It’s scary how time flies. One minute you are a kid playing in the streets with your friends; next you are a young man attempting to dance like Mick Jagger in a nightclub; next you are walking down the isle with the love of your life getting married and suddenly you have kids. It seems only like yesterday when I was stuck in quick drying cement, standing in what was going to be a new floor in my parents utility room.
It’s even more amazing what can happen in just two years.
Our third child was born a little over two years ago, so we just celebrated her second birthday. She’s growing up so fast, and thankfully she’s beautiful as her mum.
Exactly two years ago, my best friend passed away. Well, he was more than just a friend, he was my role model, my inspiration to be a good father and my hero. He was my dad!
I still remember when the phone rang and my devastated mum told me the terrible news. She was so strong in that moment, conveying one of the worst messages across the telephone network, to her son who broke down as the news travelled to his brain. Why is it always the good people who are taken away from us. I had so many things I wanted to do and say to my dad, but at that moment in my life all I could do was scream.
I couldn’t even speak to my mum, who I most of all just wanted to hug and comfort. She had just lost the love of her life, a life long partner, and her kids were unable to make her feel comfortable. It didn’t matter what we said or did, she had lost half her soul and her spirit had taken a huge blow.
Some say that the brain attempts to block out what happened, in order to control emotions, and that might at times cause people who have lost someone close to react in a way that turn loved ones away. It’s not intentional. I guess it’s one way of dealing with pain. You push and hurt people who care for you – and that is unfortunately what happened to my mum.
In a way, I understand what she did. She was upset, sad and frustrated that he (my dad) had been taken away from her, and had left her alone with all the memories, friends constantly asking for her, dealing with the process of a funeral and strangers pretending to know what she must be feeling. Everywhere she went, she had good memories about their life. It’s only then you realize how much you’ve done with that person.
To be clear. Nobody knew what my mum was feeling at that point in her life. Yes, people have lost loved ones, but people deal with these loses in different ways, so we can never know how it actually feels. Even I, as her son, have no clue what she felt like. I tried to, but it still wasn’t right.
Personally, I cried many evenings, and sat quietly just thinking about all the things we had done together. I was and I am missing him.
Contrary to my mum, I had to look after my own family, so my thoughts and sadness were quickly replaced with happy kids, daily routines and a loving wife.
But, I don’t think that means that I miss my dad any less that I did when it happened.
We tried to, as a family, to deal with the loss and attempted to have a normal Christmas. But, we should’ve known that it would never be the same, so the first Christmas after his passing was awkward and sad. Too many emotions were in the air and we were individually still dealing with the loss in our own ways.
2011 took a completely new turn for my own little family, as we embarked on a new adventure, and moved to the US. It was time to do something positive for the family, something that would change our lives forever – for the better.
… before the move, we had to say goodbye to our pet dog, Angel, who had grown old and she didn’t manage to experience the new promised land.
Moving country is not as easy as it might sound, and it takes a lot of time, patience and personal sacrifices to make the move a positive move. Keep in mind, you are leaving behind your family, close friends and safe surroundings, and it is not a quick process to get fully integrated and back on the grid. Many people think it’s super cool and easy, but there have been several moments where we perhaps regretted the move a bit.
We have in recent months made some very good friends, who have taken us in and have ensured that we love our new life even more. Friends are extremely important, as they can support you in your adventures.
So, it has been two emotionally fueled years; child born, father passed away, dog passed away, leaving all our friends behind in Ireland and now starting over.
There’s nothing I can do to change what happened, but I strongly believe these experiences have made me a better father and man.