July 27, 2010 – LEARNING TO FLY


Today is the 3-month anniversary of my dad passing away.  I knew it before it even arrived, as the full moon winked playfully at me the past 2 nights – just like it beckons me every month at this time.  I believe it’s my dad talking to me, the moon in general.  It’s surprising how often I’ve noticed the bright moon out during the day these past few months.  Especially at poignant times… when I’m already thinking of my dad… feeling his void… I look up… and… there’s the moon!  It feels like my dad is watching me and is still sharing in the moment.

Lake Superior moon

The moon… and sunsets!  FULL-BLOWN red and orange BLAZING-sky sunsets!  They always make me stop and notice and appreciate the beauty of this life.  Sometimes they make me cry.  I vividly remember telling my dad in his last few weeks on earth to just let go, relax, fly away to heaven and become an extraordinary sunset for all to see.  So now every time I see a sunset, I feel like he’s letting me know he’s still around, as extraordinary as always.

Sparky’s still my faithful companion.  I’m very aware of the fact that, without my dad, neither he nor I would exist.  Dad gave us both life and an invisible bond you can only see with magic.  Dad always was an amazing magician capable of producing remarkable things!

Sparky’s been my co-pilot on many a traveling adventure these past few months: in 10 weeks I’ve been to Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, and camping deep in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  And only ONE of those trips was actually planned ahead of time!  Oh, and I spontaneously bought a new sports coupe!!  I’m not sure if this travel bug and restlessness is a result of suddenly being an unburdened caregiver who’s enjoying newfound freedom or if I’ve been running and changing scenery so rapidly in order to help me deal with my loss and fill the void.  Either way, I’ve had many adventures along the way, one thrill after another in between the tears, and it’s reminded me that there is still such much for me to do and see in this life!  I’m living in the moment and know it’s something Daddy-O helped teach me.

After recently returning home from my last trip, I feel a little more grounded and am thinking I may stick around for a little while this time.  My spirits are typically high, my productivity is slowly returning, and my zest for life is strong.  I just have to get my focus back.  Absent-mindedness is a common symptom during the grieving process – and I’ve been flakey beyond belief!  These past few months, I double- and triple-book events, I forget entire conversations, one evening upon announcing I was leaving my best friend’s house, I was incredulously reminded that the whole purpose for our gathering was the dinner we hadn’t yet eaten!  Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, give yourself permission to be where you are, and believe that your friends and family love you and get it.

6 Responses to “July 27, 2010 – LEARNING TO FLY”

  1. Amanda Davis said

    Absentmindedness has certainly been a part of my grieving process for my Dad as well, glad to see I’m not alone in doing all those things that you listed, I’m also double booking things & totally spacing out on a bunch of stuff lately…LOL

    • Amanda ~

      Well aren’t we quite the pair of space cadet daughters! LOL

      Thought of you and your Dad Frank today while I was writing. I hope our dads have met each other on the other side. May they continue to watch over us and be delighted with lessons they can see we’ve clearly learned from them!

      XO! ~ J

  2. Hey Sweetie,
    We all grieve in our own way. If you can ‘hit the road’, great! Just think of all the wonderful things you will see. Don’t run, though; be there. Your pain is new. Flaky is allowed. Be careful, please.
    Love you, Aunt Mary

    • Even when dashing from destination to destination I am typically present. One night, while driving my new car through KY, I noticed MILLIONS of lightning bugs on the side of the expressway in the fields near the shoulder! The illuminated swarm must have continued along the expressway for 20 miles – it was ABSOLUTELY amazing!!! I said to my dad aloud, “I see you, Daddy-O! That’s a GREAT magic trick!!! I see it! It’s beautiful! THANK YOU!!” …and then I stopped shortly afterward and slept for the night, continuing my trip leisurely the next morning under a bright blue sunny sky. I’m going slow enough to be in the moment where ever I am, I promise! 😉

      XO ~ J

  3. Hello my darlin’ I find your insight & mental processing incredible. I KNOW you can’t intellectualize away the grieving process, there are
    the stages we all must go through, but for you to have such comprehension and awareness is just so wonderfull and healthy. (as you’re watching the moon I’m watching your star get brighter & brighter) Love you little lady!!

    • Thanks, Judy, for such kind words! XO

      Sometimes putting EVERYTHING I’m feeling out into cyberspace still seems a little risky (you’d think I’d be used to it by now!), so I’m glad it’s not just dribble. My original intention with this project still remains: to educate people on what one goes through after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. I truly appreciate you telling me that I’m sharing something worthwhile! That makes me believe that I’m still right on course!! 🙂

      ~ J

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