Bloody, Foolish, Me

English: Women with Broken Heart

English: Women with Broken Heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not just a sad woman, I am a bereft child who is sobbing in the shower,

clinging to the metallic shower handle so I don’t collapse.

I  thought I knew myself,

I’m surprised, ashamed, disappointed

pompous me,  I was fine,  I said.

I had received “messages” from my dad from the other side and they did comfort me.

That was then, this is now. It’s the night of THE DAY. He died, eleven years ago at 10:20pm.

It surprises me every year when I think I have everything under control,

Ugh, Rubbish.

These raw emotions find me, sneak up on me, reopening bloody, sore wounds

as if I was being stabbed right through the heart, anew.

The hairy monsters that used to hide in my closets when I was young

don’t have a daddy to tell me all is well. Never again, is hard to take.

I want to curl up in the fetal position and cover myself with soft, blue blankets and blankets reaching to the sky.

I want to see no one

but I have my own family now and I want them to have their own happiness.

We will go together for an early dinner, the kids will move on to their parties,

and I will come back home, begging for tomorrow to come.

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The Scent Of His Cologne – REPOST

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. (Photo credit: Gwenaël Piaser)

IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER WHO DIED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, 11 YEARS AGO

I was sitting on my bed today, legs crossed, listening to music when over my right shoulder I smelled a fragrance. I sniffed several times and looked to see if I had put perfume on an item of clothes that I was wearing but since I was still in my monkey night-shirt and bear sweats, it was not even a consideration. I looked around, in front of me and behind, saw nothing and then I knew….my father had sent me a message for Christmas from Heaven. I haven’t had a message from my father in such a long time and it felt so good. I could feel his presence to the right of my shoulder. My eyes filled up with tears and I whispered “Thank you, Daddy.”

My father, when he was alive, used to have a “shaving lotion” collection or as most American men would say after- shave cologne. Some dads played golf, others collected stamps, still others played tennis, our European dad collected after shave cologne. He had a shelf built especially for these different sized bottles and he would go to different countries to add to his “hobby.” I’m not totally sure but I think he never had more or less than thirteen which was his lucky number.

Signs from the other side don’t scare me, as they do my mother, they comfort me and I appreciate them. Christmas used to be my Dad’s favorite holiday; the last Christmas he was alive I sat next to him, eleven years ago, and held his very, soft, hand. It was a softness that I knew I could not replicate. I knew it would be his last Christmas. He died New Year’s Eve, one day before my parent’s wedding anniversary on January 1st.

I received a gift from him today, one that means more to me than any present I can unwrap on Christmas Day. I know that love never dies, I’ve written about that many times before. I also know that while the physical body is dead, the spiritual one lives forever and that I never stopped loving him and he will never stop loving me. But, every once in a while, it feels so wonderful, and special to have received the gift today that is more precious than any memory.

I love you, Daddy.

As we used to say “Thanks for stopping by.”

Almost, Almost, Going Home

This photo was taken by myself on October 22,2...
For the past couple of days my husband and I have switched into high gear to expedite getting us OUT of this hotel room and into our small but sweet home (known by one friend as “the construction site.”) It’s been over three months since we lived there, we missed hot summer days and our famous barbeques, the scent of charred hamburgers and chicken wafting through the neighborhood. We also missed the bold, changing colors of leaves, red, orange, yellow, from our favorite tree in the front yard. We had no choice. The house was completely destroyed and we had to leave in a great hurry, before, as our contractor put it, “the bathtub plummeted on its own to the basement.” We were lucky to be alive.

While still living in the hotel, last night we started the process of trying to get rid of as much unwanted stuff and garbage as we could in our house. My lungs have not shaken the massive amount of noxious odors, wood shavings and dust. The industrial cleaners come in soon, but I dare not write when, just in case, they postpone us. Again.

Yesterday, back in the house for four hours, I searched for a little brown wooden dog that had belonged to my dad, named Susie (after my mom.) Finally, in my tiny office, underneath my desk, wrapped in dust and dirt, wood shavings and plaster board filth I found little Susie. Five minutes later I heard “Dance With My Father Again” by Luther Vandross, a song that is like an instant message from my father, in heaven, to me for the last eleven years. I’ve learned to appreciate and accept and love these signs, helped by my friend, Roland Comtois, who channels messages from those who have passed to the living. I haven’t had a sign from my dad since August when, as I drove my son to college for the first time (my husband was having surgery for his Achilles Tendon)  I saw the number 3, three times and the letters FBF, three times, my dad’s initials. (My interpretation had been three? 3 what?  I soon found out, three months in a hotel, in one room with the whole family and our dog. The last song I heard before I left the house was my favorite song by Adele. The signs were finally all there, dad, in heaven, was telling us we would be going home soon.

We will go back to the broken swing set at the side of our back yard where no one swings anymore or goes down the yellow slide, one child is in college, the other is a senior in high school. We leave the swing set there until we find someone who wants it for their family. It will take many months to find everything we own, scattered underneath beds, in corners, in different rooms, closets and the basement but at least we will be home.

Through reconstruction of the house, the wood, rot and carpenter ants and termites, still lived a neglected and forgotten plant, a Christmas cactus that never has bloomed on time until this year. I saw it from the corner of my eye shining red amongst dying dark green leaves; a true sign of hope.

My First Experience with Death

Heaven

Grief Lasts A Lifetime

When I was very young my best friend Claudine and I sat on the floor of my bedroom and played with my two turtles. Apparently I injured the turtle ACCIDENTALLY. I didn’t know it at the time because my father played doctor and I remember the turtle’s frail neck had been wrapped with white bandages. He smelled like the red, antiseptic medicine that my mom used on my skinned knees. I don’t remember being particularly upset over the sudden demise of the turtle but I do remember that my dad, who of course knew it was dead, pretended to nurse him back to health, for me.
That same loving man, my father, died ten years ago. He died New Year’s Eve 2001 an hour before my parents’ wedding anniversary on January 1st. I remember that horrible night in excruciating detail, I was sitting on my bed and the phone rang and it was my mother. “It’s over, it’s done” she said and I sobbed for what seemed forever and grieved for a very long time. I still miss my dad, I will always miss him. Sometimes I do get messages or signs from him and I believe in that. How do you recover from someone’s death? You don’t. Not ever. There will be a new world for you and it will be divided into before the death and after. You are now a member of a new club for adult children who have lost a parent and it’s not a club you ever wanted to join. You have no choice. Intense pain and grief get less frequent with time but there will always be moments, at least for me, when the pain feels fresh and raw. I was in Targets six weeks ago and I automatically turned into the Father’s Day card section. I remember I stood still and openly gasped. I had to hold on to my cart to steady myself. Only then did I stop and remember I had no one to send it to. I didn’t have a dad who was alive anymore in the physical world. Tears filled my eyes and I left the store quickly; my eyes were so blurry it was hard to see.

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The Message

I don’t know how to begin to write this, other than with a hushed voice,  barely a whisper. It is something so important to me and something I believe in, even though I know many will scoff.  I don’t really care, I know what I have felt, seen, heard, experienced. I have felt the chills go up and down my arms, tiny hairs sticking straight up. Others, like me, will rejoice in the affirmation that they are not “imagining things” that “it’s not a coincidence.”  What we know, those of us who believe, cannot be swayed. It is a gift for us, from the other side.

After my father died in 2002 I was lost, overcome by grief and had never felt the breaking of my heart in such a literal way. Life, as I knew it, had ended. No more pep-talks from my dad, no more nurturing hugs, no more inside jokes. My dad had lived his life as a company man, working for TWA airlines for most of his life, well over forty years. He loved TWA, volunteered to be a flight attendant when there was a flight attendant strike; flew to Chicago for milk when there was a milk strike in NY to feed my sister.  He volunteered for anything TWA related; he was not a pilot although sometimes I think he thought he was.

A few days after the funeral, in the bitter, frosty cold, I finally dragged myself out of the house just to get some fresh air. I needed a destination so I drove to a thrift shop a few towns away that I had liked to go to in the past. I walked in, looked around, saw nothing of interest and walked out again. On my way in there was a clear pathway, no litter, no clutter, no loose pieces of paper, nothing. On my way out of the thrift shop not fifteen minutes later I walked down three steps and saw a bright, red, plastic wrapped luggage tag. It said TWA on it. I knew that was a sign from my dad and I crumpled up and cried right there on the pavement. I was overcome yet thankful for the message, he was still with me and I knew he always would be. I carry that card, to this day, in my pocketbook.

I had received messages from my dad, given to me by others, for example the lovely and talented Roland Comtois, a  psychic who channels messages from the dead to the living.  In fact, a message was waiting for me, written down by Roland, before I even appeared at his event. Also, I had felt my father while I was sitting at my children’s school recitals and there would be a rush of wind out of no where.  I knew Dad was watching. Admittedly, the messages, throughout the years became less frequent but to this day, when I need my Dad the most, he is there. I believe this to my core and while my mom gets scared by these stories, I get comforted.

Two weeks ago we drove our daughter to sleep away camp in Connecticut. On the way there I noticed the car ahead of us whose license plate was 222-TWA. I gasped and eagerly showed my husband who is definitely a skeptic. He smiled and I knew that he didn’t believe the way I did but it didn’t matter. “Hi Dad” I whispered. Just nights before I prayed for my dad to be with us; my husband has been unemployed since September and I have been sick with an auto-immune disease for 3 years. I told him, “Mom is really worried” which was true and he always had been so protective of my mom. “We need your help, Dad. Please.”

We dropped our daughter off, and kissed and hugged good-bye leaving her in the arms of her friends she hadn’t seen in a year. There was a lot of happy squealing and shouts of joy, a good time for parents to leave, knowing that she was happy.

The drive home was uneventful except for my husband excitedly shouting “Look at that car!”  I turned my head to the side and right in front of us was the license plate 888-TWA.  My husband became an instant convert,  knowing that the number 8 was a special number between my father and I since I was a little girl. “Thank you Daddy” I said, trying to figure out what the message was.

The pep-talk I had been missing was right in front of me. The glass of water, for me had always been “half empty” but for my dad it had always been “half full.” I used to over-worry everything and now, as my Dad once instructed, “just try to be in neutral” and I was trying, with a grateful smile above. My prayers had been answered, he was letting us know that he was there, he had heard us, he would help.

The lights in our bedroom, on the right side, go dim for hours at a time, and then they come back on later, this has been happening for three weeks now. The bulbs don’t burn out, they just have this pattern, day in and day out, night and day.  For some people it could be explained by a loose circuit. But to me, it’s my father staying in touch and winking.