Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Getting back on the horse.

The service for my dad was wonderful. I got to meet all the guys he worked with and they're all so much like him that I can't believe it. Stepmother made sure to draw as much attention to herself as possible. Sister wrote a lovely song for the prayer candle segment. If she ever puts it online I'll find a way to put it here. Reception was at my house. Saw lots of family I haven't seen in 15 years. Lots of people asked to see my art.

I went to my glass table and made some awful beads this week. I'm okay with them being awful though, because it's part of the process of getting life back on track. I have some bracelet ideas I should start working on now that my cuff blanks are here.

That's all I've got for now. Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My dad's service is tomorrow. Here's what I wrote.

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom says “Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on Earth is only the beginning.”

If you knew my dad, you’d know that he’d want to be remembered with laughter in place of tears. He’d want you to remember his laugh, the wonderful, animated way he had with telling stories, and his direct way with words. He was who he was and made no apologies for it.

When I was six-years-old, my father got his nipple pierced. When I was eleven, he suggested (to my horror) that I should get mine pierced too, but that I had to wait until I reached legal age. He also advocated my desire to buy a motorcycle. When I said I wanted a tattoo, he said it was a great idea- then he went on to tell me how badly it hurt. He never said a negative word about my rainbow-colored hair or my desire to become a professional starving artist. He wanted me to be who I was, whether or not I fit in with everyone else. He always cheered me on, telling me that I had to keep going. I could do better. Just try. When I called to tell him that I had a piece on display in New York City, he was genuinely enthusiastic, which was more important to me than having made a huge step toward becoming a well-known artist.

My father openly doubted my ability to be a mother- but then, most people did. I never called him for advice because I knew anything he said would make me mad. A few months ago, he gave me the best compliment he’s ever given me. He said I was “doing all right”. Doesn’t sound like much, but it meant the world to me. When he came to visit, he always took time to talk to and play with his grandchildren. He loved them very much, and he was proud to show it.

On Father’s Day, he came out in 100+ degree heat to have his final pictures taken. He was very sick and very weak, but the pictures show only him in a gaudy shirt with fish printed all over it. We showed him the pictures the next day and he delightedly responded “Hey, I even look fat in that one!” For Father’s Day dinner, the whole family came to our house. My dad will never know how much that day meant to me. To all of us.

I learned more about my dad in the last five weeks of his life than I’d ever known. I’d always thought him invincible, but as I watched him face his own mortality I saw him cry, laugh, fight, and hope. He never gave up hope. He was not invincible- he was human, and that was so much more important.

I’ve learned that life isn’t about your religious beliefs, your clothes, your house, or your car. Life is about making an impact, loving people, and enjoying the time you have. My dad did exceptionally well at all of those things. He made lives all around him better. His memory will live on for a long, long time. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

10/28/1962 - 07/16/2012

My dad left this life less than an hour ago. His suffering is over and he's with his dad on the other side. I take great comfort that everyone that he really loved was there to see him in the last day of his life. He gave me the best life he could, and he loved me greatly. I will miss him terribly.

Love you, Daddy <3

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy birthday, America. You are beautiful!

In an effort to break away from all the recent negativity, here's a picture I took this evening. Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Reasons why I hate my stepmother: #39012823483748917289

My father has been in the hospital for more than a week now. On Saturday, June 23, my stepmom called and said he was so sick that he couldn't do anything besides lay on the floor in front of the fan. I told her to put ice packs on his wrists and ankles. She wouldn't. I told her that he could DIE if she didn't take him to the hospital. He wouldn't go. She wouldn't make him. I called my brother and told him (since he hangs out at their house all the time) to go put wet wash cloths on him and to go out and buy some ice packs and put them in the freezer. To his credit, he did. Five hours or so later, stepmother texted me to say that the ice packs really helped. *sigh*

Sunday they were supposed to come over for dinner, and when Husband called to find out if they were coming, evil stepmother said they were on their way to Longmont United Hospital because he was crazy dehydrated and almost died (which is when I thought, but didn't say, "I told you so"). From there, he was taken by ambulance down to Good Samaritan Medical Center. He had a feeding tube put in on Monday. After he'd been in the hospital for five days, I called evil stepmother and TOLD her to bring his toothbrush and clean underwear since she had done neither. She brought them and took them home. She ALSO brought her obnoxious, pushy friend who decided it would be necessary to bitch about everything the nurses and hospital did, even though she didn't know anything about it.

On Thursday he had a chemo port put in. I went over to the hospital to wait because stepmother thought it was more important to take the damn stray cat to the vet. On Friday, he was asleep when Husband and I went to see him. On Saturday morning he was up and looked pretty good. We didn't go over on Sunday because we were working on the guest bedroom.

Yesterday morning (Monday), stepmother called me at 8:30 to inform me that she was going to go over to the hospital and take my dad out. Why? Because the hospital has an "attitude". She couldn't tell me what she didn't like or what she thought they should be doing, just that they had an attitude. She said she was going to take him back to Longmont United where the cancer oncologist is going to miraculously make everything all better. I tried explaining to her that if he leaves AMA (against medical advice) that there isn't ANY doctor who will treat him so she'd better get her plan together ahead of time. She said my dad hates it in the hospital (uh, yeah, who DOESN'T hate laying in a hospital for a week?!) and that he wants out.

Two weeks prior I'd given her the number to an Esophageal Cancer group at the National Cancer Institute at Anschutz Medical Center in Denver. She never called them. I asked her if she was going to. Yes. I told her to talk to them and Longmont United and talk to my dad about what option sounded best. She never called. She also told me two weeks ago that she'd filed his paperwork for Medicaid since he's no longer working because of all this. This morning I talked to her on the phone and she was supposedly on her way to file the paperwork. She lies about EVERYTHING and most of it is stuff that doesn't matter.

Last night the doctors told her that if there isn't a drastic change in his health, he has six weeks :(

I. hate. her.