Seven years ago today, my life changed forever. In one moment you were here on this Earth, and the next gone. It took one phone call to make the greatest impact on my life. You had been my greatest cheerleader, my coach on the sidelines in all my sports, the dad in the audience of all my band, orchestra, and piano recitals. You were in the stands the day I graduated High School and then Navy bootcamp, and the person I called when I had questions about OSU football games, or car questions. Some of the fondest memories I have are sitting on the computer and you watching a movie answering questions I’m sure annoyed you.
Some days you cross my mind fleetingly, something will remind me of you or I’ll see something that I wish I could share with you. Other days the grief is heavy and I think of you and replay the memories over and over. Like the time I scored a goal and you let me shave your head. I never knew you had ears like that until all that hair was gone. Or the time we were instant messaging when I was overseas and you came up with your own shorthand… and I had no clue what you were trying to say and when mom asked you… you acted surprised that we didn’t just know what you meant.
I have so many memories with you that it is hard to choose which ones to share with the world. These three pictures are some of my favorite ones with you.
Daddy & I taking a nap
Daddy & I laughing
Before my senior prom
I wish you could have been there the day I walked down the aisle. Oh I know you were there in spirit, I could feel it. But it would have been so much more special had you been here in person. I know there will be more days to come in my life when I will have those same thoughts.
The rose I placed in memory of father as I walked down the aisle.
Seven years has been what feels like an eternity somedays and just the other day at other times. I wish I could hear your voice one more time, have one more hug, see you stick your tongue out at me one more time. These pictures are one of the ways I will remember you. I love you daddy!
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These songs have given me so much comfort.
In the blink of an eye, everything can change…your house could go up in flames and all your earthly possessions be gone except for what you have on your back, or a loved one could pass away. At this point nothing will ever be the same in your life. Everything that you had or hoped would/could happen in your future changes. Granted you can replace furniture and a house, but not those precious personal things like childhood mementoes and those from the rest of your life.
When a loved one passes away, especially suddenly, those same thoughts occur. All of the things that they won’t get to do or do again. When my dad passed away the first thing I thought of from that list was that I’d never hear his voice again… and the list kept growing. A few years later and the things from that list are the larger milestones in life. He didn’t get to see me graduate college, he won’t get to walk me down the aisle and give me away in a few weeks, he won’t get to hold any grandchildren… and the list will grow I’m sure.
I still struggle with the fact that how I always imagined things won’t be the way they happen… but it has gotten easier as I start to let go and enjoy the memories I do have of him. All of the piano recitals, plays, band and orchestra concerts, soccer and softball games, and the trips we took are my “new future”. Holding on to these memories helps to ease the moments of pain and sorrow at the fact that he is no longer here.
Today I am so thankful today for the amazing women I call my grandmas and the amazing woman I call my aunt. These women aren’t my blood but I would be hard set to find another group of loving women or women that I love like family. These women came today and today helped to relieve some of my moving anxiety by helping to pack most of the house and then move the stuff to the new place. I don’t think I could have done half of what they did today in two weeks. These are the same women that are there to listen to me ramble about whatever may be on my mind or in my heart. It’s so nice to have that again… it makes me think of my grandpa Rodgers and how we would talk on the phone or when I would visit with him. He and my grandma Rodgers were the only grandparents I knew growing up. Those are some of the very good memories and I hope I never lose them.
Grandma Rodgers on Christmas Eve 1990
Grandpa Rodgers in the summer of 1994
But anyways…. I could go on forever about them and memories in general. Treasure your loved ones. You never know when something could change in a heartbeat. A year ago today, the world lost an amazing young woman and bright light. Ashley Vance could make you feel included and a part of things even if you knew you were truly an outsider. She was doing great things with her life and touched so many lives including those of her students. Ashley, you may be gone from this world… but you will never be forgotten.
Ashley Danyelle Vance May 1, 1987 – January 31, 2012
Well since I had another migraine last night I didn’t get to post what I was thankful for. While many people might not understand what there could be thankful, I am thankful for modern medicine. While it might not always help… it certainly does get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Today has been crazy busy and stressful and it seems like this will be par for the course this semester. While I used to let that control me, I know see it as more of a challenge. Not in the way that would cause more stress by worrying about, but in the way that time management will be helpful. Hopefully by managing my time better and trying to stick to that schedule will help to relieve that stressful feeling and allow for more nights of sleep and less all-nighters. So I am thankful for one of my mom’s lessons while I was growing up which was time management. While I might not have applied it back then, I certainly did take it in and store it for later. So thank you mom for that lesson and all the lessons you taught me and tried to teach me!
Today has been a stressful day as I try to adjust to a routine of these new classes and working this semester. Exhausted doesn’t seem to even explain well how I feel right now. Unfortunately, no matter how exhausted I feel, my body still thinks a good idea to play tricks on me and not let me sleep. I’m writing this earlier than normal hoping that I can sleep tonight.
Also today I did some talking with a girl at school and decided that I will take the GRE next fall and apply to PsyD programs at Wright State and to schools in VA. My mom helped to alleviate most of my anxiety about things having to do with her and this new decision so I’m pretty excited about this new direction. I know that I will only achieve what is in God’s plan for me… but it’s always nice to have different avenues and possibilities available.
So today I am thankful for these possibilities and the sacrifices that might have to be made by my mom and my brother’s for some of these to happen. They have always supported me and pushed me forward when I thought I couldn’t do something or wanted to give up. I don’t know where I would be without them!