i miss you

i don’t like april. not really. april, for everyone else, is usually a happy sort of month… easter usually falls in april, spring is just beginning, there’s more sunshine and birds twittering and warm breezes blowing through the trees… but april, for me, is a very hard month from start to finish.

and today, especially.. the 22nd of april.. is the hardest day of the month.

i touched on it very very briefly on my old blog, in a post i titled personal, but i didn’t talk about it much there. i don’t think anyone even noticed my small paragraph of some real life stuffs amidst the pictures, anyway. but on april 22, 1997.. i lost my dad to cancer.

i miss you

so today i’m feeling emotional and lonely and raw and like i need to just.. talk about him and about my real life a little bit. i know this blog is mostly sl-related, but.. i wouldn’t mind at all if you had a seat and listened for a while.

every second of every day of my life, i miss him. i miss him so thoroughly that sometimes, it actually still hurts me physically. it’s been 16 years now and even though time does heal all wounds, time does very little for the scars left behind.

as the years go on, i find myself missing him more && more. missing him for the things he’s missed out on in my life.. missing him for the way things would be different if he were here… missing his smile and his goofy sense of humor and.. i would give anything to feel one of his hugs again. i miss hearing his voice, i miss the way he used to sing to the radio, i miss listening to him play his guitar or his banjo or his keyboards or his harmonica. i miss every part of him, still, so badly.. even after all this time.

i was only 13 when he passed away and i was clueless about his cancer right up until the very end. whether it was a good decision or not, both my mom and my dad kept the details of his diagnosis from me.. i was only 11 when he found out he had colon cancer. i understand now that i’m older why they decided not to tell me — the burden of knowing her father has a very grave illness is a lot for even the strongest 11-year-old to handle — so for most of the two years he lived with cancer, i was blissfully ignorant. i thought he had never-ending bouts of the flu or, when he came home from surgery with a colostomy bag, figured it was merely something routine for a man in his 50s. i may have been naive about it, but i never questioned it.. and when i learned what was really happening, it felt like my entire world came crashing down around me.

when my mom finally told me about how sick my dad was, it was april 1st. and i lost him just 22 days later.

i spent countless hours in the hospital with him, whether i knew why he was there or not. i sat beside his bed, i slept in the waiting rooms… that easter, the year he died, i spent it in the hospital with him. we celebrated quietly in the waiting room — my mom still made me an easter basket, even — and she sat with me and we opened gifts.

i have memories of watching him… my father, a strong man.. a man who took such good care of his family… a man who was the rock for us… slowly deteriorate as the weeks went on. he wasn’t able to walk at the end, had to sleep in a special hospital bed that was delivered to our home, those few times he actually was at home and not in the hospital.. he had trouble speaking, was on so many medications that made him tired or loopy… this man that i so admired, that i loved so very much.. i watched him suffer and i watched him cry and i watched his cancer slowly take him away from me.

if you’ve ever lost someone dear to you, then you know exactly how i felt when he passed away. i remember that night so vividly. i was at my grandmother’s house, spending the night, because my mom was basically living 24/7 in the hospital with my dad at that point. and i remember exactly what i was doing, what time it was, what i was wearing, what i was thinking… when the phone rang and i knew. i knew what was coming when i answered it.

there are no words, really, that come close to describing how much i still miss him. i think april 22nd will always be the hardest day of the year for me. if things were different and the 22nd was just another normal day… i could sit with my dad and laugh with him, and hug him, and kiss him, and listen to him sing and play his banjo, and i’d know that he’s still with me in this world. but i can’t… and i spend every single day wishing that i could.

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8 Comments

  1. I’m sending you a virtual hug, Vixxie. Your post made me cry. I’m glad you have so many good memories of your dad, but I wish you would have had the chance to make more. No, time never completely heals the scars. I know exactly what you mean.

    Reply
    • thanks, shiloh.. i’ll gladly take the hug! ❤ i'm sorry it made you cry, but to be honest.. i don't think my own eyes were dry while i wrote the entire post. it's a tough thing to talk about, even now after all this time, but sometimes you just need to get things off your chest.

      and it definitely helps knowing that there are people out there that i've never met who are kind enough to send good thoughts my way. i appreciate it so very much.

      Reply
  2. Here’s a hug for you. I know how you feel. My dad died on April 23, 1996. I had planned to fly home for a visit on April 26th and just missed him. Thanks to a generator fire shutting down the airport for the day, I ended up missing his funeral as well. It’s a hard loss and even when someone is ill and the whole world says their death is a “blessing” and a release, it’s so hard to really feel that because until that moment, he is here in this world and after that moment he is gone. The release and the blessing may be for him, freeing him from pain, but it does not make him any less absent and missing from your life.

    I have many wonderful memories of my dad and they keep him alive in my heart. I hope the same for you.

    Reply
    • more hugs! and here’s a huge bear hug back to you, cajsa ❤ i cannot even imagine how much that hurt for you.. i empathize and sympathize and my heart goes out to you for that.. today is hard for me, but tomorrow will be hard for you, and i promise i'll keep you in my thoughts.

      i do have lots of memories, happy ones, and i'm very thankful for them. even though my post is mostly about the sad, i have so much happy to look back on that it eases the pain a little bit. that is great advice – to keep them alive in your heart with good memories.

      Reply
  3. hugs and best wishes, I understand how a month can change its meaning due to a loss as impacting as this…your love for him is truly wonderful.

    xxoxoSasyxoxx

    Reply
    • thank you, sasy, that’s very sweet of you to say. i appreciate these wonderful comments much more than i could express, it means a lot to me.

      Reply
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