Tuesday, May 29, 2018

More random Dad photos

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot - spiriting to the finish:
So much drama!!
Free pie!
Dinner at Eryn's:
Tuba Christmas:
Holiday Half (5K for Dad):
Super Bowl - Go Seahawks!
Chinese dinner:
Selfie fun:
Biking to Target for Girls on the Run donations:
Hiking after Grandma's death:
Wilderness therapy:
Crown Point:
Not ready:
That's better:
Coaching THS JV 2 with Mom. He's on first:
Cheering on Eryn's first half marathon:
Bridge Pedal:
Dad loved to ride bikes:
Atop the Marquam Bridge:
Canby's Dalia Festival races:
One of Mom's favorite pics:
THS football!
Ice cream!
Football playoffs:
Al's holiday preview:
Love that smile:
Miss you, Daddy!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Am I angry?

"Are you angry?"

My therapist recently posed the question.

I feel a million emotions:

Sad? Yes.
Confused? Yes.
Hurt? Yes.
Overwhelmed? Yes.
Numb? Yes.
Guilty? Yes.
Disbelief? Yes.

But anger isn't really in there.

At some point in the journey, perhaps I will be angry. But my father's actions were desperate and caused by his illness. I know he would never purposely do anything to hurt me - it wasn't in his nature.

OK, maybe I'm angry at the situation - that my family has to endure this tragedy. But I'm definitely not mad at my dad.
Dad was gentle and kind and loving, and he would do anything to protect me, Eryn, Mom, Brad, and everyone else in our family. He was fiercely devoted - to family, to band students, to co-workers, to his church, to families he served through wood ministry, to friends, etc, etc, etc!

My dad was amazing. He was emotional and caring and compassionate. He cried when kitties died. He cried when he took me to see Father of the Bride - when I was 12 years old!!! He took great interest in the small details around him - budding relationships at church (Natalie and Nolan!), students who were succeeding, students who were falling through the cracks and needed love and attention. He was eager to help anyone who needed it - with small things and with big things.

Sometimes his illness got in the way and made things less than pleasant, but the rest of the time, he was the best. Seriously.

Dad dropped out of college when he married Mom and then had me just 9 months later. I've always been awed by the things he did, the jobs he took, the sacrifices he made to take care of his young family. He never felt that he was too good to take hard, dirty jobs. He stepped up and did what he needed to do.

One thing that stands out is delivering telephone books. Remember telephone books? Back before Google?

Companies paid people to drive around town and deliver the giant books. They offered more money to drivers who could find the country addresses that others missed or to handle more difficult properties with dogs and such. Dad seemed to enjoy the challenge and took these higher-paying routes. The extra money helped fund Christmas celebrations at our house.

Eryn and I went with Dad at least a few times when we were kids, and I remember how he would pick up a bundle of phone books and crack it over his knee to bust open the plastic packaging. I thought he was the strongest man in the world.

Raised in a conservative home, Dad found his progressive side after moving to Oregon. That came with a passion for justice and a definite feeling of right and wrong.

One quick example: Dad and I ran a race together last year that was a bit alcohol focused. During the awards ceremony, the guy with the microphone made a joke about giving the booze prize to a child in the group. That really offended Dad, because it's not funny to joke about alcohol and 6 year olds. He wasn't about to let that joke pass, and he said something. I was embarrassed, but now I look back and am proud that he cared and wanted to protect that little girl and the other children in the group.
That passion for justice made him a wonderfully compassionate person. It also meant that the world's injustices weighed heavily on him, and that apparently contributed greatly to his depression. Mom says the past year was especially difficult with the Trump administration (and all his followers, especially "evangelicals"), our church's ugly split over LGBTQ+ issues, and people close to us making poor choices that harmed other people.

It was especially hard for Dad to see friends and family end up on the other side of issues about which he felt so strongly - issues central to his faith and belief system. He frequently went off social media because it was too hard to see.

I feel a little guilt because if I had known how much all this was affecting him, I wouldn't have discussed so much of the hard stuff with him and in front of him. Just the week before his death, the family video chatted (because HE accidentally butt dialed the group!!) about some hard stuff that was going on around us. I regret now dwelling on that and including him in the hashing. I wonder how much that conversation contributed to his over focusing and final, fatal downward spiral.
So maybe I will say I'm angry about that stuff. I'm certainly not going to blame anyone for my dad's death. But if I'm being honest, there are people in our lives who contributed to Dad's depression. There are definitely people who behaved in ways that are unjust and unfair and unkind. I do harbor some bad feelings toward that, and perhaps that's something I need to work through.

Nos. 5 - 17

My fairly normal life took a massive turn on Feb. 12 when my dad died. I've been reading, but I haven't been posting. I post these, not because I'm a book reviewer who wants to share my opinion with everyone, but because I'm competitive and want to see how many books I can read in one year.

Also, I refer often to my list to make sure I don't duplicate. When you read several prolific authors, it's hard to remember which titles you've already read.

No. 5 was David Baldacci's End Game on audiobook:
No. 6 was Tony Hillerman's A Thief of Time, a gift from my THS Secret Santa:
No. 7 - Another One Bites the Crust by Ellie Alexander:
No. 8 - Cat and Mouse by James Patterson:
No. 9 was Michael Connelly's The Late Show, consumed while roadtripping with Brad across southern California for Spring Break:
No. 10 - James Patterson's Black Friday:
No. 11 - Michael Connelly's Two Kinds of Truth on audiobook:
No. 12 - All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, on audiobook:
No. 13 - Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me on audiobook:
No. 14 - The End of Night by Paul Bogard:
No. 15 - Phoebe Robinson's You can't Touch my Hair on audiobook:
No. 16 - Joshua Davis's Spare Parts on audiobook:
No. 17 - James Patterson's Double Cross: