Sunday, September 29, 2013

I love you, Dad.

I'm not really sure how to start this post, but I know I need to. The last couple of weeks I have been feeling a sort of nudge to write, but not just anything. It needs to be this specific post. It almost seems like I have to address the elephant in the room before I can post anything "normal" again. But I really don't feels like talking about this elephant. The elephant is fine to be in the room...why do we need to talk about it? It's not bothering me so why do I need to disturb it and stir things up? Well, I have other things I want to talk about, but until the elephant is gone, I can't.

You know what I think it is? It's this upcoming conference weekend. Last April conference was the hardest weekend of my life. And that's no exaggeration. Shelley and Keri were at my house for the weekend and the weather was beautiful. My dad had been having some issues and needed to go to the hospice hospital. They transported him there, and my mom told us everything would be ok and he was fine. But in our hearts (I think my whole family) we knew it was time to come home.

Very early Sunday morning my mom called and talked to me, Shelley and Emily all at the same time. She said things were not well and we would need to plan on coming home in the next week or so. Dad would be coming home that night. She wanted us to enjoy conference and really listen to and feel the spirit. I was sick to my stomach, but I agreed to try and enjoy conference. Between sessions, my mom and I were texting trying to figure out flights and such. I asked her if we should just get in the car and drive home right then. She replied "yes." This is when I knew it was time. This is when I couldn't control myself. My thoughts were going wild. I was a mess. How do you pack knowing you need to choose an outfit for your own father's funeral? I didn't want to even think about that, but I had to.

Shelley drove home to pack and half an hour later we drove down to Provo to pick her up. We were on our way. Emily was flying in from somewhere else. We listened to conference in the car, but that only lasted 2 hours. We still had 8 more hours of driving...of thinking.

We finally got home to AZ around 11:00 PM. I had been feeling ok, but the moment I walked through the door I broke down. The spirit was so strong in our house, but it was a different sort of spirit. One I had never felt before. It was like a protection of some sort. Our family room felt protected and guarded from the world. I didn't realize it at that very moment, but now I know why. It felt like a temple.

Brady and I brought home our tempurpedic mattress topper and put it in the family room so we could all have a place to rest together. We all stayed in that room for the night, dozing off here and there. I was scared. I had never experienced anything like this before and I honestly didn't know what to expect.

Only 6 hours after we arrived home, around 5:45 AM on April 8, my sweet and loving father passed away. I can't tell you the sadness I feel at this very moment even just typing that sentence.

Our whole family was around his side. We told him how much we love him and asked him not to leave us. The spirit was so strong and the sun rise was beautiful. It was peaceful and I know he waited for that very moment to go. He literally did everything in his power to stay here with us. I know he wanted to be here so badly.

The spirit was with our whole family that week. We were comforted and felt so much love. I could literally feel the difference when the prayers started to lessen.

So why did I need to write this? What's the point? Am I looking for sympathy? No. I don't know why I needed to. But it feels better to get it out. I miss my dad like nothing I've ever missed before. It hurts my heart. I had a dream last night that I was a little girl, probably around 9. We were living in our old house and I was riding my bike in the cul de sac. My dad was in the front yard and I was so extremely happy. It felt so real....because that is exactly how my life was. My dad was always there. No matter what!

As you may know, I've been applying and interviewing for jobs in Arizona. It's time to move home. I've missed my dad immensely in this process, as he was my favorite person to talk to about jobs and interviewing and my future. He was my biggest supporter and always had the best advice. I still keep his advice, but I wish so badly I could call him and tell him all about my interviews!

It still doesn't feel real. It feels like I will still be living in Utah and Brady and I will pack up for Thanksgiving and head home for all of our family traditions. Feels like my dad will be siting there in his chair, taking a nap or asking me if I want to play scrabble. Yes, dad I do want to play scrabble with you!

Nothing makes the pain or the grief easier. I never knew or felt like my dad was in any pain, because he never made mention of it. If he did, I knew it was serious. Even when he was home on hospice, he seemed just fine to me. My knowledge of eternal families is what keeps me going. I KNOW I will see him again and I KNOW we will be together forever. I know when I pass away, he will be there waiting for me with his cute smile and a huge hug. I cannot wait!

I've been so blessed in my life. I have an amazing husband who is an absolute rock and huge support to my entire family. I am so grateful for the gospel and for my testimony. I'm grateful for the example my dad was to me and I hope to be more like him and his missionary work. I've felt him close and know he loves me and wants the very best for me.

I know my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me so much. Christ knows the feelings and the pain I have. All the blessings I have are because of them. They really do want me to be happy and live a wonderful life. I will always miss my dad, but I am happy.

I love this video below. This explains perfectly why my dad worked so hard. It was all for us - his family! He is the best example of hard work and putting your family first.

Thank you for your support and for your love. I know it's awkward and sometimes it's hard to know what to say, and that's ok.