One piece at a time and it didn’t cost me a dime…

We are almost done with five months. Five  months without dad. It seems like it has been forever and it seems like it has only been a minute or two. Dad’s headstone came in today. I do not know how I feel about that. I was sort of sad that it was disrespectful that it had not come in yet. His basically unmarked grave sitting lonely along the side of a dilapidated fence with a beautiful view of popeyes. Now that it is here, it seems so much more real. It is only now that I am beginning to feel it all. Grief takes such a long time. And it is just compounded. Every time we lose someone, it just adds to this cumulative mass of grief bubbling below the service. But, I’m no expert.

So much has happened in the last few months. My daughter had a birthday, I had a birthday, mom had a birthday, and mother’s day came and went. All these holidays and events just going along without dad, but somehow each one is becoming a little bit more okay.

I have changed a lot. I do not even know why. I have been learning to stand up for myself and setting more limits with life and work. A few weeks ago, I was sexually assaulted. It was bizarre to me that this is the second time in my life this has happened. How can anyone have the bad luck or misfortune to have such a horrible thing happen not once but twice? I am not sure. I did not even really know what to do. I went to the police. I have no clue what is going to happen, but I keep thinking to myself over and over that I am really glad my dad is dead at least because of this. Because he surely would have killed him, gotten angry, brought a gun, and shot that guy right down, cancer or no cancer, healthy or not. And if dad were not in the grave, he would most certainly be in jail.

It might be strange, but it does not even make me angry. People make mistakes. And I do not have room to be angry. I only have energy to keep moving forward. Beyond that, I started exercising more. I always hated exercise. I just like to eat and be lazy too much. Food makes me happy. And it is hard for a fat girl to get moving.

But I started working out in a crazy hard boot camp four times a week and it is actually super rewarding. The sweat and hard work makes me happy. I am glad to have something to wake up for. I am glad to feel something besides nothing. Even if it hurts.

I have been gardening. I suppose because my dad used to like to garden. I have some cucumbers and squash and peppers and tomatoes. I think I am doing it right. I wish that I head learned more from dad. So many times lately I am thinking that I wish I had asked dad more about this or that. All I know about the garden is that the last frost is April 15 and the last is October 15. And that you should plant marigolds to keep the pesky tomato bugs away. The garden is sorta schizophrenic looking. I put so much stuff in it. And I planted things way too close together, but it is nice to have a new hobby and it is nice to remember my dad by doing some of the things he liked to do.

I am looking for new hobbies. I have done the gardening. I think I might look into beekeeping. I really want to learn how to fly helicopters and one day I hope I can open my own ice cream shop. How can you be sad when you are making ice cream all day? I love ice cream. Dad was not really a fan of sweets, but he liked ice cream, too. For now, I am still a nurse. Dad was always proud that I was a nurse and I am a pretty darn good one. I do not know what the future holds. For now, it is one day at a time and that is good enough for me.