peace

Every morning, my husband and I do about 15 minutes of yoga together. A quarantine habit that stuck, we lay our mats in the living room floor and start our day with a short practice. Our YouTube yogi, Kassandra, always encourages us to come up with an intention–a word or phrase for how we want the day to go.

It’s been 21 years since my daddy died. Today, on the anniversary of his death, Today, my intention was “peaceful.” Peaceful for him, wherever he is.

Peaceful for me as I continue to exist without him.

I’m so thankful to have a stepdad who’s exactly the kind of father you want to have–attentive, funny, supportive, always there with a word of advice when you need it. My stepdad (who I just call “Dad”) is like the dads I saw on TV growing up. He’s what I always hoped to have, and I’m grateful he stepped into that role in my life.

But my daddy is always present, even in absentia.

My daddy suffered from alcoholism; that’s ultimately what took his life. Even though I know he was sick, I can’t help but feel like he gave up on our family. He didn’t try to get better for us (at least that’s what my my 9-year-old perspective gathered). I’ll never know what he thought, or felt, or hoped for in those last few years he was alive.

I wish I could come to peace with that, the not knowing.

Would my parents have stayed married? Would my daddy and I have a close relationship? I have so many questions I’ll never know the answers to. I’ll never know how things would have been had he gotten treatment, and it tears me apart inside.

I try to comfort myself with the thought that maybe someday we’ll be reunited. Maybe my daddy will be waiting for me, ready to take my hand and lead me into wherever we go when our lives end. Maybe we’ll finally get to sit, and talk, and cry, and he’ll answer the questions that have run through my mind since he died 21 years ago today.

Until then, I’ll think of him and ask the universe to keep things peaceful…for both of us.

Friends, Fathers, and Fitness #100HappyDays

Day 67:  Great conversations make me happy.  Cornelius (my bestie from college) and I had a wonderful phone conversation–I love catching up with him!  We even made plans to get together in person later this summer and I can’t wait.

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Corn and me last summer. You could say we were excited to see each other.

Day 68:  Fridays make me happy.  Sometimes you just gotta celebrate the end of the workweek!

Day 69:  Morning walks make me happy.  My boyfriend and I took a walk around the neighborhood before the heat of the day (and the rain) set it, and it was awesome.

Day 70:  Celebrating fathers makes me happy.  Father’s Day!  This day is tough for me (check this post for reasons why) but I was joyful because I got to celebrate two awesome men in my life.  My stepdad (whom I just call “Dad”) is one of the greatest men I’ve ever known (look here to see just how awesome he is).  Even though we didn’t get to celebrate together, I loved hearing his voice on the phone and was glad I got to tell him how much he means to me.  My boyfriend and I also made dinner for his parents so we could celebrate his dad–a great day spent honoring great men!

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The two men who shaped me into who I am: my biological father (top) and my stepdad (bottom).

Day 71:  Learning more about fitness makes me happy.  I had a session with my personal trainer and we talked about how diet impacts fitness goals.  He sent me home with a task to complete–track all my food for the day so we can review it during our next session.  I’m excited to find ways to improve my diet (and hopefully improve the results from my workouts)!

Day 72:  Office days make me happy.  This is my last office day before a straight week of training customers.  Trust that I’m savoring the moments of working in solitude with my headphones in.  🙂

Daddy Lessons

Last Father’s Day, I ate tomatoes in honor of my late father. My daddy wasn’t perfect, but he was mine, and I am sorry he left this Earth so soon. 

Losing my biological father at a young age taught me a lot. I learned to be independent, that women can do anything men can. I learned about the black hole of addiction, ruins families and takes lives with complete indiscrimination. I learned to cherish each day with the ones you love. I learned to grieve. 

But God–in His infinite grace–knew I wasn’t finished learning. So, He sent Malcolm. 

Malcolm didn’t come into my life until I was an adult, but he immediately became that father figure I needed. He laughs with me. He fusses at me when I need to be fussed at. He gives me advice about work, love, and life. But most of all, he is there

Whenever I need anything, I know Malcolm is there for me. Just like fathers are supposed to be. He’s never tried to take my father’s place, but–whether he knows it or not–he’s started to fill the void my daddy’s death left in my heart. 

Malcolm has taught me so many things too–I couldn’t begin to list them all. But the most important lesson he taught me is, even if you aren’t their biological kid, a dad will be a dad because he loves you. Malcolm met me when I was already grown and living my own life, but he stepped into that role because he wanted to. He didn’t have to get so involved in my life, but he did.  

Thank you, Malcolm, for the all the laughs, love, and lessons. Happy Father’s Day. 

So many lessons.