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I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Year Later

My Dad always said that time goes by very quickly especially as you get older. I remember as a kid time not going by fast enough. Looking at the clock waiting for him to get home, a time when an hour felt like a year. Now a year feels like an hour. 

People told me that time would heal things and that a year would bring closure. Closure? I don't want closure. This is not something one would ever have closure over.  I want to remember. I want to have my heart swell when I think of him and not hurt so goddamn much.

See my Dad? He's not the kind of guy one would ever forget. He was everyone's best friend or buddy. Everyone Dad introduced us to was either, "My friend or my buddy." The close ones were always "Uncle" (It was always, "Uncle Warren", "Uncle John", "Uncle Tom" with his best buds.) That's just the way he was. A smile on his face. A glimmer in his eye and a song on the radio. He loved everyone and was loved by everyone (if you didn't love him or he didn't love you, you were clearly an asshole. Trust me on this one.)

It was devastating to get that call. I was in shock for quite a few months over it. I couldn't get the image of my Dad sitting alone in a rocking chair out of my head. I hate to say that I am grateful that he was at home when it happened but I am. He would have been pissed if it had happened and he was in the car on the way to work. At home, in his favorite chair with the television full blast (that's always how he had it with either the TV or the radio), yeah, I think that's how he would have wanted it. We all know it was too soon. Who is ever prepared for death or to lose someone? Especially someone you love so much that the thought of him not being on this planet anymore makes you physically ache. 

A year later and my Mom has moved into her new condo (though she's still living with my sister as I write this.) My sister is pregnant with Baby Number Two (a girl.) Tristan is ending his Sophomore year of High School. Jack is now three and more of a munchkin than ever before. We haven't moved on. We're just carrying my Dad with us. I take his CDs with me when I travel to teach. Dean Martin. Johnny Maestro. Otis Redding. Yeah, he taught me to love music in all forms and I'm the weird one who sets her rental car stereo to 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, hair bands and old time radio. It's just how I am because of him. Music was always on the car radio and I'm the same way. 

I still wait for the phone to ring. I think it's going to be him. He called me everyday. Some days I would roll my eyes when he called. I rolled my eyes when he called me a little before 5 p.m. on the night of June 8th. It hurts me to think that I did it but I did. Most of our phone calls were very short. What I would sometimes think of him as checking up on me was more his way of checking in. We went through his phone when he died and found tons of daily calls (all two or three minutes in lenghth) to me, my Mom, sister, Aunt Sis and a small handful of friends and family. It was his way of letting us know that he loved us and was thinking about us. I remember talking to him the Wednesday before he died about seeing "The Avengers" and how he thought it was a cool movie. He sounded upbeat and happy. He wasn't coughing while we talked. It didn't sound like he was going anywhere at the time. 

He even had an appointment at the doctor's on the day that ended up being his wake. He didn't mess around with this health. I'm tired of folks saying that. He was friends with his doctor (he called the doctor at home and on his cellphone!) and he knew that something was wrong because he couldn't stop coughing. He took care of things. He always did. That's the way he was. Yet, it wasn't taken care of fast enough. 

So, a year later and we're learning how to live with a gaping hole in our hearts. We try to patch it up and fill it with something but it can't be mended. We have to learn how to live with our broken hearts. We focus on the times when we were really happy and the people that gave us so much love and joy. Dad knew how to laugh and make others laugh. I have two voice mails on my phone of him singing and laughing. I miss that laugh.

Someone said it would be a hard week. It's a hard year and it will be hard the rest of our lives. Dad wouldn't want us to be sad. He would want us to reach out to our family and friends. He would want us to live and love and remember everything that he did for us and how very, very, very much he loved us. I just hope he knew how much we loved him.


Sandy said...

I'm sure he knew he much y'all loved him. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man. I long for a relationship like this with mine. I try very hard to have one, even if we weren't close when I was growing up. I'm lucky because I still have him here. Even if he's not close I think I force him to be.

Very well said. My heart hurts for you. No words will ever take your pain away. I offer my prayers and good thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Kelly, he knew how much you all loved him. Trust me on this one!!

Thinking of you, Karenxx

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

He knew. Your Dad knew how very much you all loved him. Beautiful letter of love, Kelly. It makes my heart swell...hugs to you, kath

doris arndt said...

My heart goes out to you. It gets better but it always hurts. My mom has been gone 21 years now and I miss her smile, her nickname for me, her passion to create.
I don't think you "get over" the lose and like you I don't want to "get over" it. How could you brush away someone so meaningful to you of like some dust on the furniture. And why would you want to?

Liz said...

Beautiful tribute post Kelly! Like you, I think of my mom constantly. The part about rolling your eyes when he called, I did the same thing when she called. Wish I would have known then that she called me constantly because she loved me so much...I will probably be doing the same with my son one day. Big hugs to you!

Maureen said...

Beautiful and true. We didn't get daily calls but got weekly one's. How's the baby? Um, she's 15 Jack. Always made me smile. Hugs to all. Paul misses his cousin/brother more than you know. Love Maureen, Paul and "baby" Molly

Trece said...

I am so very sorry for your loss and continuing pain. You and your family were blessed to have had him as long as you did.

Dawn said...

I can imagine how hard that must have been to write Kelly, you have done it beautifully and I'm sure your dad would be so very proud to read your amazing words. I lost my dad when I was 5 and I won't lie to you, 33yrs down the line it still hurts like hell but the happy memories of him and his love make it a little easier to cope with.
Huge hugs x

Suzie B said...

I love your tribute to your dad. Such love there he had to know your feelings. My dad sounds a lot like yours and he died 8 years ago. I can't say we lost him or he passed away because he hasn't he is still alive in our hearts and many many fond memories. I talk to him all the time and when I do I find myself smiling, he was that kind of person. How lucky we are to have someone so special in our lives.

Suzie B said...

I love your tribute to your dad. Such love he had to know how much you love him. He sounds a lot like my dad he died 8 years ago and I still miss him. I can't say we lost him or he passed away because he is still so alive in our hearts and many fond memories. I still talk to him and when I do I smile, he was that kind of person. We are so fortunate to have someone so special in our lives.

Jane Wetzel said...

Oh...my heart breaks for you.. I know what you are going thru. It never goes away..you just need a lot of time to learn how to "live" with that loss. :(

Michelle LaPoint Rydell said...

Thinking of you Kelly. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Debby said...

Nice post about your Dad. I am sure he knew that you all loved him. Loss is never easy and I don't think we ever move on and we are not supposed to. We always come back to our memories even if they are not so great. My dad was not the best but we still talk about him and things he did that made us laugh or cry. Glad you have good memories!

Jolene said...

I identify with every word you wrote. Mom has been gone almost 8 years, Dad 4 years. I will never 'get over it'. Our relationship was AMAZING. I 'feel' their presence every day.

yawningreyhound said...

Ah, Kelly, this is heartbreaking. Your dad I think accompanied you to our class here in Ft Collins. I'm so sorry for your ache and hope it turns into something more manageable with time. My mom's 99th bd was last Saturday (she died at nearly 95) and I,too, remember an impatient moment that was completely unnecessary near her last day. It's been 4 years and I still wince when I think of it. Much Love, m in colorado