Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Worst Club In The World

  I remember after my step dad's memorial service my friends came up to me for hugs and what not. My one friend Shannon said, "Welcome to the worst club in the world." She was referring to the dead dads club. I know, so harsh to word it that way, but it's okay because my dad died, in fact both of them did- so I am like a VIP member. Which basically gives me a license to say whatever I want on the subject. Having said all of that, I wanted to reach out to those of you bloggers or readers out there that have lost a parent. I want to see if I'm totally crazy or if some of what I'm feeling is normal...

Dad (left) Rudi (right)
 //1  Do you ever see your parent, nope- not the one that is alive, the one that is in fact passed on the street, driving in a car or at the movie theater?

 I do! I have thought I have seen my dad, Bernard many times. I don't see him everywhere, but sometimes for a split second, I think I just saw my dad in a man walking his dog across the street. Is this totally bizarre or has this happened to you?

//2  Do you ever think- Oh! I have to call my dad... oh wait..

 I have done this when I have something exciting to share, I suddenly think I need to tell my dad or I can't wait to... and then I quickly remember that he's not around. 

//3  Do you ever look at your child and suddenly think- Ohhh I wish they could see her now? Do you imagine him holding your precious little person in his arms? Does the very thought make you feel so sorry for yourself, that you have to push it out of your mind before you burst?

 I often look at Alina and think about how much my dad would have adored her. He only met my nephew and had step grandchildren. But, Alina is really dark haired and would probably remind him of me. With my step dad, Rudi- he never met any of the grandbabies. He would have been absolutely smitten with my Alina, not to mention his first grand boy Quinn and the little spit-fire Sophie. I think about my dads as papas and my heart sort of bleeds for what they are missing out on...

My niece kissing her Papa Rudi's picture.. Too precious not to share.
 //4  Do you ever wish so much that your parent could have met your significant other? Or at least been able to approve of your person?

 Rudi never met Rob. But he's the reason why I met Rob, in the end. My mom and I moved here because Rudi died and we wanted something different. Rob just so happened to move to the island the same summer. If Rudi lived, I would never have had a golden ticket to Vancouver Island and I never would have met my Robert. My dad did however meet Rob. He wasn't super active in my life near the end, so they only met a few times. He came to the town where I was married, but he sadly didn't make my wedding. He was too sick with his cancer by then to brave the hot temperatures in July. I think if Rudi had met Rob, he would have really liked him. I also think that nothing would have made my dad happier than to walk me with my mom, down the aisle that day. The things we miss out on only make us stronger though.

 //5  Do you find yourself trying really hard to make other people feel comfortable when the topic of dead parent comes up and people find out that your parent has passed?

 I am always trying to make light of a not so light topic. "Oh yeah, my dad died, well both of them did.. my step dad and then my dad five years later.. but no! No, don't feel bad, it's nothing. Well no it's not nothing! It's just that.. they've been gone awhile now, so don't. feel. bad..."
.............................................................................................................................................. awkward!

Similar to these moments for poor Pistol Pete...
 //6 Do you have a sick or morbid sense of humour?

 This is probably just me. I'm weird because I crack jokes about things that normal people shouldn't crack jokes about. For the record- I do NOT think cancer or death is funny. But when cancer strikes, twice.. and takes both of your dads, you are certainly allowed to poke fun when you feel like it. I'm pretty sure it's a rule.

 I have both dads on my top book shelf. Don't worry, they're not mixed together.. they're in separate boxes. See! Not something I have to clarify but I felt that need to crack a little joke. Ugh, so sick. Anyways! I had them on a lower shelf until Rob's cousin's little girl was over. She picked up "Rudi" and I told her that we couldn't touch those two boxes because they were very special to me. I ended up putting them on the tallest shelf. That night I joked to Rob that wouldn't it have been so funny and awful all at once if we left the room and Evelyn was covered in Dad's ashes!?!?! I'd be all like; "It's OKAY! NOOO BIG DEAL! Just my dad there all over ya.. I'll just go grab the broom.. Umm.. don't move! " I know for a fact, if something like that happened my dad would be laughing his ass off at how I 'spread' my portion of his ashes! Or, Rob has given me cash that he wants me to put away for him. So I may have hidden the money in Rudi's box because I know for a fact that Rob would never go looking through those boxes for anything! It's a great hiding spot and in all seriousness, I like having part of them both there, together, with me in my home.

They're with my prized Harry Potter Collection... and Vampire Porn..
  Your mom or your dad is someone incredibly special and no matter how old you are, losing a parent will always be painful. Just know that if you ever hear your dad's laugh or you suddenly smell your mom's perfume, it's okay to feel a bit sad for yourself..


Alex[andra] said...

The only time I see my mom is when I look in the mirror. I see a lot of her in me. Especially the older I get. It's scary and comforting at the same time.

I never think I need to call her because I was so young when I lost her.

I think when I have a child, I'll wish my mom could have seen my baby.

I WISH my mom could have met Andrew. I wish it CONSTANTLY. You see, my mom wasn't really all there. She used to fib. A lot. And by fib, I mean straight up lie. One of those lies was that she had a boyfriend named Thom (with an H). He was tall, dark, handsome and rich. He also had a Cessna. Then I met Andrew. He was tall, dark, handsome and had a Cessna. He was Thom. Just minus the rich part. It was the weirdest thing. Because of that, there's always been a part of me that feels like my mom brought Andrew and I together..

Sounds like we have the same type of humour!

I like the boxes your dads are in. My mom is still wrapped up in the box from the crematory. I've never been able to get myself to take the paper off the box. Also, the box is huge. I'm not sure why.

Big hugs to you!!

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

i lost my father in 2004. back then, none of us had kids but the most wonderful thing happened: when kayla was born, she looked JUST LIKE HIM. even now when she sleeps, i see so much of my father in her which is near and dear to my heart.

-kathy | Vodka and Soda

Amanda said...

After my parents got divorced (mid 1990) my grandparents moved in to help out and just kind of stayed around to help forever. And they were both youngish (60s) in the summer of 2010 so I knew that I'd have them there at my gradation the next year, my wedding, etc.

Except that right after my birthday in 2010 they were killed in a car accident. It was like some kind of weird awful joke. Both of them? At the funeral wake my brother and I got uncontrollable giggles and had to sit in the hall.

I met Sam just a month or so afterward and I hate that he never got to meet the people who helped raise me. And also, their number is still in my US phone because I felt so weird deleting it. (Even though it's disconnected now)

We couldn't decide what to do with the ashes so we just kept them until someone had a really good idea. Our family home in New Mexico is a really weird split level, so our living room is downstairs. Soooooo *this is going to sound creepy and awful* sometimes when my brother and I are home, one of us says "we are going to go hang out with Grandma and Grandpa" aka go downstairs and watch a movie in the living room. x

Deidre said...

I'm very luck to have both my parents.

However even in the simple act of moving very far away from them sometimes I think I still see them and I'm like "what are they doing here! What a great surprise" and then it's like oh wait really not so much.

Megan Campbell said...

I am so sorry that both of your Dads are gone. I am very lucky to have my parents but all of my grandparents are gone. I know they were grandparents for a reason and it was their time but it would be nice to have met either of my grandfathers and be "the apple of poppops eye" like I've been told I would have been. It's hard.

Anonymous said...

I always dream about my mom. In my dreams she is still alive and life goes on with her. I have always been a very avid dreamer and I have no idea I am dreaming till I wake and feel like I have lost her all over again.

I have my mom perfumes, jewellery and other trinkets that are a constant reminder of her presence.

My mom was sick (also cancer) when Scott and I met. She passed a month later. Apparently, before she died he told her not to worry about me because he would take her of me. I feel sad that she didn't get him to see him fulfill that promise when we got married.

I need her daily still. So much I would love to talk to her about. Life issues that require a mother's love.

Hugs to you. Losing a parent is hard. I understand that for sure.

Helene said...

oh this post is so great. i hope others will see this and take this to heart. that isn't a club anyone wants to be a part of but its so nice to have support!

Jade Wright said...

Haley this was such a strong and heart-felt post - it made me both incredibly sad but so warm too... you have such a raw and real and refreshing way of sharing your life experiences and to me that is beyond beautiful. Thank you for being so open and brave.

I read your letter and I'm busy replying to it over the next few days.. I loved all you told me about Rudi. He really seemed wonderful - so did your dad.

Love surrounds you!

Chat soon, my friend xxx

Noor said...

Losing a parent is such a BIG deal and if you've to deal it twice , it must be killing. This post was so emotional. I have had a lot of conflicts with my father , I don't know if I am ever going to see him , on my wedding or so. But everyone says I was so much like him. which I can't still decide whether to like or NOT. Maybe we all just learn to live with some people , along lifetime.

Rachel said...

I can't imagine, I really have no idea what that's like. My parents and even all of my grandparents are still living and I know that's not so common once you hit the adult years. The one about wishing that they can meet your children, though, that's one that highly motivates me to have children sooner rather than later. I don't want to (selfishly) wait too long and then find that it's too late for my kids to have grandparents or great-grandparents.

Sarah said...

What a bittersweet day your wedding must have been. I'm sorry about your dad and stepdad dying so young and that you are in this shitty club. I'm really sorry that they will never meet Alina.

This is my favorite post of yours. So sad and poignant, but funny. I was alternately smiling and chuckling (vampire porn...) and then feeling sad and that lump-in-the-throat feeling. You just handle the subject matter so gracefully. I mean this with all of my heart - this was a beautiful post and you should write more on this topic if it is not too painful.