Sunday, May 13, 2012

Reflections on My Father From A to Z

When I embarked upon my first A to Z Challenge last year, I was expecting to just randomly post things that reflected who I was. Instead, it quickly turned into a way for me to deal with my father - his illnesses and his eventual death. He fell ill in the middle of April. My posts continued into May, ending, I believe, with P is for Peaceful Passing. Writing about what was happening was one way for me to deal with the inexplicable pain of the long goodbye.

This year's challenge began in time for an anniversary. To me, I started to lose my dad on April 14th when he went into the hospital. My gut told me it was the end, though I hoped for a better outcome.

[And rabbit trail here - it feels wrong to say a better outcome. It's a selfish thought. The right outcome happened. When he finally passed away, he was finally free of all pain and problems. We are the ones who wanted to keep him here, which wasn't right for him.]

Anyway, April 14th felt more like the real anniversary of losing my father. I have no idea how I will respond on June 2nd, the anniversary of when he finally slipped away from this world to enter the next one.

So, for this year's challenge, I decided to honor my parents. I blogged about my father from A to Z here, and about my mother from A to Z over on How to Laugh at Alzheimer's. It was a freeing, yet difficult task to accomplish.

I started plotting out the alphabet about my father back in about February. I felt stuck on so many of the letters, but had faith the right words would come when it was time. It felt freeing to share so many of my memories. As that anniversary approached, though, my writing voice disappeared for a little while. Part of it was I was really sick over Spring Break. Another part of it was simply having the weight of that first year being lifted off of me. I am the kind of person who has to mark anniversaries. I need to get through that first year and then I have some semblance of closure from the loss. Once I felt that initial closure, I didn't quite feel the need to purge as much.

I did make an effort to catch up, though. I did complete posts through the rest of the alphabet in time for the end of the challenge at 11:59 p.m. on April 30th. Now I am just a little late on posting my reflections.

I found myself using topics that were not on my original list. Some of them weren't as good as I had originally hoped they would be. But, they are off the cuff and honest and unedited. Pure, raw emotional responses to a word beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet. Now, a couple of weeks later, I find myself saying, "Oh yeah! I was going to talk about thus and such!" I realize I can still do that. I will probably blog about my Daddy memories for years to come. I will never fill that void that is left inside of me and will never stop missing him.

Will I do this challenge again next year? Yes. This blog is my everything blog. Anything goes here. I write about all kinds of thoughts and ideas. I just have no idea what the alphabet will bring me next year.

Here is the list of posts that I did this year about my dad. Following this list are the posts from last year's challenge, as well.

A is for Artist
B is for Books
C is for Cooking
D is for Daddy
E is for Ev'ry Mountain
F is for Farts
G is for Gardening
H is for Heart and Hugs
I is for Insert Intelligent Sarcasm Here
J is for Jail
K is for Kids
L is for Laughing
M is for Manly Man
N is for Naughty
O is for Opinionated
P is for Pride
Q is for Quiet
R is for Richard
S is for Siblings
T is for Tickling
U is for Unique Bedtime Routine
V is for Vicar of Dibley
W is for Watch
X is for Xenial
Y is for Young
Z is for Zappy

The 2011 Challenge:

A is for...
B is for...
C is for Candida
C is for Cookie
D is for David and Dylan
E is for Eddie
F is for Fiona
G is for Grover
H is for Hiking
I Am Mine
J is for Juggling
K is for Kindness and Karma

L is for Love and Loss
M is for Meetings and Memories
N is for Numb
O is for Options
P is for Peaceful Passing
Q is for Questions

1 comment:

  1. i will keep you in my thoughts as the next anniversary comes--wonderful post