Monday, December 12, 2011

For Dad

You may have noticed that my blog has been a bit sparse lately. Allow me to explain- the past two months have been a blur and turned my world upside down. 

In mid-October my Dad was rushed to the hospital. It was very serious-my family called me to update me on the situation & it was scary. I flew home to Saskatchewan straight away because I didn't know how much time he had. I stayed there for two weeks. During that time Dad improved (relatively of course) and was waking up the last few days I was there. I was hopeful that he was getting better. I talked to him and we had some great moments together.  Sometimes he was frustrated that he couldn't talk, but he could understand what I was saying; especially the important things like "I Love You".  I told him that the Lord had given him a second chance at life.  That really touched him.  We definitely shed a few tears during those conversations.  What surprised me most was that some of the nurses said Dad was a miracle.  Nurses have seen and dealt with everything, so I was encouraged that they felt that way about Dad.  They wouldn't have said that if they hadn't meant it.

He was moved out of the ICU a few days after I left. Unfortunately things started to deteriorate after he was moved.  Early one morning my sister called me from the hospital and things weren't going well. Thankfully I was able to talk to Dad on the phone and tell him all the things I felt I needed to say.  Ty talked to him as well and made sure that it was ok for us to get married; to get Dad's blessing just one more time-that was really important for me.  I read him the last page of Robert Munsch's "Love You Forever" through tears.  I had bought a copy for Dad as a wedding gift and read it to him while he was in the hospital. It was our special book.  That morning, I knew in my heart it might be the last time we ever read it together. 

Two hours later Jill called back and while we were on the phone, Dad passed away. 

We couldn't believe how perfectly planned it was; I was with my fiancĂ©, Jill was with her boyfriend and Jill & I were on the phone together. Dad knew that we were all together and that it would be easier for us that way.  It just goes to show that the Lord has a plan, and while it's difficult to accept or understand sometimes, you have to look for the silver lining. There is always a reason He does what He does. 

So I went back home for Dad's funeral in late November. 
Even as I type it, it doesn't feel real to say that. 
And I'm not sure it will ever feel real.

Needless to say my life has turned upside down. And now it's Christmas-time and while I'm excited about the holidays, I am experiencing teary outbursts just thinking about celebrating Christmas without Dad.  Christmas songs are the worst and usually result in me crying until a more cheery tune comes on....but it's also random, like when I'm drying dishes.

I think Christmas Eve will be the hardest.  Dad always came to church with me and Tyler's family.  We're Catholic, so we attend midnight mass and it's always a beautiful way to spend Christmas Eve.  It means so much to me to be at church with the two men I love the most, Dad and Ty.  After mass a bunch of family and friends get together at my in-laws and we eat snacks and play games until the wee hours of the morning.  Ever since my parents split, Dad and I have spent Christmas Eve together.  I will carry those memories with me forever.

So in Dad's memory, I'm taking this week to share the Christmas traditions that he made special for me.  I hope that through these stories, recipes, and traditions I'll start to heal.  More importantly I hope that I can share Dad's heart with others, and that anyone reading this will be touched by his love, his spirit and his legacy.

"And then he went into the bedroom where his very new baby daughter was sleeping.
He looked at that little girl and he picked her up, and rocked her, back and forth, back and forth
back and forth, and sang
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as your living,
my baby you'll be"

Dad ~ 1956-2011


the cape on the corner said...

i am so truly sorry for your loss, but those moments in person and on the phone will be so good to hold onto. i lost my dad at the end of august, so this is still too fresh for me, and admittedly i skimmed this post for fear i would end up in tears over my own father. one day at a time, that is it.

Judy said...

I had found a couple of things of interest on your blog and had tucked it away in my favorites. I read this about you and your Dad. So sorry about his passing but thankful that you have tender last memories. Shared it on my FB wall and hope others will read it and appreciate still having their parents or other family members still with them. My father passed when I was 26 and I only wished I had a few more last memories. At least we were together on that Christmas but then he passed in mid January.
You and your sister are in my prayers!!

Kyle said...

Thank you for sharing this Leslie... I've sort of kept quiet through all of this because to be honest, I just didn't know what to say.
Uncle Lou will be missed so much. Even though it's been a while since the last big family get together, I will never forget his laugh. It's just one of those thing about him that stands out to me.

I can't wait to read the stories and recipes, and just remember if you bake too much... You know my address!

Natalie Catherine of said...

I came across your blog through the comment you left me.... Uniting with you in prayer during this time of your loss. You dad sounds like a wonderful man. Praying for all of you.. for his soul..and that he and my shannon may find each other up there..they are watching over us. God bless you girl.