Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Looking Back & Moving Forward

The first week of the year
is always a hard one for me

it brings back memories
that are both cherished
and heartbreaking

January 1, 2001
my world changed forever

I was in the midst of planning our wedding
life was good
I was happy ~ my heart was happy

then we got a phone call
it was my brother

hold off on picking up supper
Mom was taking Dad into emergency
as he was "acting funny"

about 20 minutes later
the phone rings again
it was Mom
she was frantic
Dad was having a stroke

we raced to emergency
ran in
he was having tests run

a stroke we can deal with
with some rehabilitation
he can bounce back from this

we waited in the family room
the doctor came in
yes ~ it was a stroke
it was a bleed
deep in the brain
nothing can be done
we better call the family

I called my brother
come to the hospital
then Dad's sister
and his brother

the family arrived
rallied in the family room
that was the 1st day

he hung in there with us
showing signs of improvement

he and Mom celebrated their
37th wedding anniversary on the 4th

every day we took shifts

made picture books

I brought in a walkman
and some of his favorite music

and although he was paralyzed on his right side
and lost his speech
he was still my Dad
and could hug with his left arm
and smile.

Saturday I was packing up Christmas
as I could have cared less about it the previous week
I went into the hospital around 3
and planned to stay until around 7:30

it hard started to snow
a storm was brewing
I was sitting there
holding his hand
and he had a seizure
and coded
they cleared the room
and I stood in the doorway

Back to the family room
scared to death
thank goodness Trevor was with me

the nurse came in
said the doctor was with him
and did I want to call Mom?

she will just want to come in
and it is storming
not a good idea

looking back I know that he was already gone
but she did not want to tell me there
without Mom

so we called the house
told my brother to bring Mom
to the hospital
as there has been a setback

that was January 6, 2001

so the first week of the year
I have a hard time not looking back

I am thankful
that I had 5 more days with Dad
after he had his stroke

I have no regrets
he knew that I loved him
with all my heart

I was
Daddy's Little Girl.


now I must look to the future
go forward
be in the moment

I am filled with hope for a brighter tomorrow

but I will look back
and remember this man
who will remain in my heart



Unknown said...

Oh Lori....this was beautifully written and so enormously made me cry.

I know how much you miss your really isn't fair sometimes. I know too that you had a really special bond and that he would be SO proud of the special person you are today....

Thinking of you especially today my friend, big hugs to you....

Simone xoxo said...

Memories can be rough some time. I know you will always cherish those 5 extra days you had with him. They never seem long enough though. It is hard to let someone go. I wish that I had had more time with my mom. One minute she was there and the next she was gone. You are very lucky to have had someone special like your dad in your life. Even though it seems like it wasn't enough time. Being the good person that you are is his gift to the world. His gift makes it a much better place to live.

Chez Zizi said...

What a beautiful post. I am sorry that this time of year brings back such memories but at least some of those are good ones - spending the time with your dad.

You also have all of your memories from growing up. He sounds like he was a great dad as you were his girl.


Christina said...

Lori...what a wonderful but sad post. I can see why this time of year can be so difficult. Dads are wonderful and I am still fortunate to still have mine, you reminded me of that. thanks!

Recaptured Charm said...

awww Lori, what a beautiful tribute to your dad. I feel your pain. I have also lost my father, and my sister. Nothing fills the large holes left where they use to be. I'm sure hes so proud of you!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh Lori this post broke my heart. I had a similar situation with my dad. He went in for a quintuple bypass and valve replacement. They messed something up during his surgery and he had congestive heart failure. They called us all in and we thought it was over.

I remember pleading with God. My mom and I went to the hospital Chapel and on our faces begged God to spare him. I wanted him to know our kids (we didn't have any at the time).

Somehow he pulled through. His heart only functions at 20% now, but he acts pretty normal. It's a miracle really. I am forever grateful that God has given us 10 more years with him. What a gift!

SO sorry for your loss sweetie.

mimi charmante said...

Lori, you look so much like your dad. I can only imagine what you go through every year, and know that I, like most people, will understand one day. I dread that day, and so my heart hurts for you. You know that I am thinking of you my friend~
Much love,

Cathi said...

Oh, Lori...that is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man...he sounds just like my dad - I was definitely daddy's little girl too...we were sure lucky to have men like that in our lives, weren't we? My heart aches for you this week, and it makes me miss my dad a little more too - if that is possible.

The last piece you wrote about not wanting your mom to drive to the hospital - I experienced that when my friend Sandi died - we were taking her 16 yr. old daughter and found out enroute she had died (she already was gone when they called, but they don't like to tell you until you have arrived at the hospital.) That was so hard breaking the news to this young girl - we had brought our daughters to comfort her, as we knew what this trip meant.

Like a few others have said, Lori - your dad would be so proud of the woman you are - you have a heart of gold and I for one am thankful that I have you in my life! xxoo

stefanie said...

what a wonderful and inspiring post, so sorry

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oh Lori,
It must be so difficult for you at this time of year. Your Dad was taken away from you too early. Try to remember all of the wonderful times you shared and what a wonderful relationship you had with him. Not everyone has that. I know that nothing will make it O.K. Both of my parents are gone now, my Dad died in 2008 and I miss them both, everyday.
I hope that each year, you will find that you think more about the good times you had with him rather than the difficult time you had. With much love to you, Lori. XXXX

Erika said...

What a sweet post, understandably that this time is hard for you and your family. You made me tear up. I hope that every year gets a little bit easier for you and your family.

christina said...

you warm my heart. what a beautiful blog, you have here.

LuLu said...

Lori, your post was so moving. Sending you much love and much hope for the new year,

Anonymous said...


I stopped by to see your blog. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to read. What a wonderful telling of such a tragic few days. My heart goes to you and I can not imagine what it is to lose a Dad. He was lucky to have you as a daughter and no doubt, you were the same to be his little girl. I look forward to reading more of your words, you certainly have a way with them. Perhaps you will inspired me to write some of my own as I continue to read yours. It was great seeing you last night, I just hope that it is not so long before we meet again. *hugs* Steph

TracyZLesh @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

This is so heartbreaking - what a profound and tense way to start a year out. I know this has made you a stronger person, but sometimes it feels as if there is just no good reason for these types of things. Hope you know that your story touched me.
Thank you

Sandy said...

That was a well written tribute to your dad. It brings a lot of the feelings of my father and the last 5 days we spent together (he was in heaven two weeks later). Faith will allow us all to be together again. Lots of Love..