Papa, not dad.

When I was born my Mom wanted us to be different, so she decided that my dad would be called Papa. Over the years I have confused many people because of this, but I have always loved that my Mom wanted us to be different, and so thankful she succeeded.

1919296_514593021016_54437_nThere are not many pictures of Papa and I, at least not that my mom and I were able to find when we were putting together his yearbook dedication page. We are not a very photogenic family, besides I am usually the one with the camera. This picture of us has always been one of my favorites. I vaguely remember getting that yellow umbrella and being so excited about it. I am sure Papa had a great time helping me test it out.

On and off the past couple of weeks I have attempted to plan out what I could write about Papa for today’s post, but I have yet to find the right words. I remember years and years of camp, Sunday School and all manner of other events that Papa was my Mom’s silent support running around where needed. There were countless hot pool areas sat in and cold, rainy track meets attended. He got car sick teaching me to drive and took at least one quick run home to get me my retainer when I forgot it.

The more I think about it, the more impossible it is to truly articulate everything that Papa has meant to me. He is a corner stone in the frame work of my life and is always there to suppourt me. I could never have asked for a better Papa.

Happy Father’s Day.

Keeping secrets.

Keeping secrets from my dad is close to impossible, he always seems to figure it out. I remember being disappointed many Christmases when he would guess what his wrapped present was long before opening it. At some point my brother and I started to hide his present until Christmas morning.

For approximately the past six months my mom, brother and I have been attempting to keep a big secret. I honestly do not know how we managed to do it, but we did. Some how my mom and I gathered information and pictures with out my dad knowing. The three of us created a telephone version of communication that no information was on my mom’s phone, and my brother made the six-hour trip home. It was all worth it.

For the past 34 years my dad has been a history teacher at Hornell High School, most of his career has been spent teaching junior high. This year, much to his surprise the year book was dedicated to him. I would have loved to see the look on his face when he figured out who they were describing before they said his name. What I will always remember is him standing on the stage staring at the yearbook speechless. My dad is never speachless.

The final result was worth all the frustration of keeping it from him. It was wonderful to spend time as a family celebrating my dad and his many years of teaching and coaching. I hope the students at Hornell know how much this dedication means to him, as a junior high teacher you are often forgotten as the studients get older, being remembered and recognized is a wonderful feeling.


Here is what my dad’s page in the 2016-2017 year book looks like:

Mr. Walter's page

Time Machine.

If it were possible to go back in time I would not want to correct a mistake. The way we overcome the struggles of our life is what makes us the person we are becoming. I would much rather visit a happy time. A bad point in my life will always be bad, attempting to fix it is a silly expectation. On the other had a high point can always be enjoyed again, if not made better.

There are so many amazing times in my life I would like to re-visit, I don’t know how I could ever pick just one. There were days spent hiking and summiting high peaks with friends. Lazy days wondering around museums. A weekend spend helping a former professor turned friend. Summers at camp when time seemed to flow differently. A birthday ruined by snow that turned into a perfect escape from reality. The first time I read my favorite book, or late nights with new friends freshman year of collage.

Not long after some of these points in my life the people who made them special disappeared. Somehow this doesn’t change the moment. Right now I am trying my best to only think of the good things, remembering past pain is not worth it at the best of times, let alone the worst. Fortunately a time machine does not exist so I do not have to make a choice as to where I would go, but that does not mean I can not revisit so many wonderful memories when I am feeling lost and alone.

The bad days may help define us, but holding onto the hopes and joys of the good days is what matters.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

My safe place.

When I started writing this blog, I did not know what it would turn into. Honestly, I am still not sure I know. Blogging combines two things I am not very good at, keeping a journal and being open about my feelings in an articulate way. Usually I feel like I ramble through my emotions without reason. It also means all my hurt and pain can never be hidden because it will always be a search engine away.

My initial thought process in starting to pour myself into this place was for me to force myself to be honest and open about what I am going through. Not only for myself – but to show my family and friends how I am doing. There is nothing worse than being asked over and over how you are doing by people who care. It is not that I don’t want to tell them, but the truth is that it hurts to recount everything time and time again. Even good things hurt sometimes.

Another reason I write is for others. I am not the first, only or last person to have a relationship end tragically. I usually do not write specifically for the benefit of others. I try to be honest about everything in hopes that I can say something that will open up a new thought process for someone else in pain. My theory is that if people take the time to read my posts they either care about me or can relate to the emotions I am experiencing.

I do not know when this blog will end, maybe it never will. For now it is my safe place to share and record my recovery. I still have a long way to go, but I know when I get there it will be a beautiful place. For now I will keep writing.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A perfect day.

I keep waiting for that perfect day. A day I am incandescently happy, the kind I never want to end. Maybe with summer on the way a day like that will come along. Good weather always makes things seem easier, it is hard to be sad in the sun. Hopefully I can plan an adventure or two, spend some time with friends and family, go for a hike and relax in my hammock. Taking some time to enjoy the simpler things in life is my summer goal.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Somewhere between.

Today my brain has gone in too many directions. I seem to have lost my attention span, which is not so good when there was a lot I should have done. Laundry did not get folded and floors did not get mopped. I did manage to go to the store, do the dishes and cuddle with my cats. Tomorrow will require a lot of catching up, but I know I can do it.

Through a series of unfortunate events, this week has brought emotions I didn’t want to dig up. I think by this afternoon I hit a pause button and simple needed to reboot. If there was something I could do to stop all grief caused by losing someone, I would do it. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop it. With time, prayer, the support of those who care and finding your own strength it is possible to find your way thought to the other side. Currently, I am somewhere between the pain of the past and the bright future ahead.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Grief.

I wish people I care about did not have to be in pain. It is impossible to be on the outside and feel like there is nothing you can do to help. I am trying to draw on are my own experience and think of the little things that helped me face my helplessness. Every situation is different. Even if the situation is the same, each person deals with it in their own way.

Some truths of the pain that comes with grief are universal. Knowing that people cared made a huge impact on getting me this far. The comments, texts, cards and messages carried me through. Having people who let me talk when I wanted and didn’t ask questions when I did not was important. I did not have to be told that people were praying for me, I could and continue to feel their prayers surround me everyday.

Grief is such a strange emotion. With the support of others it is possible to find the strength to move you through the hard times into better ones. Each person is capable of incredible things, unfortunately we have to face challenges along the way to get stronger, but we are never given more than we can handle, God has a lot of faith is us.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The choice.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past few months it is not what a person says that matters, it is that they are there to listen when you need to talk. It is not being put in a position you have justify your situation, it is when people are available to listen. I have been pleasantly surprised by the grace that most people have for someone who is grieving.

The first moments are hard, but not as difficult as what is next. The grieving process does not need fair-weather friends. What impacted me the most were the people who didn’t disappear after a week, or month. The people who continue to check in on me and who make an effort to see or talk to me are the ones that have helped the most.

The pain of loss is never the same. Each situation is different and unique like each person it affects. When a friend is in need of comfort I wish there was a magical turn of phrase that could make everything seem ok again. I know from experience there is not. What I have learned is there are two options, you can let the pain overtake you, or with the help of friends, family and time you can let the pain make you stronger. The choice is up to you.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Strong and courageous. 

The theme of my life has been to be strong and courageous. It is one of those phrases that applies to everything we face in our lives, even good things require a little courage. However, I had face every brides worst fear head on, and I did it with as much strength and courage as possible.

Over the past seven weeks there have been many situations I had to face that required being strong. Some days I wanted to stay curled up in a ball and let weakness take over, but I didn’t. I wish I could have left it to someone else to deal with whatever new problem I had to solve, but it was up to me. At some points I had no choice but to be strong, I simply had to push through. There were also times I choose to be strong and stand up for myself, I am particularly proud of these moments.

Being strong is only half the battle when you are rebuilding your life. It takes great courage to move into the great unknown when you are hurting and broken. Thankfully, friends and family were there from the beginning to lend me courage until I found my own. I say it all the time, but I can never express what the support I have been given has meant to me.

For some reason God needed me to be stronger. Someday I will look back and I will have a better understanding of why I had to go through this, God never does anything without a reason. Day by day I am becoming the stronger more courageous person I am meant to be, right now that is all I need to know.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Someday.

Sometimes, I forget how much time has past, how long I have been alone. Then I remember that I don’t feel alone. In many ways I feel more connected to people now then ever before. There is something liberating about everyone already knowing your deepest, darkest secret.

It is strange when I am talking to someone and they mention reading this blog. It has happened more times then I can count. I am shocked every time. Hopefully my words are helping someone else through a struggle of their own. I am so very lucky to have the support of many. Unfortunately, not everyone who has been through a heart breaking experience can say the same.

For now, I will continue to write and heal and take advantage of all the love and support that I have. Everyday I am moving closer to whatever wonderful future is out there for me. Someday I will be ready to take advantage of every second of it.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.