One year ago today I was getting ready in the locker room of the gym where I work out. I work out early in the morning and usually check my email as I'm drying my hair. I opened my phone and saw it:
3 missed phone calls from my parents house in Arizona-starting at 3:00 am
2 missed calls from my brother in Minnesota
1 missed call from my husband
Growing up I would sometimes get "cryptic" messages from my parents and worry that something was wrong. There never was. As it turns out, you don't need to worry until you turn on your phone at 6:30 am and see 6 missed calls.
I knew it was probably bad. I just remember walking over to the couches and saying in a whisper-nononononononono. My husband was the first one to get a hold of me. He said that something was wrong-that I needed to come home right now.
I started crying before I made him tell me: My father had died at age 75.
It was unexpected. He died of a broken arm. In retrospect, he had been having more problems for about 2 years. Balance difficulties were one sign. BUT I have a rehab background. I just thought we needed to figure out the right treatment plan. Decreased interest in my financial affairs was another sign. For instance, he'd stopped asking for my bank account and retirement plan information. I had just been out to visit in March. At the time, I was frustrated because I WANTED to enjoy the sun-but he wanted me to drive him to dentist appointments. I'm so thankful (now) that we spent a lot of time alone in the car together. He even complimented my driving. Clearly, something was wrong.
There are places where it is probably better to get this kind of news. I got it in the locker room filled with sweaty people rushing to get ready for work. It didn't matter. I sat and sobbed until I couldn't cry anymore. When you work out really early in the morning, you tend to see the same people every day. One woman told me later that she had wanted to come over to see what was wrong-but she didn't because she was naked. I'm thankful for her good judgement.
The next few weeks went by so fast. Flying out to meet my mom, trying to pick out an urn at Hobby Lobby (We couldn't do it. how do you put your loved one in a 14.99 fake vase.) Coming back to work and driving home with my leaky eyes every day. The first day back after the funeral I found out I'd submitted the wrong summer hours to my work. I cried for 3 hours straight. Luckily my coworkers had gone out to lunch so they didn't see me sob-eating in the break room.
It was hard for me to sleep after he died. It was during his Arizona funeral that I started making TPT projects. Just for something to do to take my mind off of things.
I don't know why it seems important to me to remember the day that I found out he had died or what happened after. I know that writing soothes me. By writing this out, I can assure myself that I will not forget. And I can continue on the path to healing and acceptance.