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One Year

Dear Daddy,

Tonight will make one year since you left this earth. I don't know how to feel about anything. I know that I have been sad lately. I also know that you'd want me to continue living my life.

Sometimes I feel so guilty because, it seems, as a family, my mom, my sister, and I have been happier as we've gotten settled into our new house and gotten back into some routines.

It feels bad that we should feel okay without you.

Yet, I do miss you every day.

It's hard for me to say at times, but I don't miss all the yelling and complaining that you'd do.

Little did we know, though, that all the anger was a sign of your declining health. I had not known about that.

I sometimes feel guilty that I did not know about diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). I feel guilty and mad both at myself and at your for not letting us know about it.

After all, how was I supposed to know something like that? I knew about watching out for insulin reactions and diabetic coma. I had no idea about DKA. Now, I get angry at all those commercials that trivialize it like DKA is just something you can have and live with like it is just another form of diabetes or can easily be treated when it's not that way at all.

I know that you'd not like how they trivialize it, either. We probably couldn't do anything about the juniva commercial, but the fact that one is for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is awful. They have a little girl mentioning it as well like it was some minor thing like a cold and perhaps we could've done something about that.

I miss you. I miss my Daddy that could fix my adult trike. I miss my Daddy that liked the fact that I loved pick-up trucks. I miss my Daddy that could help me with my science homework. I miss my Daddy that would help me get stuff for costuming for theater.

Yet, I feel guilty that I don't miss all the criticism from you because I do miss you.

It doesn't seem real that it's been one year, and yet, it has.

We have yet to go find your brick at the memorial at McNeese.

We didn't do anything special to mark one year. We didn't go out to Prien Lake on a boat with anybody. we didn't even go out to Prien Lake Park.

We just went about our day like normal.

I guess this is good as I'm sure you'd want us to continue living, but I just feel so guilty and sad at times. I'm not sure what to do or not do. I'm so confused sometimes. I miss you lots and I know you're in heaven, but it just hurts to think that you're not here.

There are days that even though you never stepped foot into the house where we live now, it seems you should walk through the door.

I love you and I'll always love you, Daddy.

I'll always be your little girl.


I really needed to write this tonight . . .

If you didn't know, my Daddy died back on the night of May 4, 2008.

Some days are still very hard. I'm not used to not having my dad around at times. I'm still used to saying things like, "Oh, my dad can do that." There are little things that I just don't know how to do at all.

Like, I couldn't get my trike tire pumped. It ended up being that it is leaking either from the inner tube or from the valve.

However, my problem now is how do I get it back to the bike store because we only have a little Chevy Cobalt now, which is a great car, but how do we haul anything with that?

I was close to my Daddy and I'll always be his little girl.

However, I can't shake the feeling that before I was born and when I was born, that my Daddy wanted me to be a boy. He would always take me fishing and I enjoyed it when I was younger, but I grew to not like being outdoors and he still wanted to take me outdoors.

He would try to get me to go to Special Olympics practice and participate in sports.

He would have me do the painting or claning of things while he "helped" (that was sitting and watching me do the work and telling me what to do).

However, there were sometimes when I was definitely his daughter, and I do miss those times.

Yet, I see actors or know of how people don't recognize others as they get older and sicker.

Well, my Daddy was not doing well, even though his death was sudden.

He was diagnosed with Type 1 (formerly called Juvenile) Diabetes when I was 3, 4 or 5 and we still lived up in Midland, MI.

He got this condition called Charcot Foot and he had to have these metal things put into his left foot. We would have to go all the way to Houston for his appointments.

He got an infection in his leg and during the summer of 2002, he got very sick. Of course, he denied it, even though he couldn't keep anything down - he literally was vomiting water by the time we were able to call 911 without him protesting.

They came and got him and he was in the hospital almost all summer.

There were two options: keep trying to flush out the infection and keep him on the Vancomycin (strongest antibiotic that exists) or amputate below his knee. The second was chosen, as that was the one that was quite obviously the one where he would definitely be okay.

It was very difficult when he came home to heal, though. He often had insulin reactions. He was too weak to do anything himself for a long time. He would have an insulin reaction, fall out of his wheelchair, and then forget that he did, and then he'd complain that we never did what he wanted, calling me lazy. Somehow he got this idea that I NEVER helped during this time and would often say that to me from this point . . .

We had no idea until much later that at least twice the doctors has thought they lost him.

He ended up with Charcot Foot in his right foot and had to get all the metal plate and stuff, too.

Then he got a blood blister that never healed, and that's why he wore a huge black boot on his foot.

He was supposed to take care of his feet, and he'd start out doing it, but he'd stop.

He also was supposed to not eat so much choloesterol, and for a day or maybe up to a week, he wouldn't. Then he'd start eating tons of cheese for his "snack" at night. He could eat so much cheese. He would eat way more than he ever should eat and only after he had died did I know that he wasn't eating just his cup o'noodles for lunch at McNeese, but also sausage with cheese.

So, on May 4, when he vomited the water, I said to get him to the hospital. He was being stubborn and saying to call Dr. Primeaux to find out which hospital. I did call, and got the answering service, but I just told him St. Pat's.

I had to go out and get the van that we had at that time as that's what we needed for my Daddy to be able to drive or even ride.

I was outside for a bit, and I kept asking if they were coming when my sister would come out. I felt so bad that I was not in the house to help, even though they kept assuring me that it wouldn't have mattered.

My mom and sister got him out and while we were driving, he kept complaining about the way my mom was going when I knew she was going down streets in order to miss the lights and the traffic.

We got to the ER and they took his blood pressure, though they would not let me get him anything to drink. Little did I know that him always being so thirsty was a terrible sign.

When he got into a treatment room, they said that he had really high blood pressure and would need to be in the ICU. He was just "I know," and saying to the nurses how he didn't care if they poked him here or there with the needles.

Suddenly, I hear the nurse yell, "Oh shit!" and they go to doing the chest compressions.

We were told that he was okay right berfore I called a friend and she came to be with me. Since I thought he was going to be okay, we were talking and joking about how guys don't tend to take care of themselves and don't like to go to the doctor and even how we might not like going to the doctor, but if we really feel that something is wrong, we are going to go.

However, they asked us to come back where my mom was sitting - and my friend said she was going to go, but they said that we'd need a friend.

They tried to revive him a fourth time, but it didn't work.

My world changed so much right then.

Six months passed before I was out of my terrible depression (same amount of time passed the last time somebody I knew unexpectedly died).

Now, I'm okay.

However, it's still hard some days. I do miss the nice and helpful Daddy. I don't miss the one that complained about everything and was a hypocrite about most everything.

I can be glad that he went quickly and probably peacefully and didn't suffer. I know it would've been torture for him to be cooped up in the hospital or put in a nursing home, but there are just those times that it seems so much that he should be here.

. . .

It surrprised me that when my beloved Marbles (my dog - beagle and black lab mix) died on December 22, that it didn't really hit me until earlier this month and now it still does at times.

Yes, I do have another dog by now, a small one, and I do love him.

I don't know . . . I just needed to write this all out . . .

But, most days, I'm living me life . . . and still somehow trying to reach my dream of being a published author . . .

Hi guys,

I'm working on a documentary about young people who, due to parental loss, have had to assume leadership roles in their families.  If this applies to you and you'd be interested in taking part, please read on.  Thank you for your time.

Are you adapting to a new family situation and the responsibility of raising your siblings that was unexpected? Are you still figuring out how to adjust? Then MTV wants to hear from you. We want to know how you work through all the everyday struggles of being left to take charge because you have suffered parental loss. This show is really about kids who have come together under amazing circumstances to support eachother. If you appear to be between the ages of 18-28 and have 2 or more siblings that you are now the guardian of, then please send us your story and contact information to raisingmysiblings@mtv.com


I'm sick today... I think it's a chest cold because my chest hurts when I breathe and feels really heavy and sore (like a bruise). Thankfully, I am off for the next 2 days.

My Dad would always come see me when I was sick, and bring me Gatorade. If I was out of state (as I am now) I could at least call him and he would tell me to feel better. Other people say it, but it's not the same. I want my Dad.

I keep hearing that "it gets better", but it isn't getting better for me. It seems like it's actually getting worse. I have a hard time sleeping, constant panic attacks, and I stopped eating weeks ago. I'm dizzy a lot from not having enough calories in my system. I am always tired, and all I want to do is sleep. My endo is flaring up again.

Maybe it has something to do with Xmas and my birthday coming up. Every time I think about it, I feel sick. I don't know which is worse... the lack of family and a solid support system down here, or being home where the absence of him is being constantly shoved in my face, every where I turn. In all honesty, I love my job and everything here, but I think what I actually need is time off. A lot of time. I've been trying to keep going because I was afraid that if I stopped, I would fall apart. Now, I am realizing that I am falling apart anyway.

I don't think our society has an adequate idea of mourning. The fact that most jobs give you 3 days bereavement leave is just asinine. Who is ready to go back to their "normal" life, their job, in 3 days?? Granted, it's been months for me, but I still don't feel ready. In fact, I feel less ready every day.

I think I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I've been reading about it for a few months, and at first I didn't think so, but now, rereading some of the signs and looking at my life, I realize that I've become a poster child for PTSD. I don't reach out to friends because they can't help me. My husband is wonderful, but it isn't fair to put this all on him. He is just one person, and he is grieving, too. I feel like I am demanding too much from him already, though he would never say that.

For the first time in my life, I am afraid I am on the edge of really losing it, and losing it when things are going so well. I have tremendous opportunity here, and I'm scared I may blow it because I can't keep it together.

Yesterday was 9 months.

When someone loses a loved one..

When someone loses a loved one.. that is the time to put grudges aside. It is a time for forgiveness. It is a time for understanding. It is a time to give them that extra bit of slack.. or huge amounts of it, if necessary.

When someone loses a loved one.. that is the time that they are most vulnerable. It is a time when they are the most 'human'. It is a time when they are the most fragile.. and easily broken.

When someone loses a loved one.. they are not going to 'get over it' tomorrow, or next month, or even next year. They are not going to stop thinking about the person who has passed. They are not going to forget what is missing, even after everyone else does.

When someone loses a loved one.. they need compassion. They need love. They need to cry, to scream, to laugh, to fall apart and put themselves back together, over and over again. They need you to realize that every day of their life is now different.. another unique reminder of what they've lost.

When someone loses a loved one.. don't be afraid to comfort them. Don't be afraid to acknowledge their loss. Don't be afraid to make them cry, because they're going to cry anyway. Don't be afraid to say the wrong thing, because the worst thing to say is nothing at all.

When someone loses a loved one.. they are haunted by the person they used to be. By the life they used to have. By the memories of the one who is gone. A person can never be replaced, and those they leave behind are never the same.

When someone loses a loved one.. they will be angry. They will be sad. They will tell you the same stories, share the same anecdotes, over and over, until you could recite them yourself. Let them. It is a way of keeping their memory alive.

When someone loses a loved one.. be kind to them. They are going through their own private hell, and every single day requires a strength that, until you've experienced it yourself, is simply unimaginable.

The first few months after someone dies, people rally around you. They check up on you. They worry about you. They tell you it will be ok. Then, time goes by and people who aren't directly connected, they forget. It is less prominent in their lives, and they don't think about it as much, if at all. But the people who lost someone, they don't forget. Every day is different for them. Every moment is a reminder that something, someone, is missing.

I guess people think I should be "done" grieving by now. I don't believe that time heals all wounds. I don't believe that things will ever be "ok" ever again. My Dad was my best friend and my parent who raised me and cared for me for 30 years - who called me everyday to see how I was - who brought me Gatorade and movies when I was sick - who was proud of me when I did something great and there for me when I totally fucked up - who always told me he loved me, every time we talked.

Death makes you realize, no human is replaceable. All those little things combine to make a person you can never, ever forget.

I don't know who 'they' are, but they've obviously never lost someone close to them because 'they' don't understand... there is no expiration date on grief. It comes in waves, smells, words of strangers, the father in the supermarket who swings their kid around in a playful hug or calms them when they cry, the old man and the middle-aged one out fishing together, his favorite candy, or a tv show.. I know that, even if I live to be 90 years old, I will still cry for Dad. I will still think of him every day. It will still hurt... and I will never be 'done' missing him.

Bad days lately

I've been having some really bad days, missing my Daddy. I know it is just the devil trying to get to me. The devil is trying to get to me with the fact that we had his body cremated, giving me bad thoughts that he wouldn't get to heaven that way.

I know it's false. I know the spirit doesn't care what happens to the physical body after death. However, the devil keeps trying to convince me that my Daddy is not okay and not in heaven.

Am I the only one (um, Christian, yeah) that watches and reads about those Near Death Experiences that helps her feel better and makes it feel like the devil must go away when confronted with the truth that there is a heaven?

Like this:

Or this:

Or this:

More than ever, I'd just like to truly KNOW my Daddy is okay in heaven . . . I mean, more than I know. I can't explain it, even though I know he's there.

I miss him so much!

My dad passed away just over a month ago after a month and a half battle with lung cancer. He was only 52 and healthy other than the cancer. I miss him so much that there are some nights I just cry myself to sleep. I am now in college, freshman year of course, and I'm not even close to home to be there for my mom. I was daddy's little girl and everyone knew it. I was his pride and joy, but he never really told me. I would do anything to see him again for one last hug and one last I love you. I have also recently noticed depression setting in. I've been doing my best to control it, but some days are worse than others. God I really miss my dad.

I needed to get this out . . .

Last night, it was good that I wasn't feeling deep in grief because it really took my toll today. I go to counseling at the university I attended and where my Daddy taught chemistry. It is very difficult for me to go by the building where he taught, but there isn't really any other choice. It's right there. I only have to pass by it, though. I don't have to go up there.

Anyway, last night, this guy who is a former coworker of one of my friends wanted to chat with me on IM. I was fine with that. It was okay when he was just chatting about this guys friends and whatnot, but I really was not going to discuss anything in depth with the guy.

So, he starts trying to act like he knows what it's like to lose a parent when he's not lost a parent.

He freakin' tells me "The memories will fade." I DON'T WANT THE MEMORIES TO FADE!!!! What an idiot!

He was all, "I had close friends who died," like he knows what it's like, but HE HAS NO IDEA!!! He has his mom and his dad.

I no longer have that male parent around. I hadn't found a husband yet and when I do, I won't have a Daddy to guide me into that next phase of life.

He has no idea what it is like to have your dad suddenly go into cardiac arrest RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES and have the hospital attendents all start working on him (Yeah, it IS like in ER where a person yells "Oh shit!" and they all go to work on the patient. It IS that scary.)

Then, they took him to go work on him and I was having fun talking with my friend who came for support because before she arrived, they had told us that he was okay. They were still working on my dad when they had me, my sister, and my friend join my mom back in one of those little rooms (not a good sign).

They kept working on him, and they couldn't bring him back a fourth time. I'm sure it's better for him to be in heaven and not here living and maybe not even wanting to continue with life.

However, it's so scary, and sad, and frightening, and numbing . . . and ANYBODY WHO HAS NOT LOST A PARENT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND!!!

Besides, this guy was so stupid with everything he said. He kept saying how the memories would fade. Then he kept saying how the memories wouldn't pervade my life and I WANT THOSE MEMORIES!!! I WANT THEM!!! Stupid idiot . . .

He's 28 . . . I'm 26 . . . and I still felt like he was such a little kid because of the way he was acting. I hated it all . . . he was so rude . . .

The Color of Love

This song has always reminded me of my Dad... he taught me what it means to stand by someone, to love them unconditionally, to forgive, and to keep going, even against impossible odds. Everything I have, and am, I owe to him.

I was lonely
I needed someone to see me through
I was at the end of my rope
I needed someone to cut me loose

And then an angel out of the blue
Gave me the sense that I might make it through
And somehow I survived with no rhyme or reason
And now I know I'll make it through the miracle of you

I know the color of love
And it lives inside of you
I know the color of truth
It's in the image of you
If it comes from the heart
Then you know that it's true
It will color your soul like a rainbow
And the color of love is in you

Like a bridge
Over troubled, troubled water
You stood beside me
And your love did not falter

And then the angel, the angel in you
Gave me the strength to know that I will get through
And that's how I survived, ain't no other reason
And now I know I'll make it through the miracle of you

I know the color of love
And it lives inside of you
I know the color of truth
It's in the image of you
If it comes from the heart
Then you know that it's true
It will color your soul like a rainbow
And the color of love is in you

So, I wanna thank you
I can't thank you enough
For showing me the meaning
The meaning of true love
When I was lost and so in need
You opened up your heart
When I needed you to comfort me
You opened up your arms
I couldn't face another day
You said don't be afraid
You showed my heart the way

I know the color of love
And it lives inside of you

Video can be found here