Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Happened...

I suppose I should give a brief description of what happened a few weeks ago. I know I'm always curious about the lives of the people whose blogs I read. We let each other in for all the little stuff and then suddenly the big stuff is hard to talk about. I'm probably going to glaze over the details though okay?

Around noon on Saturday, July 4th, my Mother called me and told me that my Father had died in his sleep. They weren't sure at this point what had happened, he hadn't been sick. I told her I'd call her when we got on the road, I told the kids and Matt what had happened, I jumped into action. I can't tell you how much it sucks living away from your family when something like this happens. Those hours between when you get the news and when you get there, for that hug, that moment of checking to make sure that everyone else is okay, are far longer than sixty minutes each. I was obviously in shock because I did what normally takes me a week, pack up the bags and the car for a trip home, in one hour. I let the kids pack their own suitcases. I threw whatever was in front of me, including dirty laundry into my own.

The drive is twelve hours, ten at night. That day was a holiday. I am impatient. The kids didn't have the usual drinks, snacks, movies, games, to entertain themselves. But we were together and we had time to talk and we had time to process and we felt comforted that we had each other. The kids behaved better than ever before and I thank them for that. They got all their questions out. I stayed in contact with my Mom and my cousin Melissa (who was such an angel that day) and we finally finally arrived at midnight.

There was no final reason for my Father's death. It was a "cardiac event". He was sixty-three. He had heart disease, pre-diabetes, he smoked, and drank, and ate whatever he wanted. And still his doctor was shocked. He had just seen him and said there wasn't anything specific that he was complaining about.

The rest of the week was a whirl-wind of tears and laughs and so so much paperwork and errands. My Mother is so strong and has such strong people around her. We were all so fortunate for our huge huge extended family. The people who attended his service were numerous, my Mother was so surprised and touched.

My Father wasn't an easy person to love and wasn't an easy person to hate. He rarely had a kind word, but frequently had a kind gesture. He showed his love in what he could do for you not in what he said to you. Sometimes you had to work yourself through that. Thankfully when someone passes, the things that used to drive you crazy just start to slip from your mind. Friends and family start telling funny stories and those are the things that stick with you. Those are the things that get you through.

I want to thank our families for all their support, my friends for just being there for me, my Mother's neighbors for making sure that I don't have to worry about her.

The neighbors planted a tree in Dad's honor.

The neighborhood kids painted a rock to go under the tree.


  1. Amanda,
    I am so sorry to hear about your father. It is very hard to lose a parent. May the memories continue to live through you to your children.

    If you need to talk please feel free to call or write.


  2. Loves and hugs. I love the rock the kids painted. Johnnycakes is such a cute nickname.

  3. Thanks for the explanation. I'm sorry you felt an obligation to explain it all but for those of us who care about you we're glad you shared. I love your description of your dad. An ol' Irish Yankee it sounds like. I'm thankful that you are at ease about your mom's well being with her supportive neighbors nearby. That's huge to your healing, I'm sure.

    Love to you.

  4. I hope that telling it was cathartic. I am so sorry for your loss but it sounds like you have a great support system.

    Planting a tree, in my mind, is one of THE BEST memorials a person can give. I love the rock.

    BIG HUGS, girlfriend.

  5. Oh Amanda, I'm so sorry. I love how you explained that the stuff that's hard to love about someone, the stuff that hurts, just slips away. It's a lovely image, and so true.

    When Chip's dad passed away last year we went through so much of the coming-and-going emotions. It's so good to talk about it, when you can.

    And you're absolutely right, that we share so many of the day-to-day junk through our blogs, but have a hard time tackling the big stuff. I wonder why that is.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom in October and there are really no words. Take care, Tricia (found you from twittermoms)


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