12 Years Ago, Tonight

12  years ago, tonight at 10:20 pm my father passed away in a hospital in Connecticut. I was never a big fan of New Year’s Eve to begin with but since this happened, I roll into a little ball

English: Sculpture of a woman in fetal positio...

in my bed and cry on and off.

My dad used to buy me a candle every single year on my birthday, without fail, I’m sure my mom reminded him but it was a tradition. My mom, sister and I still have one or two of his well-worn, soft handkerchiefs that are like prized possessions. Our dad had a shelf where he had 13 types of small different after shave cologne which he would point out to us, often!

What’s worse, for my mom, is that January 1st is/was my parents’ wedding anniversary. We try to give each other support but in essence it’s really our own pain we need to get past. I’m the “crier” in the family or as my husband and son call me “the shrieker.” Good or bad and especially when surprised by something: a bug, a person, a loud noise, I have a natural instinct to be scared easily. My daughter is the same way. Sometimes we shriek at

the surprise of seeing each other.

She’s away on a trip and as much as I am happy she is having a fabulous time, part of me wishes she was home. But, as much as I am a mushy mess, my daughter keeps all her emotions inside, deep, down inside. My expectations of wanting her here are really quite different from what her being here would be like. She does not enjoy my massive display of emotions.

My son is definitely more like me, we understand each other. We can read each others feelings on the phone or the breath before we say “hello” on the telephone. I was like that with my dad. My sister and my mother are completely alike, full of false bravado and unaware of their feelings. Being without my dad for so many years has been a struggle.

The balance has been lost, the person who understood me most, is gone. I’m with two family members that don’t really get me at all, they just say I’m “too sensitive,” never realizing that sensitivity is a good thing and that they might be insensitive. What I’ve learned all these years is that people don’t change.

I will get through tonight, thankfully, NOT going out, eating my American cheese sandwich and drinking chocolate milk, my comfort food. Maybe I’ll have some baked Lays for the crunch factor. For dessert, I pre-ordered two of our favorite home-made jelly doughnuts

from a nearby bakery. My husband and I will toast each other with those doughnuts, in memory of my father. Growing up it was a tradition that we all had jelly doughnuts on New Year’s Eve together. I just found out my husband bought four jelly doughnuts and two black and white cookies, he’s definitely like my dad too.

As sad as I am to have lost him, I am trying (not very successfully) to focus on that deep relationship we had and how much he really did love me. I was his baby girl, he loved me plenty of that I am sure. It just doesn’t help to take away the pain. Nothing does.

 

 

*My dad took me to see Two By Two with Danny Kaye, for years after, with spoons and different glasses of water of varying heights, he would conduct and we would both clink all our glasses after the words “Two By Two.” The last time I tried to do that with him, he was very sick and didn’t want to do that. He had lost his joy and I knew that his end was near.

 

 

 

 

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Yellow Magic Madness # 41

Deutsch: Bienenwachskerze in Form einer Rosenblüte

Deutsch: Bienenwachskerze in Form einer Rosenblüte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A candle shaped like a rosebud in my favorite color, yellow.

Plinky Prompt: A Gift That Is Bittersweet And Nostalgic. What Is It?

  • An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...

    An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle holder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?

    See all answers
    • A bit of nostalgia
    • A candle.

      My father, when he was alive, would buy me one red rose for my birthday every year and a candle each year for Christmas. He died eleven years ago and I still remember how special I felt with those gifts. You would think it would have gotten old but it never did. It was a tradition between a Daddy’s girl and her Dad.
      After he died, not right away, it probably took a year or two, my mom bought me the first candle. I wept out of sentiment and nostalgia. Every since then, my sister, my daughter, my son buy me candles for Mother’s Day or my birthday or for Christmas.
      Each one is bought and given with great love. They know I love candles but I think sometimes they forget why I really love them. They give them to me for the sole purpose to make me happy, I know that, but yet they forget that what made them so special was the relationship I had with my father and as much as I love each candle given to me, it does remind me of my dad who isn’t here. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I know love never dies, I will always love him, as I know, (and I do believe in messages from beyond) he will always love me too.

    • For others who believe in messages from the beyond, you are not alone and no, you are not crazy.
    • Visit my blog at hibernationnow.wordpress.com for more posts about it. I do believe in signs and
    • have received them. You will too, keep your heart wide open and believe.
    • Tea Rose in North Garden

      Tea Rose in North Garden (Photo credit: bill barber)

Yellow Magic Madness #3 Candle

Candle-flame-and-reflection

Candle-flame-and-reflection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love candles, always did. I used to collect candles when I was young. My father, for many, many years before he died, would buy me a candle every Christmas. It was a tradition. Now, my mom, my sister, even my son have given me candles as presents. Not only do I love them, but it keeps the memory of my father alive. I think it’s sweet that my family is trying to hold on to a tradition I dearly loved.

Birthday Sunshine

 

Red rose

Image via Wikipedia

 

Today is my 54th birthday and while I have never been ashamed of my age it’s still new to my lips and tongue. It also means I have to change the Hibernationnow home page because there it says I’m 53.  I had no expectations for today, even though I dearly love birthdays. This year, however,  with so much on my mind, with so many questions left unanswered, so much uncertainty: unemployment, health issues, etc. I woke up not with excitement but with a small, soft smile.  I slept until 9:20 am, went downstairs for a giant birthday bear hug from my husband and an extra-strong cup of coffee.

I got morning birthday calls from my mother and my sister which is a family tradition but I still thought of the annual red rose that my father used to give me every year on my birthday when he was alive.  For once, I did not need a “sign” or a “message” from him because even though he died 8 years ago, I knew that I was still in his heart and he in mine. Maybe being a year older brought me some much needed wisdom.

I went out to lunch with my friend Sarah at our favorite diner and we laughed and shared stories and commiserated about colleges for our seniors. Before we left she handed me my gift, a gift that I would have picked out for myself (and almost did). A beautiful silver star fish on a chain that made me gasp with happiness and surprise. It was a piece of the beach and the ocean that I dearly love, now wrapped around my neck.

I took my dog, Callie, for a birthday walk, just my sweet canine girl and me. We walked under the gorgeous sunshine,  the red and yellow leaves blazing on the trees. The air was warm and smelled like pumpkins and I relished the 75 degree weather birthday treat. When my kids and husband came home there were hugs and kisses, gifts and happy voices, mine being the happiest of all. I opened presents from my son, my daughter and my husband and cards and well wishes from so many friends. I felt truly blessed; I am truly blessed.

The day ended with a surprise delivery of flowers from an old, lost friend, and dinner consisting of  filet mignon, a chopped salad and pumpkin spice cake with ginger mousse for dessert. Even though I am 54 I  was happy and excited that the waitress brought it over singing “Happy Birthday” with a candle  to blow out and a wish to keep in my heart.