Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday ramblings

Yet again, I have fallen off the grid rather unintentionally.  Monday was my birthday, the big 3-2 and I had a really lovely day.  My friend, Mary, decorated my cube at work and we had a delicious pizza lunch with some cupcakes at the office.  After work, Matt, the boys, and my Mom took me out to a wonderfully delicious dinner and then we came back home to open presents and have cake, yum!  I got a new pair of running shoes last weekend as an early birthday present from my Mom and Matt.  I am so excited about my new shoes and I am antsy to try them out, however, Mother Nature is being a bit of a saucy wench.  We've had excessive heat warnings nearly the entire week and with temperatures in the upper 90's and head indices in the 105 range, I have not been running this week.  I'm hoping for a cool down later this week!

I intended to get the same running shoe that I had previously, the Saucony Omni 12's, and when I went to my local running store, I tried on the upgrade to the 12, the Omni 13.  It felt really great on my feet, but I also tried on a pair of New Balance shoes, which I wasn't crazy about, and a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14's.  I loved the way the Brooks felt on my feet, too, so I took them out for a test run at the store as well as the Omni 13's.  Both shoes felt great on my feet, but honestly, the Brooks felt a smidge better, so I went with them.  I can't wait to give them a go and see if they make a difference as far as the calve cramping that I've been experiencing goes!

My  new kicks! 
I had a fairly busy week at work, which involved some late nights, but I did make it to the gym a few times, which was nice.  I've really enjoyed going to the gym and working out on the elliptical and recumbent bike while catching up on some fun shows on HGTV, Bravo, and TLC.  I really need to start adding in some weights, but I am still a bit intimidated by the equipment and those who seemingly know what they are doing on the machines.  Yesterday would have been a prime time to work on the machines, because I think, in addition to me, there were 5 people at the gym, but I was starving after my workout on the elliptical and the bike, so I headed home to get a bite to eat. 

Forgive me, as the rest of this post has nothing to do with running or weight loss and everything to do with a girl who misses her Daddy.  Much as this blog has been a great outlet for the ups and downs of my weight loss journey, it has also been an outlet for me in my grief.  I had every intention of blogging for a bit last night, but unfortunately, our internet was down for most of the evening.  Rather than settle down with a good book, I decided to watch a movie that I bought awhile ago, but hadn't watched yet.  I saw Gettysburg at the store a few months back and picked it up, because I remembered watching it a few times with my Dad (go ahead and say it.  History geeks, I know) and I couldn't pass up the $5 price tag for such a great movie.  As the overture started playing during the opening credits, I lost it.  Naturally, the overture was melodramatic as is fitting for the general theme of the movie, but I wasn't expecting the flood of emotions that came with it.  The memories of watching the movie with Dad in preparation for our wonderful summer trip down the East Coast in my Grandma and Grandpa's RV, which included a detour to Gettysburg (one of my all-time favorite trips with my Dad) and memories of Dad and I touring the battlefields and soaking in all of the history.  He and I both had a particular interest in Little Round Top top and Joshua Chamberlain's bayonet charge in order to protect it during the battle and we thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Daniels' portrayal of Chamberlain in the movie and exploring Little Round Top on our trip. 

I barely made it through 20 seconds of the movie before I had to turn it off.  I instead decided to go through a box of my Dad's things that I had yet to sort through.  I'm not sure why I thought that would be a good idea considering my fragile emotional state, but I did it anyway.  I came across his camouflage winter coat from his time in the service, as well as some accessories from his dress blues, including a really nice navy silk bow-tie that I'll likely give this to his bow-tie aficionado eldest grandson someday when he's older and his medal bar from his uniform.  Holding those items that he likely wore countless made me feel a bit closer to him, but it also made me really sad.  

I also found a multitude of photos, which I still haven't gone through completely and some notebooks that included handwritten notes from around the time he retired from the service and my parents divorced.  My Dad was an incredibly articulate and intelligent man and his musings included some political commentary, which didn't surprise me at all and some lovely poems, which did surprise me.  I had no idea he wrote poetry!  I also found drafts of letters he wrote during that time period, including one to me that I don't think he ever sent.  It was written around the time he moved out of our house in California and moved back to New York to live with my grandparents.  I distinctly remember the day my Dad left and watching him drive away in his car and while I knew he was as sad as I was, reading this letter that he wrote to me was a bittersweet glimpse into the feelings he had at that time, too.  

I am thankful to have these things that belonged to him, especially his handwritten thoughts, even though they can be hard at times to read.  However, I couldn't get over this incredibly sad ongoing thought that I had as I was going through his things.  All that's left of my Dad is a box of photos, clothes, and notebooks that sits in a corner of my living room.  I couldn't shake this thought and needless to say, I was a mess.  It wasn't an easy night, but after getting some sleep and some perspective, I woke up with an argument to that train of thought.  No, there is much more left of my Dad's life than boxes of "things."  He lives on through me and my boys.  We are the most important physical reminders of his life.  I have his smile and his love of history and foreign languages and let's be honest, his stubbornness.  And I see so much of him in my boys, too.  We keep his memory alive and I need to remember that.

It was really hard not getting my happy birthday phone call from him on Monday and a sweet card in the mail and I'm sure that has something to do with my sadness this week.  I'm not really sure the grief ever gets easier, but it helps to hear from others who have been through the same things.  I saw an incredibly astute quote from Bindi Irwin a few weeks ago in regards to the loss of her dad, Steve Irwin, and it has stuck with me.  As people approached her after her dad died, so many people told her that time would heal everything, which she noted was "the biggest lie you will ever hear.  It doesn't."  At first, reading that quote was a little disconcerting to someone like me who has so recently experienced that loss.  However, her follow-up to that quote was beautifully accurate.

"That kind of sadness never goes away. It's like losing a piece of your heart that you never get back."

Thanks for reading my ramblings today!  Wishing you a great week and hopefully cooler weather!