It’s been 17 years since my dad passed away.
I miss him madly. I think of him all the time and wonder what he would be like now, and what I would be like if I hadn’t lost him. I wonder what he would think of the person that I’ve become, and I often wonder what he would think of my beautiful Muppet of a child. I think he would dig her – who wouldn’t? She’s a cool kid. ✨
Losing him that early in my life had a tremendous impact on me, and completely altered the person that I was on course to becoming. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s shortly after I started university (I had just turned 17), and I must confess to not handling it all terribly well. I went through all of the expected reactions (and a few not-so-expected), and I found it hard to engage in the business of school. I wanted out, I didn’t do much, and it remains one of life’s great mysteries how I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree at all…but thankfully I did. After university, my acceptance of the situation with my dad only got worse as I faced all of the shitty milestones of dealing with a parent with Alzheimer’s: taking their license away, arranging home care assistance, and eventually moving him into a full-time Care Home facility. The stress and pressure that I felt was massive, and I struggled to deal with it, to find balance in my life. I acted out in a series of bad decisions, forever making shitty relationship decisions that defined most of my 20s (and 30s, let’s be real). I struggled to find my way, never staying too long in any one place, never letting anyone get too close…just in case they ended up leaving me as well. It was messy – I WAS MESSY. Yet I put on such a great outward appearance, pretending that all was cool and I was good – I was anything but good. 😫
Then things started to change. I turned 40 and finally felt like somewhat of a grown up (sort of). I started settling into the life that I had made for myself, and I began to treasure it, instead of taking shit for granted and trying to sabotage every single bloody thing. I quit chasing stupid decisions, I started choosing ME first, and low and behold….things got better. I got better. I felt better, it was amazing! 🙌
When I started choosing me, doors opened that I hadn’t even noticed before. I made my way through them boldly, done with a lifetime of pussyfooting around. I learned to say no a whole big bunch – and had zero remorse about it. (Note: still don’t) I focused on making the house I had bought into a real home, filling it with things and animals that I love (I’m a proud fish parent now, and my pups love looking at their Fishie siblings, hurray!). I’m happy here, I’m comfortable now…I used to feel so restless, but those feelings are mostly gone. And I love it. ♥️
I’m at a point in life where things will be changing again soon – nothing big, all good stuff….and I feel so absolutely at ease with things these days. It’s beautiful. I’ve taken up Transcendental Meditation, and spend 20 minutes twice a day on that – and I love it. Prioritizing myself and the things that make me feel good is great for everyone around me – I wish I had figured this out earlier in life. I probably wasn’t ready then – good thing I am now.
I’ve come so far since I lost my dad, and I hope he would be proud of me. I chat with him sometimes, and it brings great comfort to my soul to think of him chillin’ with the angels, watching over me. ♥️
I hope he likes what he sees. ✨