What I am grateful for that I never said

Dear Pops,

Today is Thanksgiving. The third one. The third one without you. It actually feels like it hurts less than before, and that scares me. I don’t want to lose sight of you. The way today you would call me to let me know the turkey was in the oven getting ready for us. How you would describe the woods up in Ashford. How it was a bit chilly out, but Dakota was loving it outside barking at all the neighbors.  

We would stroll into a crackling fireplace smoking up the house because you could care less. The Chieftains or some Irish jig filling in the quiet spots of the house. As you walked over to us with that sparkle in your eye. You always had a way about you. You could light up a room faster than anyone I’ve known (that still stands). The heaviness and warmth of your hug wrapped around me as if nothing would ever come between us. If I think really, really hard I can still feel one of your hugs. I am happy for that. You would tell me how beautiful I am. Then follow with a snarky joke to make us all crack a smile.

 The kettle would sing to us. You would pour me a breakfast tea, turn and look at me, “you’ll take about 5 sugars right?” with a smirk. You always knew. But hey, now I drink it practically black… shocking I know.

A lot of things have changed since you’ve been gone. The world is definitely a lot less funny, much less smiles to be shared, and less horrifying dance moves for you to embarrass us with in public (or maybe I was the only one mortified when you would lift your shirt up, belly out, and swing your hips). I have no one’s breakfast sandwiches to steal half of, which never seemed to bother you. No one like you to blast music on a long drive and belt out together with no care in the world.

 Ever since you’ve been gone I notice things that only you could provide to me. I really don’t like hugs all that much, but I loved them from you. I rarely sat on anyone’s lap, rightfully so, as a twenty-something year old. Yet, I always sat on yours. You never failed to protect me, love me unconditionally, and embrace who I am. I felt like the best version of myself when I was with you because you believed in me. I am sure that goes for Melissa, Kyle, and Justin. We all love you so deeply, until this day, and for the rest of our lives.

Today, I could be bitter as I can be many days, especially holidays. Because there are children that can be with their dads. There are children that can exchange laughs, smiles and hugs with their dad. There are children that can get irritated, fight or be embarrassed by their dads. And that, unfortunately, makes me envious.

Instead, I want to transform that bitterness into gratefulness. I am forever apologetic that I never shared the unbelievable abundance you carried in my life. I realize that I can still be grateful for you no matter the circumstances. Here are just a few:

  • Thanks for your love of learning, reading, and traveling
  • Thanks for always knowing exactly which joke to tell to make me smile
  • Thanks for calming me down when my anxiety peaked
  • Thanks for making Ireland my home
  • Thanks for forcing us to take pictures together, which I treasure now
  • Thanks for showering me with your wisdom
  • Thanks for your charm and wit
  • Thanks for that laugh of yours that continues to play in my head
  • Thanks for teaching me how to not take everything so seriously, rather live with a lightness
  • Thanks for showing me how to forgive
  • Thanks for your accent that entertained my friends endlessly
  • Thanks for your good looks because we all know you had them
  • Thanks for letting me be “daddy’s little girl”
  • Thanks for your acceptance and encouragement
  • Thanks for continuing to believe in me
  • Most of all, thank you being the best dad in the entire world

 

All the charms you brought and continue to bring into our worlds are boundless, so thank you for being you.

Love you infinitely,

your baby girl

a letter to my big brother who is struggling with addiction

To my brother:

My heart is aching for you. I’m sure you know that I know by now that you’re struggling with a drug addiction.

It pains me incredibly to hear you’re hurting. I understand this isn’t easiest for you to talk about. It’s difficult for me to find words to express myself to you. I can’t say I know exactly what you’re going through because I’ve not experienced it. Although I can say that I’m feeling the same heartache from dad’s death, as all four of us are.

Never in my life have I endured such heartbreak from losing dad. Resulting in me also self-medicating to an extent. In an attempt to numb the overwhelming grief, regret, anger, sadness, pain – you name it.

The cards we were dealt are not ideal and it feels unfair most days. Making everything dark and purposeful less. But I’ve come to find light in little things like being alive to see another day. A really good cup of coffee. A stranger smiling at me.

Anyway, my point behind this letter is to let you know I love you very much and think about you every day.

You are so strong. You are all that you need to be. You are you and that makes you a special person in my life. You are loved by many, especially me.

Conquering this is something you can’t do alone. I am here for you if you need support. I know I’m not there physically, but I’m only a phone call away.

We all love you very much, including dad. He was always so proud of you and still is to this day. Never forget that.

My heart is always with you.

Love you big bro,

A

My dear spirit, this cloudburst is not a storm

As a lover of learning, naturally, I would have the dictionary app on my phone and save words of the day that I find interesting. Today I came across this word:

Cloudburst – a sudden and very heavy rainfall

Saved. If this is not the universe sending me little signs, I’m not sure what it is.

Being on the job hunt for nearly 3 months and seeing very little signs of hope brought me down into a serious state of episodic depression (which does not help during interviews lol). Sulking is usually not a part of my demeanor but these past few weeks, however, I am numb. Hopeless. Entirely caught up in my bed sheets of self-deprecating thoughts. A vicious cycle that only continues to spiral downward really.

How can you believe in yourself when no one else believes in you? Rejection after rejection.  Each little letter of “Thanks, but we found someone more qualified” turns into significant blows to the ego.

So, cloudburst. This was a little reminder to myself that everyone has cloudbursts throughout their lives. Some much heavier and more prominent than others. Some might be downpouring. Some people’s cloudbursts might have thunder. Others lit up with strikes of lightning. Or both.

Anyway, it’s important for everyone to tell themselves “I am capable”, “I am strong” and “I believe in my purpose”. I can weather this little cloudburst of mine, and you can too. Because it is only temporary rainfall – nothing permanent.

how a nightmare can be beautiful

I had a nightmare last night, as I do most. This one was particularly eye opening. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, ready to puke my brains out. I was sick. A sore throat (Maybe I subconsciously knew during my sleep that Trump won the election, ha!).

My dad was in my dream. We were talking and shooting the shit, per usual. Suddenly, I realized he was dead (a general theme in my dreams). So this couldn’t be happening. We couldn’t be together much less even have a conversation. All of a sudden, he stopped talking to me. He ignored me. Yet continued to charm everyone else. I sat next to him staring blankly. I watched him from afar. I cried. I followed him around screaming at him to pay attention to me. I cried harder.

Nothing. He continued to ignore me. I continued to cry. Everyone tried to console me simultaneously neglecting to ask why I was upset. They assumed I was upset about something entirely different. They couldn’t grasp my pain. I pushed them away.

This dream is déjà vu to me. I have it occasionally and wake up in a sweat; nauseated.

The pain I carry each and every day knowing I can’t talk to my father haunts me. Tears me up at any random hour on any day.

This dream gave me some insight. It could mean a number of things. I still have yet to process my grief. I think that because my father isn’t physically present, he’s not listening to me, or present in any form.

But, he is here. Spiritually. I want to open up my heart more to him. So I can hear him. I am working on coming to terms with his death and it has been 2 years.

For anyone, that has felt the loss of a parent. I’m forever apologetic. I understand the heartache. It’s okay to randomly break out in tears. Throw hissy fits. Scream in your pillow. Not have it all together. Feel every feeling in the world all at once. Hide in your room for a whole day. Allow these things to happen.

Be patient with yourself. You are strong and capable. Let yourself feel at all capacities.

Your loved ones who passed are present. Maybe not how you want them to be but they are here.

One day, I aspire to live my life at a higher frequency so my father’s presence in my life will be prominent and felt. I wish this to all who endure a similar heartbreak.

Don’t forget, we’re all just stardust

We are all stardust.

We are easy to forget that life can be as simple as you make it or as complicated as you make it. I most certainly fall victim to the latter most days.

At an art market last week, I met an amazingly beautiful jewelry artist. She handed me a picture of the moon and stars with writing across it, we are all stardust. Her eyes met mine with ease and lightness. She smiled, and graciously enlightened me with a few meaningful words.

I think it’s so funny how everyone takes things so seriously. Don’t they realize what’s happening here? We are all on this crazy huge planet that is floating around the sun. How  insane!? We are all just floating stardust. Everyone gets all worked up for nothing, and take things so seriously. It’s funny to me.

We exchanged some laughs and bantered back in forth. It took a couple hours for what she said to really sink in. She has a point. For someone that struggles with anxiety and depression, this is something that I needed to hear.

Her reminder left me with a sense of lightness as I float through my days as a gust of sparkling stars: unafraid, and empowered. I thank her.

 

 

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