Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Lost My Dad and Everything Is Going To Be Okay

I want to start by saying that this is my personal experience with the loss of a loved one, and I would never presume to tell anyone how they should feel or react in their own unique situation. *My Dad had a genetic liver disease. He started getting severely ill about 13 years ago, but that isn’t what I’ll hold onto. *When I was at his house last, I saw his pill holder. It was the length for the amount I’ve seen sick people take in a week. It was labeled Monday. There were six others just like it, but that isn’t what I’ll hold onto. *Our hope was that he would get a liver transplant, but that isn’t what I’ll hold onto. In the hospital he was sick. He was suffering. We sat at his bedside and agonized, but that isn’t what I’ll hold onto. *He was 56 years old, too young for a life to end. He has grandkids that he won’t meet on this earth, but that isn’t what I’ll hold on to. *My Dad loved us. He told us. He spent time with us. He saved the pictures and notes we gave him. That’s what I’ll cling to. *My Dad took great joy in his Grandkids. They elated him, and he spent quality time sharing the things that mattered to him with them. That’s what I’ll cling to. *My Dad’s heart was pure. He taught me that a suit and tie and regular church attendance didn’t necessarily make a man a good man, and that a rough appearance or a bad habit didn’t make a man a bad man. He taught me to respect all people. *He taught me about love. He and Mom have a spectacular love story. *He taught me to make sure I had the key in my hand before I walked out of a locked door. *He taught me to serve people without any thought for the credit. *He taught me a true appreciation for nature’s beauty. *He taught me countless things and that’s what I’ll cling to. *He taught me that family is everything… and that’s WHO I’ll cling to. I didn’t expect my first writer’s blog post to be this heavy, but now I will tell you something you need to know about me. I believe in fairy tales, more now than ever. My Dad isn’t far away. There are no sad endings for him. For him, there are no endings! I’ll be with him again. In this life, we know pain, we know sickness, we know heartache. We don’t know joy, not like we will. I know a lot of people that don’t believe as I do. They might find it hard to believe in heaven. After the experiences I’ve had in the past two weeks, I’d find it much harder NOT to believe. Angels and comfort and light and peace may seem childish notions, but in the face of tragedy I can tell you that they aren’t really. They’re deep and intellectual and perfectly suitable for grown-ups. I walked alone out of that hospital where my Dad passed away. There was a wall of windows to my left that led to the outside, and to my right, hundreds of sick people, hundreds of worried people. I remember there was a breeze blowing down the corridor and brushing my hair away from my face as I moved toward the exit. I looked around that terrifying place. The place my nightmares have been made of for years, because of the fear of what I could lose and what Dad could suffer. I squared my shoulders, I held my head high, and I thought to myself, “Hospital, you’ve got nothin’ on me. Not anymore. Death can’t take my Dad away from me.” In that moment, I knew what I was made of. I’m stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. You are too. You can handle more than you think you can. It’s because you have people watching over you, people you can’t see, people who love you. Trust me.

32 comments:

Candace said...

Amie--You have touched my soul with this blog post! I just got home from the hospital where my Dad lay suffering and hurting and I had such a hard time walking out of those hospital doors and getting in my car to come home to just think about him and how helpless I am. I have not lost my Dad yet and we are hoping we will have MANY MANY more years with him but we just don't know the outcome yet. You have helped me to realize that when my Dad does pass I will be ok. I have a really hard time writing that but you are so right...they are not far away. I know your Dad is right by your side whenever you need him. I am so sorry for your loss and I am so impressed with your words of wisdom. Thank you so much for writing this because it has given me a new outlook on this crazy, messed up situation called death. Your an inspiration! :)

Amie said...

Candee- if nobody else visits this blog- your comment is all I'd need to feel fulfilled in doing this post. THANK YOU so much for it! And no matter what happens I know you WILL be okay. I couldn't say that to just anyone, but I know that about you, about your family, and about your Dad.

Rose said...

Writers touch people and that's exactly what you have done with this blog. You put to words what others feel in their hearts.
You are an inspiration in so many ways Amie.
You have a way of captivating your listener or reader every time you speak. Keep going with this. I have always had a dream of doing something big with my poetry and I let each day slip by me.
Love you Rose

Tippy said...

Amie you're AMAZING! I look up to you so much. I love this post and I am so happy for you.

Tasha said...

You are such an amazingly brilliant writer. Every time I visit here I know I will walk away with a new insight on a different topic. I just happen to know exactly how strong you are. I've had the privilege of knowing you most of your life...I've watched as tragedy struck...and I've watched a family heal together partly due to your amazing strength. Part of your strength comes from your humility and that's why you've never known how strong you are. For years I've tried to emulate your quiet, behind the scenes genuine kindness. I've come to the conclusion that you either have it or you don't, and I know that this particular quality came from your dad. Every time I would walk into a room that he was in the spirit was always there, always strong. I could go on all day...but I won't.:) I'm SO happy that all of this is coming to fruition for you...and I can't wait to see what comes next!! Chalk me up as your biggest fan...the first of many no doubt!!

Anonymous said...

AMIE,

I love your insights. I am sorry about your dad, he seemed like an amazing man who loved much and expressed it too. You are an amazing writer! I am hoping to read your book soon. and someday when we are old I would like to shuck peas on the front porch with you and watch our grandkids run half naked outside.
Julie H.

Emily said...

Beautiful Amie! You are such an amazing writer and person. I look forward to reading more from you! <3

Amy said...

You already know how fantastic I think you are and this post just proves it! You have such a way with words, you make me feel like I was right there walking next to you. Fantastic job on such a touching personal subject.

Grandma Sony said...

Amie - You have such a gift of expressing what is in our hearts and yet words seem inadequate. You have a way of making the words touch our hearts - what a tribute to a really good man - who taught us all to love. The sky is the limit - and you are well on your way.

Akramah said...

Nice job!

Bandi Olsen said...

I totally love you Amie...and your dad, and I didn't even know him! That was a great blog post, can't wait to read more!

Greg Gee said...

Beautiful thoughts, Amie. Thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

That was beautiful.

Stef said...

You are amazing and have an amazing way with words. Loved this post and the emotions that came with it. Looking forward to many more....

Michal said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am excited to read more.

Aimee said...

You have an amazing gift with words, Amie. I look forward to reading more!

Fiona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl said...

Beautiful words, Amie! I will definitely be back to read more. Can't wait to get a hold of your book!

moochohunko said...

Amie, this is such a touching and beautiful post. You have an amazing talent. I've always looked forward to read your blog.
Thank you for sharing your feelings and strength with all of us.
I'm so grateful to know you.

Love,
Soni

Ronda said...

Amie, that was beautiful. I have always thought so highly of you, and I can see that you come from an amazing father. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful perspective on a such a hard topic. You are extremely talented and I look forward to following your writings!

-Ronda

Nisa said...

That was an amazing first post, Amie! I believe you're absolutely right. Good luck with your writing journey. I'm behind you 100% and I know you're strong enough to do it!

Your blog is so cute! And you definitely have heart!

Amie B said...

i'm sorry for your loss. but thank you for sharing your experience with us. truly, it was beautiful and made me cry.

welcome to the blogging world :) (found you through janyece)

SANDERS said...

So sorry for your loss. You are quite amazing!! I have a friend going through the same thing, this blog entry will totally help her.

Anonymous said...

This post was sooo touching and beautiful. I work with your mom at SRJH....she's so wonderful, too! I look forward to reading more from you!

Liza

Posted by ~cc~ said...

Great post and yes you do have a way with words. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sorry for your loss. A great book to read (if you haven't already) is called "The Message" by Lance Richardson. It was a great comfort after I lost my nephew to a car accident. Looking forward to more of your thoughts and posts.

Melissa C said...

This post was just beautiful Amie, very touching. We love you!

Teresa Morgan said...

Amie, I love reading your posts! You really are amazing. I am so sorry for your loss. I think it is so true, that we never really give ourselves enough credit. No matter what it is.

Cindy Primrose said...

Amie, I love your words. I marvel at your strength.You are a beautiful writer. I wish you the best of luck.
Cindy

Jeff and Jessie said...

Amie-I loved this post.
I have always loved your family. Your mom is an amazing woman, therefore, her talent to touch others had to reach into you too. I remember her ability to be cheerful and valiant. She was such an example to me of how a lady should act and I loved and admired her greatly. I count myself lucky to have known you and your family.
Jessica (Taylor) Barrett

Mary said...

Wow, Amie, you are amazing! I've always known you are adorable, but I had no idea how much talent you have for words. I think you dad would be proud. Aunt Mary

Kris and Linda said...

Amie,

I loved your talk at the funeral along with your brothers. Your thoughts are clear and tender. Good luck witht the writing. You know that I love your Mom and I am praying that she will be alright. Love, Aunt Linda

Lauren Howell said...

I am so sorry about what happened. my mom commented on this... yep i guess I'll have half naked kids running around your front yard some day. But gosh mom, you kinda raised the bar high this time. Amie you are in our prayers. We love you. You always make us laugh. See you soon,(according to my mom)

Lauren H.