Monday, February 16, 2009

Daddy's Hands

This June 15th it will be 3 years since I lost my dad to metastatic colon cancer. And while that's sad and I miss him terribly, I'm pretty sure he's still with me. My dad and I were a lot a like. Sometimes we got along great because of it, and other times we really wanted to kill each 0ther. Usually, it had to do with me about to make a mistake that he made, and him trying to tell me not to make it. My dad has always been there to guide me every step of the way.

The last 9 or so years have been full of drama and learning and growing. At times it was just a little too much, more sometimes than I thought I could handle. First the figuring out that I was gay, the subsequent break-up of my marriage, having to move back home with my parents, my father's diagnosis, struggling to maintain a relationship with my ex-husband... it was just all happening almost all at once. I really just felt like I was being swallowed by the grief and constant personal growth. I used to be a person who just just so happy all of the time. I think I was probably even one of those people who was so happy it was kind of annoying. I really just didn't have anything to NOT be happy about. So, I really had a hard time dealing with the drama and didn't feel prepared for it all.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of good things happened during that time too, but they never seemed to burn as brightly as the negative things. Looking back now, I'm appreciative of what I've learned. I'm so grateful for H and for everything that she did to help me through that time and how's she's never faltered since. I'm grateful for my parents who never blinked and just took me back into the house and never once looked at me differently. I'm grateful for Monica who told me I wasn't going crazy and for the weekend in DC where she helped me sort my shit out ( I got the WORST sunburn of my life that weekend). Lastly, I'm grateful that when I look back, I can see my life starting to right itself again.

I struggled for a long time with my inability to maintain a civil relationship with my ex. It was really hard and I kind of gave up on it. I thought, sometimes you just gotta let it go. So, I did -- but struggled with it. About 9 months ago, I bumped into him and his wife at a baby shower for some mutual friends of ours that were having triplets. I was so uncomfortable and didn't know what to say. It was sort of bizarre and surreal to see him with his girls. When we were leaving they both told me that they wanted to keep in touch and I should quit being such a stranger. I was like "yeah, okay -- but we're going to need to talk about some things first, but not now it's not really the time." I honestly had absolutely no intention of doing anything about it. I figured it was unlikely that I would hear from them anyway. (Don't worry there is a point to all of this.) A couple of weeks later, I got an email saying that their oldest daughter had cystic fibrosis. I should tell you that my cousin has cystic fibrosis -- and so I was very familiar with the disease and I knew they had to be devastated and terrified. I was a bit shocked to get the email in the first place... and I really just felt bad for them. I also felt like I could give them some insight. So, I called them. I can honestly say that if she had not been diagnosed, that I probably would not have reconnected with them. But my point is that I feel like something has been behind all of this -- pushing me in the right direction -- no matter how stubborn I was being. Despite myself, I picked up the phone and called... and at the same time I didn't really want to be doing it, but I couldn't not call either. I wondered then if he was behind this because my dad knew how profoundly difficult it was for me that things were just not working for us. I also know that he knows how stubborn I am and that if I said I 'd had enough, I'd had enough. I really can't think of a single other thing that would have moved me to make that decision to call. Whatever the case, I did and I am so grateful for that too. I think it was like finding the first two connecting pieces in a puzzle.

In a very short amount of time, I have healed so much from that. The guilt is finally really and truly gone. H and I just love hanging out with them -- they've become some of our favorite people. I think the best part is that it's not weird at all, we talk openly about everything, and it's just great. Not long ago, during one of our many ridiculously late nights at their house (we've apparently had a lot to catch up on) I was telling them that I really want to have kids. I also explained my fertility issues etc. and off handedly mentioned that I really just needed to lose some weight etc.

New Years Eve, I received a proposal (no, not the marrying kind) from Sandy to partner up with her and try to eat healthy and exercise. It was a short goal of 20 weeks. I was like, ugh. I wicked don't want to... but I will at least try to exercise. She basically wanted me to be her conscience and someone to nag her weekly for a weigh in. So, the first week I didn't do any exercise at all... but I started to count my points. I wasn't really watching what I was eating at first, just sort of checking out how badly I was eating. (REALLY bad!) As the week went on, I just sort of started trying to stay within points. And I lost some weight. Suddenly, it wasn't really seeming too bad. In fact, it was kind of easy. Please fit puzzle piece #3 here.

About two weeks into that, I received a ping from a friend at work. She knows that I've been freaking out about my fertility and my age, etc. She also knew that I was planning in next couple of years to go it alone regardless of whether or not I've met the right person. Right from the beginning, she was super supportive etc. So, she starts to say, I have a link that I wanted to send you that I think would be helpful. I just don't want you to take it the wrong way or think that I'm trying to be nosey or whatever. I just thought that you would find it helpful. And basically she, in so many words, was like I'm not trying to out you... but I pretty much think I have your number and it's cool and I think that this is worth the risk. So, she sends me the link to this blog: I was like, no worries. You've got it right... and I'm not at all offended. Really, I couldn't thank you enough! I realize the huge risk that you took in doing that and I'm so glad you did. Puzzle piece #4 goes right about here.

For awhile now, I've wanted a recumbent bike. I've been searching craigslist but really didn't have much luck. I looked into renting one, but cost wise it just didn't make sense. However, the guy at casters ( was so incredibly nice. He spent a good amount of time telling me what to look for in a recumbent bike, features not to bother upgrading for, and also to be cautious and make sure that I buy something that can be serviced locally. His best recommendation was to get a Schwinn. He had absolutely nothing to gain... he knew his bikes were priced out of my budget but he took the time. About two days later, I searched craigslist for a Schwinn recumbent bike. I had only 2 other restrictions: 1. The bike had to be in or near the town I live in because I don't like driving the pick up truck, particularly in the snow. 2. It had to come in on my budget of $200.00 or less. Please insert puzzle piece 5 here. The bike fit all of those criteria. I picked the bike up that night.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my massage therapist recommended a particular acupuncturist to me. I didn't end up seeing the one that I was supposed to. The woman made the appt. with me, but she didn't say that I'd be seeing a different person. Had she told me that, I might not have gone through with it. You might recall, that this woman knew H and her family. She was willing to work with me through the money issues etc. I'm pretty sure this deserves a puzzle piece #6.

The weeks have gone by and I'm about to into my 7th week of "fitness". (Yes I feel it still needs the "") So far so good, it's still coming pretty easily. After meeting with the acupuncturist and getting a plan together to make this happen has made me all that much more focused.

Plus... I found free Yoga. If that's not a sign, I don't know what is... but I sure as shit cannot afford all this crap and to pay for Yoga too.

My point in all of this (if you're still following along congratulations!) is that it has all come together too easily. Much of it has also come together, despite decisions I would have made or things I was not planning to do. Maybe it's just that I can't really believe that he's gone, but damn it... I swear that he's behind me guiding me much the way your partner will guide you with their hand on your back through a crowd -- and making these things come together for me. If it's not him, I don't care. I just like the idea of it and really, I do think it is him. Maybe I'm crazy. I'm definitely not religious (even though I did see Jesus when I was 4), but I do believe in something even if I don't know what it is. It's just that my dad is the only one who really knows how I tick -- he's probably the only one who would know how to manipulate me to make the right choices --which is really all he was ever trying to do.

So, I hope I'm making him proud. I'm going to try to hear him better this time around. For the first time in a long time, I think I've got myself back. I thought it was gone forever, but I really feel content and just plain happy.

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