28 January 2012

NCCU Memories

I have to be honest---I had no idea who Sarah Burke is until two weeks ago.  Then I followed her story with interest, and a lot of sympathy and prayer.  When I'd read about her in the NCCU or hear about the doctors or the tests---I'd just cringe!  I really felt so sorry for her family.  I remember being there and hearing the same things.  I hope they will find a lot of comfort and peace through our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know the story of my Dad ended differently, but a lot of what I read they were going through is what we went through with my Dad, and what hundreds of families are going through every day.  It is amazingly painful!  I like being on this end, living life basically normally from day to day.  I really am so sorry for her family, and sorry her life was cut short by an accident.  So tragic.

I remember a few days after he arrived in the NCCU, a friend from one of my old neighborhoods showed up because her brother in-law had sustained serious brain stem damage in a really minor bike accident.  That good young man died in the NCCU a few days later and I just happened to be there with my Dad when he died.  I watched that family as they walked with their heavy feet out the doors and to a new life without this man they all loved so much.  It is hard. 

So random thoughts here today.  I have just been wanting to write something down about Sarah Burke, and my wishes for health and happiness for her family who must continue living without her.  God bless them all!

One of the not so fun parts

One of the not so fun parts of this TBI mess happened last night.  I went to the U of U RED ROCKS Gymnastics meet which was held about 1/3 of a mile from my parents house.  A straight shot up the street.  Afterward he gets this fantastic idea about walking home in the freezing cold weather alone.  So the answer is no.  No no no, no, no double no, uh-uh, not going to happen, I don't think so, NO!!!  But he tells me again and again he is going to do it.  We went down to the floor to see my little bro and his gymnast GF Lia Delp and say hello.  I turn my back for two seconds and John says "Liz-Dad's attempting the great escape."  So off I run to catch him and he must have wanted it bad because even I was praying he'd slow down on the stairs, I was having a hard time keeping after him.

So here I have this guy who can appear normal by accident and is actually doing so at this point, and all these people looking at me wondering why I am chasing a man who looks completely capable of walking home by himself.  Do I care about their looks?  No I don't.  Actually not at all. 

Poor Dad.  I don't want to know what it's like be him, but I know it has got to be frustrating.  Sorry Dad.  I believe you that you think you can find your way home but it's dark, it's freezing, it's late, you stumble, you fall, you get confused and lost and there is no one available to search the entire campus for you when you don't show up.

Lia after the meet.  She did GREAT!  Charity was star struck and said she needed her "very own picture with Lia"
So I just pray.  Pray for him, for people like him, for care takers.  When my Dad wants to do something I tell him to just do what my Mom says.  I don't really think he ever does, but that's really all there is to say.  If you say "okay you think you can do that, I want to watch you try," you will watch him try and it might get ugly and you might end up searching the U campus in 2 degree weather for a guy who slipped on the ice and is lying on his face.  When I do things with my Dad, I sincerely enjoy it.  While I'm enjoying it I gain all new sympathies for my Mom and for all caretakers! 

I really had to put this picture up, I got the biggest kick out of all these girls waiting for Lia to autograph their posters.  Lia is such a wonderful girl, she is a great role model for these little adoring fans she has!


25 January 2012

Love you Dad!

I miss you Dad!

The other night I couldn't sleep and so I decided to sit and think of things that I have enjoyed!  That was actually a really fun way to lie in bed all night.

So I got thinking of my wedding day and my husband, my children and all of their births, and then I had a lot of fun remembering my Dad.

I remembered this particular time I felt very bad about my mothering.  I had just had my second baby and I had thought I was doing a great job helping my oldest with the adjustment until she innocently told me otherwise.  I got a very nice phone call from my Dad and I don't remember the particulars of what he said anymore, but I do remember that he made me feel much better and turned my feelings from total devastation into those of a "can-do" attitude.

I remembered a time when we were out on the motorcycle that we rode around on all summer, and how we made the loop up through Emigration Canyon and around East Canyon into beautiful little towns that I really fell in love with.  I recall so many times on the back of that bike riding around and singing songs, probably looking like dorks but who cares.

I thought about how many times I lay around miserably sick and throwing up with my first pregnancy, and all the hours he spent on the phone with me.  I loved getting to know more about his day and talking about mine every day, and loved the distraction from my misery.

I also thought about my Mom's voice.  I remember the pain in her voice when she called me to let me know she was behind the ambulance on her way to the hospital where my Dad was either dying or dead in the ER.  "The tender mercies of the Lord are over all the earth" and it so happened that I was just a few miles away on an in-law trip to the zoo, and was able to leave right away and be there with my Mom almost as soon as she arrived.

Then thinking about my Dad lying there.  Which is when I said good-bye to him.  "Good-bye Dad!  I love you.  Thank you for being a marvelous and kind father to me."  But just good-bye to the Dad I have known all my life.  I wonder how long he will live, and I wonder if by the end of his life I will have known him longer as the dad I grew up with or the dad my children will grow up with.

Isn't part of life learning to just accept things as they are?  Admitting there is nothing to do but trust in God?  These circumstances, although I would not have wished for them, have really caused me to really cry out to God, to beg Him for help and to ask Him comfort.  You know what I found?  He was already sending it.  Already before I asked.

The week before the stroke, I was at his house with my two children and he called on his way home from work.  My kids wanted to see him get off the train so we hopped in the stroller and I walked them up there.  We waited....waited....waited....over an hour later he came.  They thought it was the best and I love my memory of him walking off the train, and also watching him wave from the window as the train came to a stop.  I actually was not too happy with the wait, but once he got there it was all worth it and is a great memory for me now.  I consider this to be a tender mercy of the Lord, and I know He provided us with the opportunity for this sweet memory.

I don't like or even love Dr Laura but some things she says  I think are great.  Such as: there is no such thing as closure.  She says what we call closure is actually just saying to yourself "This is how it is and now I have to figure out how to live with it."  I like that thought.  The best "closure" you can give yourself is to say "this is how it is.  Now I need to figure out living with this fact, while maintaining a happy lifestyle."

I miss my Dad.  I do!  Okay I am his daughter and I know he misses himself more and my Mom does too!  But I love that I get to spend lots of time each week with him, I love that he is around to talk to more, I love watching him play different games with my Dad.

When he was lying on the bed in the NCCU I told him I loved him, I told him I appreciated him.  But I believe in life after death.  I know there is a God and a heavenly plan for all of us.  I have so much comfort from the Savior and from the scriptures and living prophets.  So I told him he didn't need to stay here for me.  I told him I was okay with it if he needed to leave, that I wasn't holding him.  But here he is!  The other day he told me he knew he choose to stay here, but he didn't know why.  I told him I knew the same thing!

So if you're reading this and a loved one has a TBI or if you're reading this because you're my friend checking out my blog, thank you!  I pray for all of us to find the peace that passeth understanding from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  One of the many things I have loved from Sylvia Allredwhatever circumstances we are in.

PS I have a crying baby at present and therefore no time to proof read this so forgive any mistakes!

Catch up!

We have had a really good 2012 so far, and in my own opinion.  I  have had a lot of nice visits with my Dad, I am pretty sure he hasn't been mad at me once, and we have had a lot of fun singing show tunes and monster mashing on ice.  I am excited for this Friday when we don our UTES gear and go to a gymnastics meet together. (GO LIA!)

One of my favorite things I have seen my Dad do this year is shave.  Before I would take him out this one day, I told him he had to shave.  He sometimes refuses which, I think he does to look cool in front of my brothers, and so I often hold activities and donuts hostage over the shaving thing.

So this particular day I tell him he has to shave before we go out.  John came in and said "can you hear what Dad is in there singing?"  Yes, as a matter of fact I could hear him singing "The Ballad of Davey Crockett" with bouncy tune.  So John points out the new lyrics, and we all could not stop laughing. 

Born in the mountains of Tennessee,
He killed everyone that he could see!
He chopped down every wooden tree,
And crawled all around, when he was only three!

So he got the rhyming down, and sort of the idea of each line.  It was pretty funny.  The best part came when John added the punch line "And he's in there shaving with toothpaste."

I thought it was pretty funny to go in and see that he was indeed shaving with toothpaste, which was sitting right next to the shaving cream.

Great Art Work!

A while ago we had a very fun art day.  My Mom drew this picture of my Dad.  When he saw it, he said it was "probably the best" drawing of him he'd ever seen.

This was the piece produced by his genius: