Endless Tears

You think you’re done crying because you’re tired of all the tears streaming down your cheeks.  You think you’ve become stronger, invincible even because you’re needed to be strong and to be the rock your family needs to carry on.  You think you have it all together because you know that life is constantly moving forward and in order to not fall behind the rest of the world, you pick up and go.  You think you have your emotions in check because you never let yourself feel vulnerable to allow yourself to grieve.

Within the midst of continuing on with your life, you realize the one person who you thought would still be around for another 20-30 years is gone. Memories you could have had with them have abruptly vanished out of thin air.  They are no longer in your hands.  The feelings and the love you have for them reaches an empty space with nowhere to go, but deep, deep in your heart.  And you cringe for all those lost memories you will never get to share. You cringe for those moments you hated when he was alive.  You cringe for all those looks you never had the courage to share.  You cringe because you weren’t done growing and you still have a million life lessons to learn.

I was a daddy’s girl throughout childhood until adulthood.  I was a daddy’s girl.  That’s why our relationship began to stress when work life became our relationship.  I was a daddy’s girl that happened to also be the boss’ daughter. There was a fine line of professionalism and family relationship that intersected multiple times.  We clashed from the very beginning.  I base my actions on matters of the heart.  His actions, on the other hand, were solely rooted around logic.  However, I persisted, there was something pulling me to stay.  I wanted to stay near daddy’s side as he has been there for me through all the bad and the good times. I wanted to help him in areas that he lacked.  But as the two of us kept budding heads, I still wanted to be there because he was stable and my modeling career was skyrocketing.  I wanted to help, but I also enjoyed how flexible he was and the benefits that came along with it.  He was my rock.  The stabilizer in my life when things turned messy.  He was my support, even though I thought he never believed in me . . . that he was never proud of me . . . that he never supported what I wanted to do.  In the end, looking back at my memories with him, all the lectures, and all the hard times, he was preparing me for life.  He was teaching me in ways that were a mystery to me.  I questioned his love for me, but actually he loved me.  He loved me deeply and I took that love for granted.  He loved me deeply and I never let it fill my heart until he was gone.  I think that is my biggest regret: the missed opportunity to really love him, cherish him, and spend as much time with him as I could have.

All this time, I wanted to grow up and let go of my dad’s hand, but in the end when I kept squeezing his hand on the hospital bed, I was pleading with him, “Hold my hand, daddy, hold my hand”.  I wasn’t prepared to lose him, especially to something so unexpected.  I never thought that losing a parent would be so heartbreaking.  

The outpouring of emotions overwhelms me.  One moment I’m distraught, upset, angry, and my heart breaks for all the memories we created and my heart breaks for all the memories that will never come to play.  But within a blink of an eye, just as how he was taken within a single second, I am content.  My feelings of grief confuse me for the desire within me that burns to live the life I want to live.  To live as he has lived.  His lessons never disappeared.  It ignited.  It burst with energy.  Energy I’ve never experienced before.  The utmost feeling, no, desire to be the very best person I can be.  To better myself as he did in his lifetime.  To want to commit to doing something and accomplishing it as he.  He wanted.  He did.  He succeeded.  His life, although short, was fulfilled. It was a beautiful life at which he lived; a lesson within itself.

It was lived to the fullest.  He lived by “age is just a number”.  I mean he picked up ice hockey towards the end of his time, and he was only 64.  A world traveler too, one who has stepped foot on all 7 continents!  Not many people can say they’ve even gone to Antarctica to see the penguins . . . He was a man with a pure heart for leadership and a business oriented mind.  The same man who would stand there and talk to you, not caring if he made a scene or not, to get the best deal, best offer, and to give the best advice on whatever he learned. He was the kind of guy who enjoyed sharing his knowledge.  His lectures were his greatest lessons.  He was the most selfless man I knew who put his girls and his wife before himself.

The way he showed us love was very different from how other families show love.  It was not until he was gone that I realized just how much love he had given me. It was not until he was gone that I recognized the lessons he gave me.  It was not until he was gone that I opened my mind and my heart on how he loved us.  

 The day my daddy died was the day I became a woman.  I was just a girl.  Young and naïve.  Innocent and dependent.  I was just a girl who held onto daddy’s hand because she was unprepared for the great unknown.  All the lessons he taught me, throughout the years, came flooding in and with each lesson I realized his death shattered my world, but I am not lost.  There’s strength within me I never knew existed. Darkness doesn’t await me.  The mystery of my future is lighted by the journey that is ready to be explored. I see the way he lived. I understand how he took on life.  And within his own life, I’m learning to have faith in myself.  To trust in myself.  To allow the fire in my heart to be that go-getter my dad was.   

In loving memory of my father – August 18, 1952 – July 16, 2017

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