Sunday, August 22, 2010
Life Must Go On
While I was proud of my accomplishment, the months, weeks, and days that followed the race would be the most challenging times in my life. Each day seemed overwhelming with feelings of hopelessness and despair. Many nights, I experienced nightmares that relived my father's most feeble moments and reminded me of my helpnessness in it all. A place, a person, a picture, a song and even just a word would remind me of him. A constant void remained in my life that no man, woman, object, or experience could fulfill.
See, I have always been a Daddy’s girl. From infancy to adulthood, I have always had a special bond with my father. Maybe because I was adopted, maybe because I was the youngest, or maybe because I have always been so emotional. For whatever reason, my father has always been in my corner, my biggest cheerleader if you will. Even through the darkest hours in my life, when even I had lost faith and hope in myself, he never underestimated my potential to transform into something so beautiful. He always believed in me. He encouraged, inspired, and championed me to make the most of my life. He never let me down and he taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I would be lying if I said that his undying love and admiration for me has always been transparent. It took me years to really begin to fathom how much my father truly loved me. I often confused his words of wisdom and guidance as attempts to control my life and repress my independence. As I grew older, clarity and understanding of his love emerged along with a stronger love and admiration for my father. Even during his last few breaths of life, he never stopped loving me. While his physical strength subsided and his health rapidly declined, he continued to show his love for me through his words, thoughts, and actions; displaying to all, his devotion to not only me but to his entire family.
Well, it's been over 15 months since my father's passing and while the pain is not as profound it is still present. I believe the hardest part of my father's passing, is learning to live life again. For the longest, I felt guilty about exepriencing and enjoying life. It just didn't seem fair because my father wasn't present to experience it with me. Through it all, I have learned that life must go on.
Thus, each day, I recall the value of our health and the importance of making the most of my life. I have continued to run races and this year, I participated in the Annual Run for the Ribbon Prostate Cancer Event, again in honor of my father. I raised almost $600 and I actually took first place overall female in the 5k in a time of 22:06. Again, not my personal best, but a fabulous race nonetheless. It was awesome to run for my father and all those who have been impacted by prostate cancer.
As I prepare for my first marathon in October and my wedding just 13 days after the race, my only wish is for my father to be present. I realize that I can not turn back the hands of time, so I try to seize each moment and live my life to the fullest, honoring my father each step of the way...