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Taking Steps

I haven’t been able to write since my dad died.  There are many reasons I’m sure.  Some of them I’ve used…Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s (his birthday), my promotion at work, travel, and on and on.

But the big one, the one I haven’t been admitting is that when my pencil starts scratching across the paper, my emotions and thoughts come streaming out.  As you might have guessed, I’m still hanging out on the corner of Shock and Denial, unwilling and unable to step into the place where my life goes on without my dad.

I’ve seen glimpses of it as I’ve made a few attempts to face the reality of it all, but the searing pain in my heart brought me to my knees and back inside the safe, numb place I’ve created in DenialLand.

So, here I am, two months after saying goodbye to him, I think I might be ready to deal with it.  (a sentence bursting with confidence, right?)  I’m thinking, I’ve got the time and the space to handle the pain.  I know I’ve got to do it sometime…Because, although I miss him greatly, I miss me too.  I miss my writing, I miss feeling connected to my heart and to the world.  My life wasn’t meant to be lived NUMB.

I’m not sure how to do it.  Heck, if I knew that I could write a book about it and never have to work again.  But this is my first step.  Waking up early on Sunday morning to write my blog.  Showing up with pencil and paper – taking the first step.

The next step, I’m going to write to all the people who’ve contacted me with their words, sharing their experiences with my dad, sending me their support and love.  I’m going to try to tell them all how much their words have meant to me, how much hearing from them has helped.

If there is a silver lining or an upside, that has to be it…reconnecting with friends from the past, family members, people who knew and loved my dad that I never even knew.  I’ve heard from former students of his, sharing with me how important he was to them, what an impact he’d had on their lives.  I’ve heard from old family friends who probably kept in touch with mom and dad, but who I haven’t connected with since I was a kid.  And the memories their words have brought back to me are so precious.

After that, I’m going to try to get back to my own writing.  The novel I was working on when he died hasn’t been touched.  He kept asking me to read what I had written, but I kept putting him off, waiting for perfection.  I’m not sure it would have been his kind of book, but I wish I would have let him read what I have so far because some of it is great and much of it is fun.

But I’m not going to get to all of this today.  It’s Sunday, a day we spend with family, a tradition my dad and mom started when I was a kid.  I’ll make soup for the week, we’ll take the dog for a walk on the river road, and then tonight we’ll sit down on the couch and watch a movie together.  My dad always made popcorn on Sunday nights at home.  I promise this blog and my life aren’t going to turn into a continuous rant about my dad, but it feels good to be writing again, to be out here taking the steps.

See you next Sunday.  Jana

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