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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,

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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

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 . . .

Bad dream . . .

I had a really bad dream last night. I dreamed that my mom and I were watching the Olympics, and I'm not exactly sure where we were watching them. However, for whatever reason, they were being aired live and the cameras weren't being monitored all that well, so the only choice the people who were doing the commentary had were to comment on the sad things, too.

We were watching the girls do their gymnastics floor exercises. The one girl went to do her routine and she did this fancy flip, but then she landed on the hard floor of the arena and not on the special floor for the floor exercises, and the horrible part was that she landed on her head. She wasn't moving and everybody gathered around, and sure enough, her eyes rolled back into her head and the sad news that she had passed away was broadcast.

This made me run into where my Daddy was resting as he was still alive in my dream and hug him and tell him how much I love him. Of course, I woke up with the realization that he's not here and that I didn't get to tell him one last, "I love you."

At least we have some sweet dogs . . . and at least at times I still feel that cold presence at my left arm that makes me feel warm inside.

It made my dad not so good, though . . .

Finding myself again

Does this make sense to anybody here?

I am finally once again finding the identity of "myself," and not "the daughter of." It's not that I didn't know who I was, but I was so sad and deep in grief (and I still cry and miss my Daddy a lot at times and wish he could be with me) that I just wanted to still have my dad and just be his daughter, his little girl.

Now, I can't be that person like I was. I am, but not like I was, often wanting or trying to help him and wanting him and praying for him to get better.

However, as I realize each day more and more than I am my own person and think back about how I always have been my own person for as long as I can remember, it gets a little bit better.

I understand that I am who I am.

Today. I've actually been able to write two articles so far for my job, and it feels good to be back to writing these articles because writing is what I do.

Perhaps he knows?

In church today, I closed my eyes and listened to the sermon. I used to flip through the hymnal because it seemed that I was able to concentrate on the sermon better when I did that. However, I found that closing my eyes helps me concentrate even better on what is being said.

They say that when you feel spirits, it often feels cold. I was praying while listening, and it I felt a very cold presence on my left side, not like some source of cold air, but like one that was almost embracing my arm, and I felt better.

I wanted my Daddy to know why I was so much happier at St. Michael than at St. Paul, and I think it must've been him or at least an angel that was telling me that he now knew how happy I was and that he is okay up in heaven.

Obviously, it is still so hard not having him here. My mom still talks about him as if he is alive. She says things like, "My husband is" and "My husband makes."

It just doesn't seem right, but I guess it helps her.

I still miss my dad

Yesterday, my mom got an e-mail from her Aunt Phyl. I don't know what exactly it is/was that my grandpa wanted to cut off all communication. That confuses me, but I'm glad that she found my mom because I have always wanted to know more about my family and know more of my family.

Last night I had a dream that I told this to my dad and all he said was, "Whatever."

This was pretty minor, but still did not put me in the best mood.

However, two nights ago, it was a really bad dream. I had this dream where we took him to the hospital and he died, but he was able to keep living and I said, "I hope his second body doesn't give out like his first one." This made me feel really bad like my Daddy should still be alive and like we shouldn't have had his body cremated (I know, it doesn't matter, the body would decay, anyway). However, it's just how I felt. It was such a bad dream for me . . .