Over the last 25 years I’ve been to hundreds of doctors offices for myself, Rick and my boys. We’ve been to a handful of different hospitals and surgical centers. I’ve filled out more paperwork and questionnaires and family history forms than I could even possibly count. There’s all of those questions about your health and then the family history health - does your dad or mom have any of these things. I’ve always been fine to fill all of that information out, though it gets so long and tedious.
Today I went to a new doctors office - a specialist office to help with some internal bleeding I’ve had going on for a very long time. They said get there 15 minutes early to fill out stuff. I got through some of the questions and had to have a signature from the receptionist so I took the tablet up and she signed and said you’re really close to being done. Um, up pops 1 of 99 questions. . .and that’s close??? I’m quickly answering all of these questions. All of my health history - yikes, that takes forever. List all of your surgeries and dates - I think I need to create something on my phone that has all of that and then a list of all of my medications, because it takes FOREVER to list all of that out. Honestly, going through all of this gets me super discouraged and I think will I ever be better. I’m trying, but sometimes these things make me feel hopeless.
So, I’m sitting there, answering these questions, feeling super anxious about this appointment, feeling hopeless about myself and just feeling like am I ever going to get better and then up pops a question I’ve NEVER seen in my life. I went to skim over it quickly and answer it so I didn’t take an hour filling out these 99 questions, but I just had to stop when I read it.
IS YOUR DAD ALIVE?
WHAT???? Why are they asking this? I literally had to pause, I went to say yes, but then I had to say no. Tears filled my eyes as I sat there in the waiting room at this doctor’s office. This was more painful than all of the pain I was feeling for myself. I finally brought myself to say NO. I’m literally crying as I type this - No, no he’s not alive. Then I have to click to the next screen and they ask what did he die from. Well, covid, but then there’s the internal bleeding that got worse after his Covid Vaccine and then there’s the crohns disease that he battled for so long. Um, I’m here for a doctor’s appointment because I have internal bleeding and I had a colonoscopy last year to see if I had crohns. It was all very painful. I was super grateful that the next question was is your mom alive and I could say YES!!!!
As I’ve reflected on this question - Is My Dad Alive I’ve had so many different thoughts.
One of the last things that my dad asked Rick to do before he got sick was to list and sell the bobcat that my grandpa and my dad had for years with their business. Rick’s been working with my grandpa to sell it for several months and yesterday Rick went to my grandpa’s to finalize the sale of it. Rick sent me a picture of my grandpa helping load things and while I was at work I just started to cry. I had so many visions of my dad driving that bobcat. A piece of my dad - gone!!! I wasn’t anticipating the tears and the sadness, but it just hit.
Then the other day I had a friend from childhood, that I’ve not communicated with for over 10 years until this last week, tell me that they thought about reaching out when my dad passed away. I messaged back and said it was fine that they didn’t, because I was super disconnected. I had a difficult time connecting with anyone. I just needed space and time to myself. Even when I was with people I wasn’t really there.
It’s taken me a long time to accept that my dad is gone. He’s gone. He died. He was only 71 years old. I didn’t remotely have it on my radar that I would lose my dad last year. As I told people, yep, this wasn’t something that was on my calendar and honestly never wanted to write it on my calendar. I didn’t want a date that I lost my dad.
Today I’ve pondered this question even more deeply. I’ve cried over this question. Is my dad alive? He’s not here to hug. I can’t hear his voice. I can’t go over to his house and play Acquire with him. I can’t call him for advice. My boys can’t go over and ask him for help on their homework. My boys can’t go over and sit and watch TV with him. He can’t be here for priesthood ordinations or priesthood blessings. Rick and him can’t talk about what’s going to be sold next or what’s the next plan. The list goes on and on what we can’t do anymore. I feel it all too often, but. . .
I’ve felt his guidance. I’ve heard him through my wind chimes. I can look at videos and pictures of him and remember things he’s taught me. He lives such a life of service and he lives on in so many things that he did. He’s taught all of us about the gospel, we know his testimony, we know he didn’t fear death because of his testimony, we have so many of his writings and memories. We have his example to live like he did. He built a home and yard that brings us all together so often. He and my mom have built traditions that my mom has continued with.
So, despite the pain and sadness and the things that we can’t have, I feel him and I know he still lives, just in a different way. His legacy lives on through all of us. He’s not forgotten us and we’ve not forgotten him.
As I said in my talk at his funeral it’s not goodbye, it’s just until we see each other again. And until then I’ll live like my dad did and keep his memories and how he lived to be alive.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity