Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Three Father's Days without you

Today is a reminder to me that my dad is dead. I'm not trying to be morbid in that opening line. I'm not trying to skirt around the feelings either. I'm being open and honest in this post and I hope that is ok with you.

Three years ago we moved to Ventura. It was such a joy for our family to be closer to family. Just weeks before our move things went from joyful to painful. My stepdad was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer and my dad's health declined. We moved to Ventura and my dad's health went into rapid decline.

My first elders meeting I got a text that my dad had 24-48 hours to live. I immediately drove to the hospital and I knew it was bad. My sister and I cried together. The next day I brought my whole family to say goodbye to gramps. It was a Wednesday and it was the most aware I saw him in his final week of life. It was a true joy. My dad spoke kind words over our family. My dad told me how much he loved me. He expressed his deep love for my wife and her support. He told my kids how much he loved them. It was a real joy. Two days later my dad died.

We took our family to Disneyland on Friday June 23, 2017. It was a great day. We laughed more than we had in weeks. The stress of moving, getting into a new home, starting a new leadership role, and more was tough. We rode rides, ate cotton candy, and just enjoyed the day. We were getting read to leave when my phone rang... it was my sister and I knew what the call was about. I began to cry in the large Disneyland store on the California Adventure side. I tried to hide it from my kids to not ruin the day.

We got in the car and while on the freeway we shared the news with our kids. The whole car erupted in tears. I lost my dad. My kids lost their grandpa. There was a loss in our family. I was able to see my dad more than I would have been if we didn't move. As I look back on our situation, I'm so grateful that we moved and had this time with my dad.

This post is mostly for me to share a remembrance. As I knew this date was approaching I could sense some grief in my life.

I'm reminded that it's good to grieve.
It's ok to miss those who've passed away.
It's good to look at pictures and enjoy the memories.

Miss you dad!

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