I lost my father five years ago today…
I was driving to work this morning and under my breath I said, “Thank you, God for everything..” for that brief moment I felt everything was in its right place. I was filled with love from my family and friends. I love my work. I respect the people I work for. I was grateful for my talents… for every single blessing that has come into my life. I was filled with enough love that remembering my father’s death didn’t sting so much… it stings, but not like it used to.
I was 24 when my dad died – at the brink of my 25th birthday. I hardly recognize that girl… the girl filled with so much sorrow, pain, loss, anger, angst, hate.. I was so confused and lost in my world that I feared everything. I feared opening up. I feared being vulnerable. I feared being in a relationship. I feared being honest with myself and with others. I feared my reality. I destroyed everything little by little and in quiet ways that made me fall apart. I latched on to anything that gave me temporary relief and distraction to what I was really facing. I cannot describe in words how painful that year was for me, but I’m glad I’m sitting here looking back at that time. I had no idea what my life would look like without my dad around. I wasn’t even sure it was possible to move on without him in our lives.
Fast forward 5 years – I am at the brink of my 30th birthday. For the first time/year since his death, I feel a genuine hope that my life will turn out better than I ever imagined. His legacy lives on in the very fabric of who I am and who I am turning out to be. I love recognizing my father in the things that I do, and I am grateful for being his daughter. I love working hard to honor the man he was and the father was he was to me and my brothers. I love seeing the love he left my mother and how that continues to fill her with such grace and hope. I love my dad.. forever. And the moment I made the switch to fully embrace this new reality since January 26, 2005 – my life has been a wonderful ride.
I could have easily turned out to be an angry, negative, hateful person. But I am not. My father would have been disappointed in me had I been. I am so grateful I have very quiet and strong relationship with God, a mother who is so close to my heart & soul, brothers who always look out for me, and friends who are real, honest and the most loving I’ve ever had in my entire life… without the love and support I have around me, the community I have created, the life I have built – the 5th anniversary of my dad’s death would look so different. You see today I look out into this world and I feel like I can do anything.. a very different view from what I thought life would be.
So like I said this morning… thank you God for everything… for my father, his life, his legacy and what his passing has taught and given me. Rest in peace, Dad.