fall 2002 about 35 lbs lighter|
I was doing really well and I don't remember feeling super "gross" the rest of high school, in fact senior year I was pretty skinny (skinniest I've ever been) check out this throwback!
Then came college.....
To be continued