Signs from Heaven Gone Wrong (Probably on Purpose)

My dad said hi to me from heaven today. But let me give you some background if you’re new here.

I was born to parents like a really long time ago. I grew up and stuff and like a couple of years ago, my dad died. Unexpected, natural causes, traumatic, yada yada…all those fancy words.

So today I am driving down a semi busy road in my town (speed limit 50) when in the distance, I notice what appears to be a car show.

No. Don’t look.

Do not look for it, Her et al., it will just break you heart all over again!! No. NO. NO!!!

Oh look. There it is. Candy apple red, 68 VW Bug Show condition and “that” guy who bought it standing next to it.

I slammed on my brakes. Middle of the road! From 50 mPh to zilch. Luckily no one was right behind me.

And I gasped. It looked like it did the last time I saw my dad try to jam all 9ft 6 of himself into it. (Slight exaggeration).

It was at that moment that my dad said hi to me. By throwing a gigantic live wild turkey at my windshield. Which I luckily had missed by centimeters thanks to having slammed on my brakes! Those stupid turkeys should be flightless birds and they agree with me as evidenced by the fact that they can’t get any higher that 4 ft off the ground. Or at least this chap couldn’t.

My dad use to send cardinals for my hello’s. I guess he’s assumed it’s been long enough to move onto the more humorous signs from heaven. We do have a cardinal in our neighborhood but it’s a female and I call it Grandma Dorothy. She’s loud and it makes to me.

Anyways, thanks for looking out for me stinker!

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Syria

My heart hurts for Syria and it’s innocent.

The ones who are there because they were born there and look at their lives.

Iran, Russia, France, UK, and US, we meet there. In Syria and do this to their homes.

The hell they’ve gone through and now…

Parkland, FL

I started a post today about how catty 5th grade girls are and then….

Parkland, Florida

The year after I graduated high school, was the Columbine shooting (13 lives lost). It was inconceivable that an American child would shoot and kill other American children in a school. I remember specifically and repeatedly trying to process that concept in my brain; we weren’t being attacked by another country. No this wasn’t an international war. It was the catalyst for what became a copycat, mass killing, American culture which we have carefully constructed and intricately threaded into the very fabric of who were are, with the most pigheaded and dangerous minds and laws in the world.

Because some people like to hunt.

Parkland, Florida. Killer bought an assault rifle because child killer was too young to buy a handgun.

Now go back and read that sentence again. Pigheaded and dangerous law.

Child killer wasn’t shopping for a hunting rifle. He had been expelled, he was angry, he had made threats and this has become our copycat, mass killing culture.

To him, this was the next logical step. We will start to hear all the heroic stories of teachers laying down their lives for their students because American teachers are on the frontlines of our civil war against school shootings. They become involuntary, instant, unarmed soldiers in nanoseconds. And they so commonly don’t live. (Remember that when your superintendent gives himself raise and not the teachers, btw.)

A parent said today on the news, “you never this this could happen to you.” And there usually is at least one person who says, “you never think it can it happen to you.” But what we’re all thinking is, “when is it going to happen near me?”

My heart and prayers go out to Florida.

#parklandflorida

Cost of War

I saw my dad as ten foot tall and bullet proof as a child. Heck, even as an adult!

The truth? He was 6 foot 2, and experiencing crippling flashbacks of horrific wartime moments that included having a pallet of live ammunition dropped on his hand and then being Life-flown to army hospital only be to returned to the front line a few days later, being in the vehicle of a car that was being shot at while it reversed and drove over the little boy shooting at them, and watching the man next to him be killed.

Vietnam killed my dad; he died in 2015.

It wasn’t the Agent Orange (although I’m sure we will later find some connection to that and the significant physical and cognitive disabilities in my sister).

It was PTSD. I don’t think I need to spell it out, you’ve heard of that monster. It’s been all over the media. Its gaining support and momentum from everyone! Except the government. He didn’t sign up for the war. His soul wasn’t built to kill. But the one place these men and women were told to turn to, were told that they would take care of them, turned their back on our heroes.

That too is all over the media. You’ve heard of that monster as well. The failing VA. But let me tell you what happened to my dad after his diagnosis.

He had to surrender his guns. His 2nd amendment was ripped away.

He had to “secure a fiduciary”. It was me, his child. He was told his child was of more sound mind to handle his finances than he was.

He was denied disability for two years after taking an early retirement. He had to retire early because his VA therapy meetings and doctor appointments consumed his time. He had very little to no money for those two years being a divorced man.

And on top of it all. He never slept.

He always saw that little boy in his dreams nightmares.

Disease processes secondary to Agent Orange that my dad was diagnosed with:

-Diabetes mellitus, type II

-Ischemic Heart Disease

-Peripheral neuropathy, early onset

He was being treated for severe depression, anxiety, and insomnia in addition to the PTSD and above mentioned diagnosis. But those diseases had consumed his life. And not at all by his choice. The appointments and meetings and medicines. As so often done in the medical field, a list of meds and diagnosis replaced a person. Became the person.

But he seemed so peaceful and happy the year before he died. So involved with the family and relaxed and social. So at peace. We just didn’t know that he was finally at peace because he’d made a decision to take back control of his life and…quit.

The day my husband and I found my dad on his floor was the day before we found out that he had quit taking all of his medications. Quit going to all his appointments. Quit begging the government for help. Quit.

The official cause of death was natural causes, likely cardiac.

But Vietnam killed my dad.

This is the cost of war.

written by my dad after being diagnosed and subsequently declared “incompetent” related to his PTSD

Heartbroken 

I write about grief so much it annoys me….but here we go again!

I hit a milestone yesterday. It was the first time since the passing of my father, that my heart broke for someone else. You know, there is something about the bond between a daddy and a daughter and I was devastated when I lost my dad in my 30’s. But yesterday, a longtime friend of Sissey et al. lost her father and she’s 10. 

I cannot fathom not having him there at my graduations, my wedding, the births of my children (in the waiting room). But this larger than life father now has the best seat in the house, but it’s not the same. 

This isn’t the way it should be. There are two young, school aged children who have to begin a long, complicated, and confusing grieving process that no child should ever have to endure. And so my heart breaks for them.

Live in Your Moment

Today I was shopping on the left. But two years ago I was shopping on the right. 

I used our wedding china for the first time that Father’s Day. I don’t know what prompted me to do that but for some oddball reason I’m so glad I did. As if that Father’s Day meal served on wedding china was my closure I didn’t get.

I only had a month left with him that Father’s Day and no one knew. Not even him. I was so in consolable during his services that I think all people knew what to say to me was, “I guess you really just never know.” God I got sick of hearing it. Because, I lived my moment with that damn china. 

Anger Grief

 You did this to her. This innocent (now) 10 year old who saw you as 9 foot tall and bullet proof sat out in the car while her mommy found your body.

The darkness that follows grief is scary and vast….so very vast. The very first thing that hit me was, “I can’t fix him. I’m a nurse and I’ve saved so many. But I can’t now.”

It is final. That’s what hurts. It can’t be changed no matter how bad I want to change it, no matter how hard I work, or beg, or cry, or pay. I can’t change it. 

He’s gone. Almost 3 years now and it does get better. Believe me, this IS better.