Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

My first father's day without my father...

What a freaking weird statement to say, it just doesn't feel real. I can simply close my eyes and see him smiling at me and know that where ever his spirit is, he is watching over me. I know that he has been with me lately as I work through some big life changes within myself, learning about myself. This probably won't ever get any easier, but I will just keep trying.

Miss him so SO much.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cancer Changes You

I have finally gotten to the point in my grieving process that I can reflect on my journey and on my successes, and one big thing that comes from this clarity is that I can be honest with myself about my belief system--- because it has changed immensely. I can now own my new beliefs and be confident in the why's and how's and be happy with where I am and who I am now.

About a year before Daddy was diagnosed, I went through some crazy shit in my life that almost ruined me, this is when I first started doubting God and the faith I had been raised with. Before then, I was raised Roman Catholic and went to church every week with my mother and brother. So when Daddy was diagnosed, I already had doubts--- they just became more real. Now I believe in the rotation of the earth, and the ever changing state of life. Nothing else is permanent in this life, anything can change at any point in time, it doesn't matter what you think or how hard you want to believe in something, it can literally change and become something completely different at any point. I believe in second chances, and in forgiveness when it is deserved. I believe in the trying to take advantage of every second of life, of being present in each passing moment, never letting a second go by without being thankful for this life. I breathe in and out and I wake up in the morning, and I know that there is meaning to this life, whenever I find what exactly my meaning is... but no rush, I am determined to enjoy the ride. I believe in doing no harm to others, in lifting up people in need---even a stranger on the street. Nothing is more important in life than making others happy, but without forgetting to make yourself happy. At the end of the day, we are all going to leave this earth, and I don't want to have any regrets, I don't want to have any experiences passed by or chances not taken. Gambling on new experiences can have consequences, but I would much rather deal with the consequences than the regret of not trying to begin with. I want to be old and in my rocking chair and be able to say that I lived my life to the fullest I could with the cards I was dealt. I believe too many people go through life trying to make some perfect life, live up to some standard, when none of that matters... the only thing that matters is being able to do the things that make you smile. Life is unfair, the fact that cancer exists is a reiteration of this fact. No point in being angry at it, it is what it is, sure a cure might be in our species future, and it might not, deal with all the struggles that life throws at you head on---show life no mercy---it's yours to make, not the other way around.

Don't count the days, make the days count.

My Daddy taught me this, he didn't start living it until he was sick, but his battle showed me that you can't wait until it's too late, you have to live by this every day--- or you will find yourself grabbing for it, too little too late. I can't bring him back, but I promise that I will live by this, live through this, live in the moment, every second of every day. Until I get to join him in whatever afterlife there may be, and if/when I do, I will be able to hug him, say thank you, and honestly tell him that I did it, I survived, I conquered, I lived.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Numb lately

It's been ever increasing, this sense of no senses... Numb. Lately the only things I can feel are when I am in physical pain or when I am hungry or tired... No other emotions, unless someone happens to make me laugh. I can only imagine it's this never ending process of grief changing who I am again. It seems like every time I get through one hurdle and adapt, another one comes along ... It's scary to say but I am actually rethinking a lot about my life now because I'm not the same person I was almost 3 years ago when Daddy was diagnosed, I'm not even the same person I was 8 months ago when he died, I'm learning to know this new person, but I wish I had the opportunity and the freedom to truly explore her the way I'd like to... To escape from life for a while, spread my wings and learn to fly on my own once again, just to know that I'm strong enough to do so, to just breathe.

I actually wrote my first poem in over a year today, think I'll post it here tomorrow though, if you follow me on Facebook you will find it there :)

Be well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life has changed

Seems ridiculous to say, but after 8 months without my father I actually feel stronger today than I ever have before. My mother and brother are still working out their kinks of how to survive without him, but me, I'm okay. I really am, I get it now, I know how I want to live my life and whatever comes from that is just fine by me... Because I will know that I have lived it to my fullest. My Daddy tried not to comment on the things he wished he could've done before he got sick, but when he would, I just made mental notes to myself, to remind me to reevaluate my life values when ever I felt comfortable enough to own them... And now I think I am. I know that I never want to have regrets, I never want to have a chance I didn't take, I never want to pass up an experience that could be incredible. If that means negative repurcussions than so be it, that's the way of the world, but I will be happy and know that I lived as much as I possibly could. I need to travel, that takes $$$, but maybe one day I'll be able to... I want to see the world and meet new people and grab life. I don't want to just walk through life anymore, I want to experience it, truly experience it. Watching my father whither away at the age of 56 was just so incredibly awful, and I survived that right? There's no way I can't survive anything else life throws at me. Just my rant for today... I could go on for hours but I won't lol.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

haven't written in months....

I apologize to any readers who have been disappointed that I have not written since Valentine's Day. I have been trying really hard to keep myself busy and pushing forward over the past 8 months. Today I felt the need to blog in order to get through this day. I have felt my father's presence a lot lately, encouraging me and guiding me, letting me know that I am making the right choices for myself, no matter what others may think. I can see him in my dreams and feel him in my heart---sometimes weighing it down and sometimes lifting it up. I am just so baffled today, but how I ever made it this far. I honestly have no idea where the strength has been coming from, I still doubt myself every day, I know that at any point my knees could buckle under me and I could fall to the ground in complete pain and sadness. Somehow I have managed to wake up, work, workout, sleep, repeat... sometimes with some fun and relaxation included too which is a miracle at times... I'm amazed. Then there are other days, like today, where I could feel the sadness that the 27th of the month brings, since mid last week, where other months it's just a thought when I see the date. Today it's much more, and I just keep telling myself that if I can get through the day, and get to my pillow, that everything will be alright.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Day

Daddy never did much for Valentine's Day, maybe he would buy Momma her favorite chocolates, and sometimes even a new book. But as long as I knew him, he never went over the top for the holiday. Anyways, I decided it had been too long since I had gone to see him... then I realized I hadn't been to see him since Christmas... so I hadn't been there this year at all, what the hell is wrong with me. How could I possibly do that? I don't know, but I felt horrible. Ken and I got him a small balloon and some roses to stick into the snow, the snow that the church had not bothered to clear, and mine were the only footsteps in it... no one had been to the cemetary at all since the snow... how awful a thought. I climbed through the snow to Daddy's spot on the columbarium, and the wreath that someone (not sure who) had sent for Christmas was there, along with the bells and flowers we had brought for Christmas. All completely dead, all still there... what the heck. I vowed then and there that I would never let this much time go by ever again.

Then I realized if Ken and I get our way with what we want our future to look like at the end of this year, it would be even longer periods of time before I got to see Daddy... this thought makes my stomach churn. His spot in the columbarium doesn't even have his name on it yet (nameplates are only made and placed in the spring and summer time for whatever reason..dumb) and I'm the only person that had been to see him in 2 months time... who will come see him if I don't live here anymore? I can't think about that now, but I just had to write it out and get it out of my head for the time being.

It's been a rough couple of days over this, hopefully the week gets better.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I haven't been able to visit him lately... It is so hard to stare at the spot on the columbarium where I know his ashes (and a piece of Yankee stadium) are, when there is no marker. After the funeral and the wedding, we just didn't have to money to pay for the plaque with his name and days of birth and death. So I just stare at the gray marble... and talk to my Daddy.

He hasn't met Gibbs yet, but I know he would have loved him... such an energetic puppy, I wish Gibbs could have brought him some added happiness at the end of his life.

Just a lot that has been going on with my family and I, things at my mother's house aren't getting any better because my brother refuses to act on...well, anything. I have started to draw my lines with the situation, because let's face it... I'm married now, I might not have kids, but I'm married now. MY home should my first priority, I can't run two households, but my brother won't lift a finger.

Ken and I are planning to move into my grandfather's house in Florida as soon as possible. I know that my mother is absolutely terrified of being alone with Brian, but maybe this is just what they needed to finally force them into some kind of action to make their situation better for one another... I mean, they have to live together!!!

Other than that, not much has changed in these past months, there are still situations every day that I say, " I wish I could call Daddy and ask him/tell him about this." It is still every day that I start to dial his phone number to talk to him.. going from talking to someone 5 or more times a day, to never... let alone everything else that comes with a death. I am still in awe of others who have lived through this before me, in absolute awe.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Monday's usually suck as it is, but this Monday (even though I will be in FL), will suck even more.
Why is that? ... it will mark 4 months.

4 whole months.

I don't even know how so much time has passed, it feels like I blinked... yet every time I truly do blink, I can see my father's smiling face. I can literally hear his voice without even concentrating. I pray that this never changes... my mother has yet to cancel his phone line because we want to be able to call his voicemail and hear "Hi this is Gregory Lehnert, I am not able to answer the phone right now, please leave a message and I will get back to you." I can't explain why, it is just comforting.

4 months.

I've never been away from either of my parents for that long, ever.
This just isn't getting any easier, and I can't fathom how people find people find true happiness after a piece of their being dies, gone forever.

This weekend I will be on my mini honeymoon with my wonderful husband, a much needed distraction and vacation. I just wish I could say that the happiness I'll experience this weekend will continue when I return.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I don't know

I don't know how I'm ever going to be truly "okay" again, when everything I see and do makes me think of my Daddy. Literally, everything. My brother the other day brought home Daddy's favorite donuts and it wasn't until he got home that he remembered he isn't here anymore, just habit I guess but wow... I feel like no matter how much time goes by, I'm really never going to be okay with any of this.

Its' not okay that the doctors didn't find the cancer until it was too late, when now we know his previous signs should have been further investigated.

It's not okay that the first surgeons said surgery was impossible.

It's not okay that Daddy had to endure all of that pain, what did he ever do to deserve that?

It's not okay that my mom is left alone to deal with never ending bills and heartache from my brother.

It's not okay that my father didn't get to see me on my wedding day.

None of this is okay.

None of it, so how can I ever be at peace with it all?

I just can't comprehend how the past almost 4 months have even happened, like, what were we even doing? I must have an autopilot switch that I know nothing about. I honestly just can't understand what I;m supposed to do, when everywhere I turn is a reminder. I don't try to think about him, I just do, it cannot be stopped.

I can only pray that my future will be easier, because I really don't think I could handle anymore heartbreak. I don't think my mother or brother could either.

I've been listening to this song a lot lately, it's from one of my favorite bands from growing up, the Ataris.
This song is just so perfect, The Hero Dies in This One.

As I leave here today, apartment 108
I'll always keep you in my heart.
Anderson is cold tonight,
The leaves are scattered on the ground.
I miss the seasons,
And the comfort of your smile.

Sometimes this all feels like a dream.
I'm waiting for someone to just wake me up,
From this life.

As I look out at these fairgrounds,
I remember how our family split apart.
I don't think I ever told you,
But I know you always did your best.
And the hard times,
They only made us stronger.

As I sit here all alone,
I wonder how I'm suppose to carry on when you're gone.
I'll never be the same without you, 
I love you more then you will ever know.
So maybe now you finally know.
Sometimes we're helpless and alone,
But you can let it keep you weighted down.
You must go on.

Do you ever feel like crying?
Do you ever feel like giving up?
I raise my hands up towards the sky,
I say this prayer for you tonight,
Because nothing is impossible.

As I sit here all alone,
I wonder how I'm suppose to carry on when you're gone.
I'll never be the same without you, 
I love you more then you will ever know.
So maybe now you finally know.
Sometimes we're helpless and alone,
But you can let it keep you weighted down.
You must go on.

(The hardest part isn't finding what we need to be, it's being content with who we are.)

Stay who you are.
You must go on.
Stay who you are. [x4]

It's so hard to stay true to myself, when half of who made me isn't on this earth any longer.
The last day of my honeymoon is the 27th of this month, it will mark 4 months since he has been gone, it just leaves me at a loss for words for the emotions I experience each day.

"So maybe now you finally know"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Writing before I forget

I am writing this before I forget. I just woke up from a dream and I don't want to miss any of the details.

I was at some hospital visiting someone, not really sure who, but I was with my mom. I got up to go to the bathroom and walked by an open curtain and saw this tuft of gray oily hair and a big bald spot.... It looked like Daddys hair... I walked around to get a look, it was him. Asleep. I shook him awake and he saw me and extended his arms to greet me. He had bandages on his back like after his spinal surgery or his battle with shingles, I couldn't tell. I was in disbelief, I just kept asking him how could this be how could this be. He said that Uncle Steve came to get him and bring him home, and so he did. Then I looked over and my uncle was in the bed right next to Daddy, but someone had moved their beds so they were touching, and uncle Steve was leaning on Daddys shoulder, passed out from all of that work.. getting up to Heaven and bringing him back... Then I just couldn't stop bugging and kissing my father, as I went up and down his arm with kisses, all of his scars and bruises that were present when he died were there, I can't believe I can remember where  all of his bruises were... Then I went into a panic to get ahold of my mom, but I didn't want to walk away from Daddy. I called her and told her to come quick I had a huge surprise, she said she had just gotten to her car to go and get us something to eat, she kept making excuses as to not come inside so I just yelled, Daddys Alive!!!!! Come quick!!!!

Then I woke up... :-/

Monday, January 6, 2014

Harry Potter

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have quite the obsession with Harry Potter.

Not only have I been attached to the books since elementary school, but the movies allow me to escape into magic whenever I desire... which is, a lot.

It's not just some nerdy, quirky, thing for me. Harry Potter is a true escape from this world. While my mom was sick, and then while my Daddy was sick, I literally would watch a different HP movie almost every night to fall asleep. It's comforting, it's relaxing, it allows me to dream and wonder while I otherwise could not.

I have always found it hard to sleep at night, but while Daddy fought so valiantly against kidney cancer, I found it even harder because I would lie there wondering what he was thinking about, what he was watching on Netflix, if his chemo had worked this round, if his side effects were too much to bare. Putting on a HP would envelope my psyche and all the thoughts with it and take me into the fantasy world... where there is no cancer, and even if there was, I'm sure there's a spell that Madam Pomphrey knows, or a potion she could whip up to make it go away... for good. The sense of escape and comfort does not exist in our reality, because evils like cancer do exist. I would rather face Lord Voldemort than face cancer ever again...

This all probably sounds ridiculous to you all, but it's true for me.

I cannot, literally cannot, wait to visit Harry Potter world at Universal Studios again.
What an adventure, guilt free, pain free, stress free, worry free.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Haven't written in a while

The holidays weren't as hard as I thought they were going to be. That might sound awful, but let me explain. I thought we were going to be sitting around, holding back tears and not ever getting into the Christmas spirit. I was wrong, my husband, brother, mother and I all went above and beyond for our presents to one another. I have never had so much fun watching my mother open presents before. I got her a tablet computer like she has been asking for for almost a year, and tickets to a Christmas Tea, and an album of Ken and I's wedding. I enjoyed Christmas so much this year. Yes, I found a couple of nights that I couldn't sleep, that I found myself just sitting up and thinking of Daddy... But I just think of it as his way of comforting me. We used to always sit up together at night , I'd sit right next to his hospital bed in the living room, and we would find random things on Netflix to watch... Eventually you'd find something so uninteresting that you'd fall asleep. We would eat italian ice and just laugh at how awful some of the tv shows were. So me sitting up at night now, I know he is around, and just wants to spend some time with me. I did miss seeing him in his Bah Hum Bug shirt this year tho...

I literally think about him every single day.

I find myself still talking about him in the present tense.

I hope neither of those things will ever change. <3