Sunday, December 30, 2007

legacies and things of that sort

i feel different. i don't mean today i feel different....i mean, maybe i just noticed it today, but i feel different from the girl i was 24 days ago. i feel more serious. i feel less dramatic. i feel like i've suddenly been transformed into this down-to-business, no-nonsense, live real all the time kinda woman. what's the point in being scared, or afraid, or timid?
i've always been driven, my whole life, by making sure people like me. and when i got too close to someone, i started to feel uncomfortable, because once they really knew me...i mean reeeally knew me, they probably wouldn't like me anymore for all my short-comings. but just all seems so pointless. i want to be a likable person, because perhaps that's a Godly quality...being lovable in a way that makes showing God's love more honest. but beyond loving people with all my heart and living like Jesus, it's really not my responsibility to ensure people love me, is it?
death makes you think about those kinds of things. or at least, it's made me think about these things in a much more serious, significant way. life is so extremely short. and more than anything in this world, i long to leave the kind of legacy my dad left. i guarantee in another two or ten years no one will remember that he once fixed their car or their toilet. or anyway, they won't remember those actions as much as they'll remember that he was a kind-hearted, generous man who would give up anything to lend a hand, in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day, for no pay, and with a smile. well, okay, maybe he wouldn't always smile about it, but if he grumbled at all, it was in a way that made you feel like he wasn't really upset at all that he was spending his afternoon or his sleeping hours relighting your water heater's pilot light.
his legacy doesn't make him famous, and it doesn't even make his life meaningful. and that's not what i'm looking for after my death, either. but i do hope that my life means something to someone out there. that some person felt loved and care for because their life somehow intertwined with mine. obviously my life is going to be changed because my dad died. obviously things will never "go back to normal" and will never be the same as they were just a month ago. i don't expect or desire them to, because i am a changed woman, and the woman i'm growing into by the hour has a brand new respect for things like the big picture and what life, as short as sometimes it may be, is really about.

Friday, December 28, 2007

day 23

it's weird. i watched tv for a couple hours tonight...very relaxed, content...just sitting around doing nothing. i think about my dad constantly, all throughout the day...i miss him like crazy, of course, but most hours in the day i have a huge peace hanging about me, keeping me at a distance from sorrow. the weird part is...i never can predict when my dad's death is going to come crushing down on me. after all that tv watching, i went to the fridge for some ice water. the program from my dad's memorial service is stuck under a couple magnets on the phifers' fridge (where i'm staying at the moment), and i just glanced at the picture on the cover. then i went across the room, poured myself a glass of water from the filter i just pulled out of the fridge, went back and grabbed a beer, set it on the counter next to my water, and felt a wave of sadness. for some reason when i have a "wave" like that, i always think to myself, and almost always say out loud, "oh, dad." i'm not sure why, but that's what i say. after i got the beer out of the fridge and set it down, i picked up my water glass to go into the living room (more tv)...and out of nowhere i just LOST it.
it feels good to cry loud and hard. when i'm at home i don't like to sob, 'cause i'm afraid my mom will hear and that will make her sad all over again. so being here alone and letting loose was nice. i mean, as nice as weeping for the loss of my dad can feel. my heart breaks in those moments. i feel a thousand different things all at once. lots of things involving "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" and what i'm supposed to feel and not supposed to feel. because i KNOW my dad's chillin' with Jesus in paradise, i often feel guilt for moments like these when i hit bottom and cry my eyes out. if i'm so happy for my dad's eternal state, why am i so sad?
these things are so hard. everything is so confusing and everything is turned upside down. i always thought i knew how i'd react to true heartbreak, but i guess ya can't ever really be prepared for what it's going to be like. sometimes everything in my past up to this point feels like such a dream. like did it ever really happen? was i happy once upon a time? of course i know the answer to that, but the dichotomy is part of what makes all this so confusing.
just to reiterate, i don't type all this out because i'm looking for answers. i promise there's no answer out there. just time. and God. but i appreciate you reading all the same. even though nothing in life makes sense right now, talking about it (or writing) sure helps.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

movies and change

one thing i've found very strange about the last three weeks is the lack of parallelism between movies and reality when it comes to losing someone you love so dearly. mostly my problem is i'm not motivated to do all the things i think i should be motivated to do, as the characters in movies so often are after an event like this. i mean, even though we all know movies are movies and we shouldn't try to live our lives as described by hollywood writers, i guess i still have (or had?) this idea that even movies had their basis (however small) in reality. like in movies when kids mourn the death of a parent or sibling or spouse (etc) they become this amazing person who is changed inside and out because of the grand legacy left behind them.
but here i am. my very-legacy-leaving dad just died of a heart attack...and i'm eatin' bacon. i have this weird heart murmur-y off-beat thing when i lay down to sleep at night, and for some reason going to the doc is like, "meh." i should probably be all pumped to go to the gym and get fit, get on a diet and get slim, and i should certainly, certainly be more motivated to pray, read my bible and follow that suggestion about living "one day at a time."
but in this weird's like nothing's changed. at the end of the day, i still feel like the same ole emily. i mean, my life is totally different, because, well, if you know me, you know how much i adored my dad, and (pardon the forthcoming double-negative) there's no way nothing could have changed. (again with the ever-popular conjunction) but some things haven't changed that i feel like should have changed. like all that above about health and stuff. and the spiritual stuff. and the house is the same, and i still can't get rid of clothes i never wear, and my room's a MESS, and i forget to pick up after myself. my life will never be the same as of three weeks ago...
but will it ever truly change?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

hugs and grief

sometimes...when i'm doing something normal, like checking my myspace or buying groceries...i find myself looking at people (or their pictures and comments and posts) and wondering how they can just go on. how can they just be happy and normal and excited about things? my dad's dead, ya know? i'm sure that's some unfortunate side effect of grief, 'cause i've heard things like that from people who've been in this position before, but you really can't understand it until you're here. in fact, there's about a million things you can't understand until you lose a parent (or, i suppose someone else that close). i don't mean to sound like i'm saying, "you people just don't understand!" because i don't mean to sound ridiculous like that. it's just....grief is absolutely something you cannot understand until you live it.
i wish i could eloquently say all the things i want to say, and i wish i could remember everything i want to say. but i get exhausted when i start writing about my dad 'cause there's too much to write about. i miss every single thing about him. i miss all the things that annoyed me so much just four weeks ago. more than anything, i swear ANYthing, i just wish i could hug him. i miss his hugs so much.
when i was a little girl i didn't let a night go by that i didn't tell him, "i love you,'re the best dad in the world!" and i hope you all have excellent fathers who love and cherish and hug you like my dad did, but i must say, i still believe whole-heartedly that i had the best dad in the world.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

like a vapor

i suppose if i were having a conversation with you, the first thing i'd say would be, "i don't know where to start." so i may as well start there. just not knowing. all i can think about is that my first great tragedy is now...and why did it have to be my dad? i need him. i need to ask him what to do with my life. i need him to approve of the boy i'll like someday. i need him at my wedding. i need him to check my oil, fix my plumbing, build a fence for my dog. i need to hear his voice. i need to hear him sing "jellyman kelly" again.
i wouldn't wish him back for one second. because i know where he is, and i know he's never been more fulfilled, he's never been happier, and he's never before seen Jesus as he's seeing him now. that must be glorious.
but even though i wouldn't bring him back if i could, i can't help but fear a future without him. what a man. my dad.
more soon.