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  • Writer's picturetheresilientmommy

What my dad did that helped me heal

I have taken the time to try and vocalize what I have found helpful in my healing and what efforts seemed to hinder me. I want to thank you again for all of the kind words and support that I have received in the last few weeks. It has been incredibly healing to be able to put this out there and to have it returned tenfold.

I wanted to share one last story with you to close this chapter of my journey. I wanted to share with you the most beautiful thing that anyone did for me while I grieved the loss of a heart I never heard beating.

First, for those of you who do not know me, you need to understand the relationship that I had with my father. My father is and has always been my great love. My dad and I were always completely inseparable when in each other's company. Throughout my life, this has never wavered. We never fought; this was not really in my father's nature. We never wasted any time at all. Throughout my formidable years, he taught me what a father should be.

Dad and me - the early years.

He spent quality time with me, despite working his ass off seven days a week. During high school, we had regularly scheduled father-daughter dates where we would go to movies and dinner. We laughed a lot. He held my hand. He told everyone that we interacted with from the pimple-faced teen serving us popcorn at the movies to the hostess at Montana's that I was his daughter. He said it with such pride - that always made me smile.

As time passed we only grew closer. When I would come home from college he and I would sit on the front porch, have a drink and talk about life. We had movie nights in the basement. We curated a hilarious wealth of inside jokes. As an adult, I called him every day. I am still adjusting to the fact that I can't do that anymore.

When he got sick, it was hard for all of us. We had recently lost my grandfather (my father's father) to lung cancer. Not long after that, we lost my uncle to Liver Cancer. It had been a hellish year and Cancer was casting a dark shadow over our family.

I told you about my father's fears of not being able to meet his grandchildren and how that got Josh and I thinking about starting our family a little earlier than we had originally planned. My father was ecstatic when he found out he was about to become a Nonno. We were all so happy tho have a little life brought into the family after suffering so many losses. So when he found out that we had miscarried, he was crushed.

Of anything that anyone had said or done for me at that time, what he did I could never have expected from anyone. What he did made my heart feel whole if even for a moment. He knew how much I was hurting and he knew that I would show him nothing but strength in the face of yet another loss. He knew that I didn't want him to worry about me while he was dealing with his diagnosis. My father was never really one for words, so he did the next best thing he could think of. He went to a card store and he searched high and low for something that would tell me exactly how he felt and give me the encouragement that I needed to keep trying.

"I believe in you and your dreams"

For as long as I am living this card will be a treasure that I keep close. It is a shining example of the kind of man my father was. A beautiful example of his kind heart generosity of spirit. I still sometimes picture him standing at Shoppers grabbing card after card trying to find just the right one and I wish I could hug him and thank him again.

"I know your heart, your strengths, and your wisdom. I'm on your side and in your corner...and no matter what life sends your way, I'll always be there - to hold your hand, to support you, and to love you with all my heart. Love you Daddy xxoo"

It's been a hell of a road. In the wake of so much heartache, I am endlessly grateful for both of my parents. I am so thankful to them for teaching me the strength of resilience. I do not know where I would be without their support and love through all that our family has been through.

Throwing it way back with mom and dad.

My father was terrified that he'd never meet his grandchildren, but he has Lily now. He will hold her close until I can hold again and I have found a depth of comfort in knowing that they have one another until that time comes. All that I can do now is look fondly upon my memories and do my best to make them proud. I will continue to move forward and I will carry them with me always. I know he will always be with me...loving me, supporting me and holding my hand even if I can't feel it.

I love you daddy <3

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