Some of you have wondered where I suddenly went after blogging so faithfully each day since the start of the year. I've had some pretty tough things going on. At the end of January my sister phoned to tell me that my dog had died. He was my baby, the little guy I had no choice but to leave behind when I moved abroad. I know that phone call was hard for her to make, as she knew how it would devastate me. Just a week later, she had to make an even worse call. My dad died. He was young...only 55.
I wasn't sure I was going to write about this in such a public forum. Mourning is such a private thing, but writing is cathartic and I want the world to know how much better it is for having had him in it. My dad wasn't rich or famous. He didn't invent a cure for cancer or ever fly to the moon. He never competed in the olympics or held a public office. Of course, it's that way for most of us and our lives still matter...his life mattered. There's nothing about him that would make it even close to the history books, yet the world is still a better place because he was here.
You see, I believe in ripples. My sisters are deeply devoted and affectionate parents, because we had a dad who held family as the most important thing in the world. My sisters work very, very hard because they had the example of my dad getting up everyday and going to work and never complaining, even though he was ill most of his life. My other sister went back and completed nursing school at the age of 40 and another sister has gone back to school because he taught us to always believe you can achieve whatever you set your mind to and that it's never too late to go after what you really want.
My dad was so devoted to my mom and my parents were so in love. They laughed and giggled. They flirted and held hands. They spent lots of time with their kids as a family, but also made time for each other. I have a wonderful marriage and owe a lot of that to the lessons I learned from them. I could go on and on about my dad. He wasn't perfect...nobody is, but he was certainly a wonderful example of what a husband, a dad and a man should be. The world IS a better place because he was a part of it and I am so grateful to have had him in my life.
So while the last month has been pretty rotten and I'm certainly far from done grieving, each day is already getting a little easier. It sounds cliche, but my dad would want it that way. He's with my mom now, who passed 20 years ago and I like to think of them in together in Heaven, holding hands, and taking the long walks they used to love so much. The last week I have made effort to start painting again, am getting involved in my online art communities again, buying some art...and finally, today I am ready to tell people why I haven't been around the last month. So now I'm back...not quite 100%, but I'll get there.