What’s in my heart…

Today my heart is heavy…

as it is the anniversary of my dad’s death.  2 yrs ago today he passed, in one sense I can’t believe it’s been 2 years and in some aspects it seems like it’s been a lot longer.

I was on the fence on whether or not I would do a post on this.  I have been struggling this week, well if I’m being honest I’ve been struggling for about a month now – since mid-March.  That was when it all started – he got sick we found out he didn’t have long to live and 5 weeks and 2 days later he was gone.  But it didn’t happen quite that simple.  There was sooooo much turmoil.  My mom has dementia and so trying to handle her, and help take care of my dad was mind blowing exhausting.

At the time I just did it, I didn’t think, I immediately jumped back into my role of caretaker and just did what needed to be done.  My mom mostly wanted me (I have been the one she has leaned on a lot when was growing up and a young adult) so whenever one of my brothers couldn’t handle her I got a call to take over.  My sisters were all at a distance and did not partake in the care taking, they came to visit and left.  Not that it mattered because again my mom wanted me and you can’t reason with someone who has dementia no matter how hard you try.  Not her fault her whole world was being turned upside down.

The last night was the worst. My dad was really bad couldn’t walk or get out of bed, was constantly choking and throwing up fluid and my mom was just off the wall because with dementia you need routine and well she was not getting it.  It was not her fault but it was a nightmare.  My one brother was staying over night with me that night.  I don’t even know what time it got to because 1 hour seemed like it lasted the whole night.  It was constant go upstairs because my mom wanted to go to bed, run down stairs bc my dad is choking – ugh.  The details are unimportant at this point it just seemed like time drug on and on.  I will say that my brother who was with me – one that the family does not look highly upon for stupid judgmental reasons was a ROCK that night.  He helped me with my dad and handled my mom like a pro, so much love and compassion and tenderness.  I thank God he was there with me!

You know how when 2 people share an unbelievable traumatic experience it bonds you – like forever because you were both there, you lived it together – well that’s us!

The ironic thing about my dads death is that even though we were never close it’s hard, it’s sad, it’s all those feelings all over again from 2 years ago.  As I write this I am not looking for sympathy I am just sharing my story, and that if you have a loved one who’s “death” anniversary comes up and you are all kinds of emotions and sadness – I get you!  Mostly I would like to share a few pics of my dad with all of you and to have them on here as a memory. Although he was not the greatest dad, I loved him, he was my dad.

This was an old painting done of my dad when he was in the Air Force.

Me with my parents at my brother’s house probably about 6 years ago.

This is almost my whole family one sister is missing in this photo 

I thought you would all enjoy this throw back to when Elias was just 5 months old – I was 20 Yes I had long hair and a bit of an 80s style haha – don’t judge

This is a photo of my parents at my first wedding – yes they are a little bit country for sure! 🙂

This song reminds me of my parents so much, I wanted to share it with all of you.  They were married for 60 years.  I would not say it was 60 years of bliss but I know that in their own ways they loved each other.  They both came to their partnership with their own baggage and sometimes people never learn to unload it and get over it.

and a photo of my mom and I the week after my dad passed.  This is the last photo I have at their home – the home I grew up in.  Yes she is drinking Starbucks with a ton of sugar haha – it became my ritual in the morning after my dad passed ….stop and grab us both coffee at Starbucks before I headed to her house.

A life time of memories with my dad ended for me at the age of 43 – seems too young to lose a parent, but when you are the youngest of a large family you get the least amount of time with your parents.

Thank you dear friends for once again allowing me to share my life with you, and for taking your precious time to spend with me.   xxoo- Sherry

11 thoughts on “What’s in my heart…

  1. Sherry, I am so touched that you chose to share your priceless family photos with all of us. Thank you for your trust…….I share your grief in the loss of your Dad……..and your on-going exhaustive care of your Mom. I understand your feelings…….I empathize, sympathize and holding you close in my heart. May your day today, and all your days, be blessed beyond measure…….
    Carole

    1. Carole thank you so very much. Your words touch my heart and mean so very much. Thank you for always being there and so very loving and supportive it means the world to me!!😘😘❤️❤️❤️

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost both my parents, on the same day, in a freaky accident. I was 24 years old and I miss them every day. That was over 40 years ago. I always wonder if it was better this way or if I would have wanted to take care of them in their old age, as you have been doing, I would not have wanted to see my parents with a horrible illness, dementia, Alzheimer’s or any thing of that sort. But, on the other hand, I would love to just see them for one more time, to say “I love you”. I never got to say goodbye but I talk to them all the time. May the Lord bless you and your family on this anniversary.

    1. Oh Rita thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. I don’t think there ever is a “better” way. When it happens to you it’s the worst that’s it! It’s part of life but the part that hurts the worst. Big hugs to you sweet friend. Thank you for your love and kindness 😘😘❤️❤️

  3. Oh Sherry, thank you for sharing your story and hope by writing down your thoughts and feelings you are able to process the trauma you went through two years ago (and I’m sure you’re going through now). I’m glad you had your brother there to help manage life, your mother and your father’s illness.

    It is amazing that we share so many common elements of life…..as you see, I lost my heart pug on April 11, 2013 after a cancer diagnosis in Jan 2013 and mother with dementia who as a child used me as her personal therapist. And of all days, yesterday Barbara’s ashes arrived.

    I’m glad you found a way to express all the love and generosity in your heart through the written word and your wonderful art and you have a partner in life to share your journey (plus your lucky pugs and Luna). Pug hugs, my dear friend.

    1. Oh Julie we do have so much in common and I don’t think it’s an accident that we met online and became friends. No matter how many miles of distance. When you have that “one” gets what you are going through somehow that makes things a little easier and shines a light on all of it. Thank you dear one for being that light I adore you and know I’m always here for you !! I’m so very sorry about your friend. I know your sorrow for her is running deep for her ! I will be saying some prayers for you and sending you love for NY !! Love you sweet friend. Xxoo😘😘😘

  4. The “losing our parents” stories weave such a common thread thru all of us … the dementia they try so desperately to hide, until it can’t be anymore: the final catastrophic, debilitating illnesses that we caretaker children just “do” .. the heartbreak and grief – the worst of, the best of – or between, it doesn’t matter – they are our Mom and Dad. And the hole in our hearts and lives when they are gone. The time we have now to look and work thru both their baggage, and the baggage we carry as their children – 75, and I’m still their child. May we all be blessed with the time, fellowship and grace to recover and bloom.

    Thank you for sharing your story … the love you share with all of us, in both your experiences, words and art, is a healing balm.

    1. Oh Dale thank you so much for your heartfelt comment and loving words. You said exactly everything so very well. Hugs to you dear friend 😘😘❤️❤️

  5. Your story is a touching one. I lost my father at the age of 44 and it is hard-even if you are not as close as you wish you were. No family is ever perfect and everyone has their own kind of baggage and burdens. You are an amazing person to be able to care for your parents in the way that you did. My father passed on my granddaughter’s second birthday and so it helps to be able to celebrate a happy occasion along with a moment of sadness. Time heals all wounds and the pain becomes lighter. Eventually there will be a bittersweet melancholy that leads to smiles at fond memories. Smile through the tears and remember the love and the lessons learned from a dear parent who did the best he could.

    1. Thank you so much Annette for your kind words they mean so much and I really appreciate you taking the time to share with me. Xxoo❤️❤️❤️

  6. Sherry, I just read this today, noticed it after I was reading your previous blog post. What a beautiful story about your family and your father. My dad had dementia and passed away about 15 months ago – I think of him daily, and he is often inspiration for my art journal. Wishing you peace and happiness!

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