About a week ago my brother sent me an email and in the subject it said, "In Case You Need a Good Cry". I should have known at that moment that I was going to be in for a rough few minutes. Number 1, because he never sends me emails, and number 2, the subject basically told me I was going to cry.
I opened the email and saw that it was a .wav file and knew instantly that it had to have been a recorded message from my dad. Yet I couldn't push play fast enough. See, I miss hearing my dad's voice so much!!! He always had such a strong, deep and loud voice and I have realized that since he's been gone, that I really miss hearing it soo much. Sometimes I google news videos of him online just to hear him talk (I know it's strange).
What I wasn't prepared for, was that it wasn't that strong voice that I loved to hear. It was him talking to my brother Tom right before he passed away. It wasn't that deep, strong, commanding voice. It was a tired, winded, and sick voice. At that moment I would have done anything for him to be yelling at me, to be lecturing me... anything other than sounding sick and the way that he did.
I listened to my dad tell my brother how proud he was of him, and that everything was going to be okay, and that he wasn't going to be in any pain and not to worry about him anymore.
And through my sadness, sobbing, sniffling, and my tears... I am ashamed that I thought of myself. I thought about how my dad always told me how proud he was of his students, and their children, he was so proud of my brothers and their accomplishments because they all have done well for themselves. But I cannot ever remember my dad telling me that he was proud of me.
My whole life, all I wanted was to be just like my dad. (Those were pretty big shoes to fill. I was kind of screwed from the start) I pretty much thought that the world revolved around him. As much as he made me mad and I rebelled, I still was always the first one outside to help him with anything he may need. I am sure he thought it was obnoxious but I would do anything to be near him and to just have him show me how to do things. I am extremely thankful for that because he really did teach me to be independent and to not have to depend on anyone to do anything for me. I can change and rotate my own tires, I can change my oil, I vaccinate all my own animals, I'm not afraid to pull dead squirrels out of traps with my bare hands, I can shoot a gun, I can rope a dummy calf (not well), I can drive and back a trailer like a champ, etc...
I honestly think I would have followed in his footsteps of law enforcement if he hadn't told me since I was little that he would break both of my legs if I did. But I had always loved my criminal justice classes, and was always fascinated by all of the stories he told. I couldn't get enough.
Instead I fell in to a really good job at 18, stopped going to community college and stayed at that company until after I was married and left to have kids. My dad was always disappointed that I didn't get an education.
Now, I know that my dad was proud of my kids and proud that I was a mother but I mean, I didn't really do anything... It wasn't like I went to years of school and some long grueling academy to test for a job and get the last spot out of 500 applicants. I had two children and that was my life. I was happy. That was what I was meant to do. I know that my parent's wish that I had an education to fall back on (and now I know why... I didn't intend on divorcing and having to find a job or needing an education to fall back on).
Even though I cannot remember my dad ever saying that he was proud of me, he told me he loved me all the time and he did tell me quite a few times that he knew that he would never have to worry about me. He knew that I would always do the right thing, stand up for that right thing, and that I would always be there to take care of my family or anyone who needed it. I am going to take this as a version of him being proud of me and move on. Time to stop letting it eat at me.
I am not even sure why I am writing about this... but listening to his message to Tom just really brought up some old sad selfish feelings that I guess I have. Not being enough.
Which is very funny because I have never cared what people think of me (besides my family obviously) a trait that I inherited from my dad. A trait that I have always really been proud of. I can have a friend of 20 years and if they wrong me, I will walk away and never look back. Some may think that is dumb and stubborn, but it's the way I am and it's suited me well. I've always been a no- nonsense, don't take any shit kind of person.
Well after my dad passed away and I got a divorce, I started to soften. Started to think that I needed to be a softer kind of person. A lot of it was for my benefit... I had become an angry uptight person the few years prior to my divorce, so becoming a happier light hearted person was definitely a good thing.
Now this past year I noticed that I had started to change again. This time, not for the best. I started to become someone else. I started to let things eat at me, bother me and make me act in ways that I wouldn't normally. I was no longer being the bigger person and taking the high road. Tony had always said that he loved that I was such a confident person and I had started to lose that. 2015 had not bring out the best in me.
I guess the purpose of this whole giant story is that I am glad 2015 is over because I am starting over fresh. I am going to try to remind myself to be the person I try to teach my kids to be. Time to put my big girl panties back on and time to bring back the real me. One that my dad would be proud of.