The Last Time I said Goodbye


“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

 

When you tell someone goodbye, you will never know if that will be the last time you will be able to tell them goodbye, the last time you will be able to say it, the last time you will be able to tell them you love them and can’t wait to see them again.

“I thought I was stronger than a word, but I just discovered that having to say goodbye to you is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
― Colleen Hoover, November 9

 

Well, goodbye Monique, I love you.  Rest easy and I will see you later.  I really believe that.

 “I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart. ”

― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

 

Dad – Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad


My last post about my dad was back in June.  I just went back and read it about 3 times.  Loved looking at the photos and remembering him how he was.  He has always been the most influential man in my life.  He lifted my self-esteem (Sami, you are my favorite!). He helped me grow great work ethics (It’s better to do a job right the first time then have to re-do the job) and a superb ability to out stubborn anyone (Sami, always admit when you are wrong, but if you are right, never back down).  He developed in me a crazy ability to laugh at my own jokes, even if no one else did and to tell really, really terrible jokes (Little Johnny was in the classroom and had to go to the bathroom, he raised his hand and said…).

I am who I am because of him.

My Daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all he was fun.
—Bindi Irwin

No worries, he’s still here.  But he’s aging, getting sick, being hospitalized, getting out, continuing on with his crazy life, going a little crazy at times, getting sick again, acting like a child, getting old, and just moving through life faster than I want him to.

Years ago he said to me as we were sitting in a dive bar in Spokane, “Sami, you see that young man walking through that door? How old do you think he is?” I looked at the young man walking in the bar and said, “Well he’s at least 21!”  Dad said, “Yeah, at least 21!  That’s how I see myself when I think of myself.  Then I walk by a mirror and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I never feel that way.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I really can’t”

We both sort of laughed about it and moved on with our lives.  Fast forward about 20 years.  I feel what he felt sometimes.  But I feel it more when i look at him now.  Especially being so far away from him.

When I was working in Nepal, I had just gone through the earthquake and so was a little shattered and scattered and I happened to call him up.  He didn’t sound like himself at all.  I was convinced he had had a minor stroke.  I rushed home as quickly as I could.. which is a feat.. let me tell you.  The folks I worked for were super amazing and supported me through this emotional roller coaster.  I arrived back in Spokane and for the most part it seemed like all was well and I had panicked for no reason at all.  Except, every once in a while, he would sort of tear up.  Right before I was due to leave for my next assignment, I met up with him and he looked ecstatic.  I asked him why he was so darn happy all of a sudden.  He told me he had received GREAT news from the doctor.. all of his tests came back clean and he was as healthy as an old horse like him could be.  So, apparently there had been a reason for me to sort of panic.  Dads.. what are you gonna do.

Well, about 3 good years later and here we go again.  A few weeks ago, I got a call from my sister.  She said, “Dad’s been in the hospital with heart and kidney problems.  He also has pneumonia.  Apparently he had been in an auto accident several  weeks ago and didn’t tell anyone.”  He checked himself out of the hospital because he didn’t want to stay there. Wouldn’t follow any of the doctor’s recommendations and was being a pain in the butt to everyone.  She flew to Arizona and worked him through his situation and attitude. Got his meds worked out and sent some pictures to help my other sister and i get emotionally prepared for whatever might happen.

Snidely Whiplash

This is a little doohickey dad found in a parking lot. Snidely rode with my dad for nearly 40 years when he was a truck driver. I began using it as a “keep dad safe” lucky charm.

Over the course of the past few weeks, my sis has been going from Washington to Arizona to check in on him, get him set up with doctors, physical therapy.  I’m not sure what I would have done, or how I would have handled it without her.  It’s been super stressful and emotional.  It’s so weird to see him in this position.  It breaks my heart.

When I think of him that is now how I see him.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  In my minds eye and in my heart, that’s not how I see him.  Then I look at these pictures or see him in person and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  I really can’t.

Then, as I was writing this blog, literally just now, my sister sent me the below messages and photos.

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I catch my breath and in my head say, “Thank you!!” Because now, for a minute at least,  I can imagine him .. how I think of him ..

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
—Gloria Naylor

 

Happy Papa Day


Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right. Wade Boggs

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When I was about 26, I found out the dad I grew up with was not my biological father.  Everyone thought I would freak out.  They freaked out.  Every single person in my family seemed to know this already.  Unbeknownst to me, I had so many people trying to solve this 26 year long mystery for me. They spent months trying to get to the bottom of it.

What they did not know is that I WAS shocked.  But not in the way they might have realized.  I was shocked that everyone in my family had kept a secret for 26 years.  My family has never been good at not blathering on about everything, every place and everyone they knew.  I WAS freaking out.. but only because I thought it would be so cool to have more siblings. I always wanted to come from a gigantic family.  Think Partridge Family or Brady Bunch.. I could start a band or..uh.. travel across the states and get into ridiculous escapades..well maybe not.. but I thought it would be cool.

More than anything I was amazed.  Amazed that the dad I grew up with, knew he was not my biological father and wanted to keep that a secret from me in order to avoid hurting me.  I never doubted for a second that he loved each of us deeply and without pause and as his own children.

He used to tell me I was his favorite.  I had his sense of humor, his walk, his work ethics.  I worshipped him.  I still do.  He was a steady beacon of light on the shore of a wild sea of women.  He was dependable, funny, and strong.  He was my dad, my papa, the man to whom all other men would need to aspire to win my heart.  I love you dad!!

Without my dad, I wouldn’t be here. Maria Sharapova

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My Dad is my hero. Harry Connick, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

A Photo That.. reblogged from August 2012


Well, I usually don’t do this but I’m re-blogging one of my old favorite posts. This post was put together based on a contest that had already passed. I liked the idea so much that I decided to follow the post challenge and submit this blog based on that challenge. It’s still one of my favorite posts and I’m actually inspired to try to follow this idea on an annual basis. It was fun looking back and I want to thank the most recent commenter on this post who reminded me about it. Thank you blueribbonfair…

I hope you enjoy.

The Hostel Bookers 7 Super Shots photo challenge was held in January 2012. I wasn’t blogging back then but someone sent me the link thinking I might enjoy the challenge and they were correct.  The photos highlighted on that site were amazing.  I’m not competing in the contest obviously, but it was just a fun way to go back over some of the photos I have taken over the past few years and see what would fit where in each of the following 7 categories.

Even though I know that the contest is over, and you should also be aware of this, I wanted to participate whole-heartedly in this past contest that will reap me no reward other than my own personal satisfaction.  So here goes. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them and revisiting them.

For the purpose of the contest I had to choose 7 of my own photos, one for each of the following categories:

  • A photo that…takes my breath away

  • A photo that…makes me laugh or smile

  • A photo that…makes me dream

  • A photo that…makes me think

  • A photo that…makes my mouth water

  • A photo that…tells a story

  • A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

I like some of the following blogs for their amazing photographs and style, others for their incredible wit and ability to entertain.  Other’s largely because they offer guidance on some topics I am interested in, like food, travel and photography reviews. Finally, I feel these particular blogs have something to contribute to the blogging world and the world in general.  So in no particular order, here are some of my favorites.  I will probably edit the list to add more, but these are just off the top of my head.  Thanks for reading all.

Emma’s Life UnravelI Miss Me TooUtesmileTahiras,  Beyond Paisley,Where’s my BackpackGrandmother’s MusingsSued 51