This is the last picture I took of my dad, about a year ago this month. It's really hard to believe that this was taken on one of our last road trips together (if you've read this blog long enough, you'd know that he and I use to take them quite often.) It's harder to believe that it's been 8 months since he passed away, 4 months to the day that Fr. Leo passed away as well. It's been a hard day for those two reasons... but mainly because today would have been his 67th birthday.
We went to the cemetery in the afternoon to leave some flowers (including red roses since his favorite color was red). Our neighbor, with whom he was friends with, took us. I fought really hard to keep the tears in the entire time we were there. I wish I could say the same thing for the rest of the day. I am lucky that I had cognitive-behavioral therapy (since I don't take medication for the anxiety, I opted for this) because I was able to let out everything I was feeling today.
I remember that at this time last year, I was mad at dad for not celebrating his birthday with us -- first time he hadn't. I understood that he wanted to be with his family (not knowing it would be for the last time) but I didn't like that mom and I were left behind because of school and work. Of course I was happy when he was back and had surprised me with a chapel veil that I have planned not to wear until my wedding day. (Btw, if you can't find the post with the chapel veil on here, and if you're on my Facebook list, you can see the pictures there.)
After thinking about everything, I am content that I did everything that I could for my dad in his final days... but I am also still missing him. It's still too soon for that to really go away. I'm still in mourning (and my therapist even believes that's what's causing my slight decline in grades.) I don't think I would've done much different, other than telling him that I loved him every single day.
It's really easy for us as children (because we will always be children to our parents) to hold grudges and rebel against what our parents want... even easier when what they want isn't best for us. I did my fair share of that with my dad (especially as a teenager), but I look back at everything and I'm overall happy with everything. I made an effort to get to know him better, though it was really hard, and I finally did before he passed away. Maybe I can a really forgiving person or maybe my love for him was/is just too great, but I can actually celebrate his birthday without having an ill feelings about him.
And in honor of his birthday, I want to share a song that remind me of him. It's called "This is Not the End" by The Bravery. I listen to The Bravery often when I am working on my novel and this song always reminds me of what I feel about my dad and his passing.
I am emotionally exhausted from the day (crying will take a lot out of you) so I am going to end this entry. Before I do, I just want to say... hug your parents. If you're not a big physical family, just thank them for everything they've done for you. It's really hard losing a parent and I don't want any of you to regret not ever saying anything in appreciation to them. If anything, thank God that they brought you into this world. :)
I hope everyone had a painless Monday (I know how hard this day is for a majority of us.)
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.