Saturday, February 02, 2008

February 3, 1986 Changed My Life ......

It is hard to believe that it will be 22 years ago tomorrow that the reality of how difficult life can be was thrust upon me. It was a day that forced me to grow up at the age of almost 13 when most kids are still having fun playing Barbies, watching music videos and not having a care in the world.

It was a cold Sunday night and after a dinner filled with laughter and bellies full of food, Christie and I were trying to convince Dad not to go to hockey. You see, he was waivering throughout the entire dinner as to whether he or not he wanted to go. He had a tournament the following weekend so felt that he should get a game in with the boys before hand. After a few more laughs, an hour later Dad would walk out the door forever in our lives. Why oh why didn't Christie or I run up the stairs to give him that one last hug?
Two hours later there was a knock at the front door. To our surprise, it was a very good family friend still dressed in full hockey gear including skates telling Mom that she needed to come to the hospital immediately as Bob had fallen on the ice was has been taken to the hospital. Almost immediately, I felt a wash of cold come through me and I began to cry. Mom chastised the two of us and told us that Dad just hit his head and would be fine. An hour later, Mom still is not home and a family friend comes over to stay with us and put us to bed. Two hours later, a crying Mother brings Christie into my bed and before the words came out of her mouth I knew. When my poor Mom choked the words out, I screamed and accused his friends of killing him not knowing that they were upstairs in the kitchen, sitting in stunned silence with tears streaming down their faces. My Dad was dead? How could that be? He was only 37 years old and in perfect health.
Meanwhile, Mom was sitting there trying to be strong for her two daughters while trying to deal with the realization that her life has been torn apart. She had just been given the most difficult blow in life by being thrust into a cold, lighted room and seeing her husband in death. How could she go on without her soul mate, best friend and the love of her life?

Death prior to this day was always a hushed topic spoken about and as a child, you never really fulled understood the impact that it had on people. You always as a child felt sad and almost scared of seeing others in their devastated misery, but then got easily distracted when something fun came along. I also learned that day that life was precious; that it could drastically change at any given moment. It gave me a sense of my own fatality and many in years to come would call me morbid for thinking of my death and when it would happen. It is not like I would be fixated on it, but I came to the conclusion that life could be short so you had to be aware that it could happen. I wanted to live for today and for tomorrow but not for 10 years down the road. I didn't see much of a reason to think of 10 years down the road when it might not happen. This was and still is to a certain aspect difficult for people to understand and I find it is usually those who may not have experienced loss or death close to them. When I meet people like this, I get secretly envious. How awesome would that be to live to my age and have yet to experience that devastating loss. Yet on the other hand, I feel for them, because I sometimes think that when that time in their life comes, that they may not be equipped nor resilient enough to handle it.

I know that while my Dad has not been in my life in the physical presence, I have to absolutely believe that he has been watching me from heaven. Even after 22 years, the hurt is still there, the pain has lessened but the yearning to be wrapped in Daddy's arms is still there. I don't think that it will ever go away and I don't think that what I feel is wrong. Heaven must be a really special place because there are so many people that I love dearly, that are there and they are lucky because they have my wonderful Dad there to keep them entertained with his outgoing humour, boisterous laughter and inspiring leadership.

I love you Daddy and even though I know that you are watching our every move, the three of us are doing well. And, we are doing well because of the love that you showered us in our short time together.

7 comments:

christie said...

Ditto.....

Not much more that I can add to this.

Jenn said...

Oh Christie and Allie, your story broke my heart. Your mother must be such a strong lady. What you would have had to go through as teenagers. I will be thinking of you

Jenn

Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing those hard and true words. And I understand what other's call 'morbid-ness', not for the fact that death has affected me so closely but because my husband also thinks that way, in the here and now. His grandfather died at around 40 (or 45 I think) due to heart issues and my husband thinks that the same could happen to him. Since he is nearing that age he keeps telling be to be prepared, that he may not have much longer. Yet it is so much wiser to live in the present and have no regrets!

Sheryl said...

What a moving post. I'm so sorry you had to go through such an experience, but thank you for sharing a little more of yourself with us.

Goofball said...

Big big hug

sari said...

what a terrible thing to happen, but i so admire your outlook and strength. many people would not take the things you've learned from that allie.

Mimi's Toes said...

Wow, this was meant for me to read. I have been going thru some depressing times the past few days and this really woke me up. Thank you for sharing your heart.