happiness

The year of change 

What a year this has been. Life is so completely different from where I was at a year ago today. 

A year ago Dad moved to the hospice on what would turn out to be his last day. Being there as he left home was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I both knew we were losing him and couldn’t imagine what life would be like without him at the same time. 

I still have moments where I feel something is wrong and run through what’s going on just to remember that he’s gone. I’ve needed him so much this last year, and yet his departure on his next spiritual journey was what guided me into mine. 

This is one of my favorite photos that Dad took. There is beauty everywhere. 

My happiness moment was a quiet day reflecting and studying, balanced by taking kids out for their Friday evening activities. Those quiet days are few and far between. 

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Melissa means honeybee 

Today was a missing Dad kind of day. I’m not really sure why – it was no different than any other day. 

I woke up at 3am because the house is 10 million degrees and we can’t open windows because Ella the Cat tries to jump out the second story (no screens). So I lay there thinking how ironic that it was probably only 10C outside and yet I was sweating away. Remind me of that in a couple of months when it’s -30 and I can’t get warm enough. 

I started thinking about Dad in the present tense and then had that terrible reminder that Dad in the present tense exists as an angel. That was a horrifying moment. I lay there thinking how surreal  the last few months have been. I even wished that I could go back to that afternoon in the hospice after he died when we were all gathered together. Not because I want to relive that moment, but because in that moment I knew it was real and now I keep pretending that it’s not. 

I dropped Jenna off at her camp at the SPCA and as I was getting ready to leave I ran into the mom of an old friend. They were a family we did Pony Club with and we spent a lot of time together in my teen years. She asked (naturally enough) how my family was doing and my brain responded with well, dad is dead so I’m not sure how he is, the rest of us are doing ok I suppose. I think my mouth gave a more politically correct version of that truth. 

I find I can write about it here, I can tell the banker about Dad, but when I have to tell someone close to me, I completely lose my shit. I really enjoyed the rest of our visit, but the entire time I felt totally shaken by having to say those words. 

So, thoughts of Dad hung around the rest of the day. When Jenna and I went to Community Natural Foods to do some shopping after camp I saw this:

  
Dad took a family favourite photo of a bee flying out of a sunflower that we have hanging over the door at their place. This doesn’t do justice to his photo (I don’t have the mad skills he did and this was taken with my iPhone) but it grounded me. For a few moments Jenna and I just stood there and stared at the bee in the sunflower and felt peace. It was a powerful little moment and I felt like I was being reminded of all the love and good times we shared and all the wonderful things to come. My happiness moment. 

Staring at the bee – in Greek, Melissa means honeybee – I felt loved and safe. 

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