I took this picture from Patrick Madrid's Facebook profile.
It's a little weird, but terribly exciting, to see my name on the cover of a respected publication but there I am... on the bottom of the cover... A Gift From My Father. I wrote that. Mind boggling. :D I only have the pre-publication PDF that Patrick sent me so I haven't seen the final product but I have already gotten feedback. The first email was from someone I don't know who saw my email address in the issue. I was deeply touched by the email and it definitely made the 1st year anniversary of my father's death (which was on Sunday, the 11th) that much easier. More about this in a bit.
If you've noticed, it's taken me about a week or so to write again. I haven't been really active on twitter or Facebook either. I've just been really bummed out. Honestly, I didn't feel like doing anything except sleeping. I didn't really want to go out, at all, and had to force myself to actually leave the house. I didn't do anything except stay home and watch TV or movies to distract myself. It's weird for me to be in this state of mind but it's apparently normal.
On the days leading up to the 1 year anniversary, things were hard. I remembered the last time I had a real conversation with him... the last time I kissed him... the last time I saw him... and the last time he received the Eucharist (only days before his death). Mom and I reminisced about the time we had with him, both good and bad. Mom told me the story of how dad was shocked that I basically shooed them out the door on my first of school. Everyone else cried, I didn't... I had a little twinkle in my eye and I just wanted to learn. Also, I was ready for school at like 5 a.m. and dad would tell me to go back to sleep. Oh yes, the academia bug hit quite early. :D I don't remember any of that but my mom does and so that was a great story for me to hear. It was things like this, hearing stories I don't remember, that helped keep me sane. It was also the feedback I've gotten about my article.
If you haven't already guessed, the article I wrote for Envoy Magazine was about the gift that my father (both my earthly father and my Heavenly Father) gave me. I wrote about things I never wrote or even mentioned before to either friends or anywhere on this blog. So far the feedback has been positive. Everyone apparently has cried while reading it which I hope is in a good way. A good friend of mine, Elizabeth (who was my buddy in Ethics class last year), called me yesterday and told me how proud she was of me and what I'd written. She's a hardcore Catholic (and we were the only "conservatives" in the class so we've stuck together ever since) and she's been amazing support. She said that she remembered when I would skip a lecture because I had to go to the doctor with my father and she took notes for me. It made the article feel personal for her, but others who don't know me at all have also been touched... which has touched me as well. All I've ever wanted was to be there for others in some way; to make them feel like they're not alone in dealing with these kind of issues and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to do so with this article.
Everyone who's emailed me, or called me if you personally know me... thank you. Thank you so much for giving me emotional strength I needed to get through this past week. Thank you so much for your prayers... and those who asked me to pray for you for one reason or another, your petitions will be listed in my prayer book list that I keep. :) And while I'm thanking people, thanks to my friends who have been incredible this past year. My family's not as close as others are (it's just mom, my older brother -- the closest one to my age, and I) so thank you for being my adopted siblings. :)
By the way, to not end this on a completely emotional (sorry, I'm just very much like this) note, I've found the answer to busting the blues: BABIES! We have the cutest little 6 month old neighbor and she's actually helped when I've been just depressed. All I have to do is visit her and see the big dimply smile she greets me with and that just makes me feel so much better. She also likes to laugh and try to chat with me which is adorable. I'm very a baby person so it's something as small as her smile that she busts the blues. :) I'm telling you... it works. :D
Alright I have about two back posts that I haven't published so I'm going to try to finish them and post them soon. I hope everyone has had a great week thus far and will continue to have a good week. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D