Friday, September 16, 2011


I don't really know where to begin this, or why I am doing it at all, but maybe it will help the healing process to just start writing? I don't know, I don't really know what I am doing at all these days. I feel like I am just kind of on autopilot and going through the motions hoping everything works out. 15 days ago (15 already…wow) I got a text from my mom, "Dad's in the hospital. very serious condition, will call when I know more." My dad was in the hospital a lot these last couple years so it didn't strike me as too shocking, but something about it felt different, maybe that it was "very serious." I waited for the phone call, and when I got it, that sinking feeling got worse. My mom informed me that my dad's heart had stopped twice already and they were expecting it to stop again. They had revived him both times but he had been without oxygen long enough to where he had lost almost all brain function and was on a ventilator and his pulse was barely life sustainable. She called because they had asked her what to do the next time his heart stopped, revive, or not.. At first I was confused and wanted more details and wanted to hear something else, anything else, give me hope, let's keep him alive, of course we fight and keep him alive right? But within moments, I knew that was the wrong choice.. My dad was a fighter, he fought so hard for everything in his life and watching his own parents deteriorate he had made it very clear to us that he did not want that for himself. He never wanted to live like that, he would rather just be gone. So, we made the choice… and then we waited. I cried praying for a miracle, but knowing it was too late. I wished so badly I could be there. My mom and my sister sat by him and waited as my aunts, uncles, and cousins came in to say goodbye. Moments after the rest of the family left and it was just my mom and sister and her husband, they watched the heart rate drop, 40, 30, 20, 10…and that was it. My mom screamed and got up and shook his face and told him not to leave.. and just like that, he was back…10, 20, 30, 40… he came back for her. But, in his face they could see that he hadn't wanted to. So, they made peace…they told him they loved him and that he could go now. And then he did. This story brings me comfort, knowing that he was holding on for us…that was who he was…he would do anything for his family.
I went home a couple days later, flew out with Jackson by myself and although it was stressful to travel with a toddler by myself, I was grateful for the company. I have said it so many times, but he really is my best friend. We have so much fun together and he makes me smile through everything. I was glad to have him by my side.. Thomas flew out 3 days later. We planned he funeral and filed the paperwork and I cleaned out his closet and drawers and helped my mom organize everything and honestly, it felt more like planning a birthday party? We had to arrange the place and the food and the decor and… it was just so surreal. It didn't feel like I was planning and partaking in my own father's funeral. It was beautiful and a great remembrance of his life and it was so great to see all of my family and those who loved my dad dearly, but even that, felt like maybe it was just a family reunion? But, with a lot more tears and no games. Society is strange the way we do things…there is no time to grieve, it's just go go go. A million people ask if there is anything they can do, and what am I supposed to do, assign jobs? I've never done this before, I don't know where to begin, and by the time I know what you can do to help, the offer has passed leaving only an awkward situation. This is where I am thankful for good friends, for friends who act and do…not just offer. An offer means nothing. I'm grateful for the friends who drove up to see me, just to hug me and cry with my, for the friends who let me borrow necessary baby items, for the friends who brought over dinner without being asked. Those are my true friends…and for that I am very, very grateful (have I said that enough? Well, I am)
After everything passed in a whirlwind, I just wanted to be with my family and enjoy what matters most in life. Our relationships… Because when everything else is gone, that's all we have. So, that is what I did. My last night before returning home was difficult, as it always is, but a little more this time. I wished I could be closer and help with everything and just spend more time with my family. Time to grieve, time to heal, time to cry with each other, time to talk about old memories, time to remember all of my dad's quirks and laugh about them… but it was back to life in Texas. Being back has been a mix of things, it's nice to get back into our groove and routine, but it makes everything very surreal still. I feel like my dad is just back in California, and I will call him next week, or see him next month. It hits me when I'm alone, when I'm driving, or cleaning, or when I pray and include him in my prayers, forgetting he's gone. That's when the tears come. I'm sure Jackson thinks it very confusing that Mommy has been crying every night before she puts him in bed during our prayers… but, I can't help it. It's habit to pray for family and every single I night, I do it and have to stop myself…he's not here. Oh yeah.
How am I doing? Everyone keeps asking, what am I supposed to say? I'm okay….that's what I do say anyway. How's my mom? That's an even better one, ummm, she just lost her husband of 30 years…not so good, but thanks for asking? I know people mean well, and it is nice to think that they actually care.. but, there is no real answer to how I'm doing. I AM okay. I'm not good, but I'm okay. I'll be fine. I'll get there… but right now, it freaking sucks. I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm angry, I'm confused, I'm frustrated, I feel cheated… but I'm okay. I miss my dad and I wish that things could have been different, but they weren't.  That is life, right? We praise the God who gives, and takes away. I have a beautiful son, an amazing husband, and we have food on the table every night and a roof over our heads…I have my brothers, my sister, and my mom…and we have nothing but love for each other. That seems like a pretty nice life to me. Still, I hurt. My heart aches. I want to go back in time and change things, hug my dad a little tighter, and tell him I love him.
I'm exhausted, so exhausted… being a mom to a wild toddler exhausts me normally, but this has been rough. I am emotionally exhausted… I can't read anybody's post on facebook without feeling angry, either that their life is carrying on normally, or that they don't understand how precious life is. We are here for such a short time, why can't we focus on what matters? Why do we preoccupy ourselves with things of this world? Material possessions, temporary thrills, petty issues… You know that you will die….and none of that will matter. What will matter is what you leave behind spiritually, emotionally, and relationally…the footprints you leave on other's lives.
I know this probably doesn't make much sense and is a huge hodge podge of confusing emotion, and I don't even know if it made me feel any better, or will help me heal….but here it is.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story,. I enjoyed reading, and more enjoyed hugging you and Jackson today. It feels good to see you and tell you I am here for you. ;-)

  2. You are right about family being the most important part. When my sister's husband passed she said the hardest part was that everything kept revolving and her life felt like it stopped. But what gave her comfort was her two beautiful kids and the Lord, because when no one can understand what you're feeling or how to comfort you, He does.

  3. O annie, this made me cry, I know all 2 well every emotion u described, it being 2 years since I lost my daddy the pain still feels like it was yesterday that I was told he was gone. Ur rite no1 can say anything rite now 2 make u even feel a teeny bit ok. And its ok 2 b angry I still am, I don't think its fair that other ppl get 2 have their dads in their lives when mines gone. Every1 says it gets easier but what happens is u hide the emotion, u get this fake reality like ur ok and u break down alone @ nite. Its so weird that life goes on when ur daddy isn't there 4 everything. My heart aches 4 u sweetie, I know ur pain, and I'm here. The only advice I give is focus on jax he's the ONLY thing that will get u thru this....

  4. Ps I'm here if u need me, I know u probably wanna b alone, but just write when u can and it does kinda help. I still write my dad on his fb all the time <3

  5. I can't imagine the pain you are going through! But just remember that your dad's trial was up, his test of character over. Heavenly Father wanted him back, and you'll see him soon. Time goes by so quickly. I'm sorry things have been so difficult! You're in our prayers.