On Tuesday it will be eleven years that my dad died.
This year repeats the same days as it did in 2001. He died on Tuesday the 27th and this year the 27th falls on a Tuesday.
For those who haven't lost anyone it may seem unmentionable. But for those who have had tragedy the years where the days match up are the hardest years.
I can remember exactly what was going on eleven years ago.
Eleven years ago on Friday it was a rainy night. I was waitressing. I slipped on the wet floor and spilled Diet Coke in someones lap. They yelled at me. I went in the back and cried.
Saturday I called off work because I was sick.
Sunday I slept and then went to dad's to spend the night. I didn't feel good but couldn't sleep anymore and wanted to stay up and watch T.V. My friend Amy was with me. We stayed up watching T.V. being loud and keeping Dad up.
Monday morning we woke up and I had to get to a doctor's appointment. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Warm for March. As I was leaving I yelled to dad "I Love You!" Not expecting an immediate response. This was our 'thing'. I would always say it a few times and then say (with attitude to him) "I LOVE YOU TOO, JULIE". He would always laugh and say "Give me a hug. You know I love you".
This morning was different. I said "I love you dad." and then proceeded to do my usual response. He just smiled. Wouldn't hug me. Wouldn't say it back.
At the time I didn't think anything of it. I was so sick I didn't care about anything. I told him I would be back later that night. He just smiled. He seemed so happy. Happier than I had seen him in a long time.
That night I fell asleep (later I found out I had mono). I woke up around 3 am and the first thought was "I told Dad I was coming over." I didn't think he would care that I never showed, he knew I was sick. I still felt guilty but couldn't find the energy to get up and drive over.
Tuesday morning around 11:30 my sister woke me up. I was the last one to find out. They didn't want to wake me up. They knew I wouldn't handle it well.
My dad committed suicide at 6:30 that morning. Suicide. I hate that word.
My sister woke me up with tears running down her face. She said "Julie. Its Dad. He died". I think she gave me details then. But I don't remember anything after that. All I remember is losing complete control. I was banging my head into my window sill. It didn't even hurt. Nothing can hurt as bad as my heart did that morning. I remember people coming in my bedroom trying to calm me. I screamed and screamed and screamed. Finally they left me alone.
I had no idea how I was going to survive without my dad. I still have no idea how I am going to survive without my dad. I've stumbled through the past eleven years and I still have not found my footing.
In my hysterics I was screaming for them to call Amy and Amber. My two best friends. Amy soon came over but Amber was out of state. Amy ended up sitting by my side for the next few days. Days and nights. With no break. I was so sick with mono. My heart was so sick with pain. She sat without a break. That. is true friendship.
We needed to get to the funeral home to plan arrangements. 21 is entirely too young to plan a parent's funeral.
After the arrangements were made there was another friend I wanted to see. My sister, her boyfriend, and Amy drove me up to Medina to see Matt. No one answered the door so I left a note. Not sure how legible it was but as I was getting back in the truck his sister came running out holding the note. She put her arm around me and took me upstairs. I think Amy followed. I was in hysterics, crying and wailing. I flopped next to Matt and was crying hysterically. Amy, through her tears, told him what happened. He put his arm around me while I cried. He too knows pain from losing someone, he knew what I felt. We all sat together for a few minutes and then I had to go.
The next few days were a blur. I don't remember them whatsoever. I vaguely remember the calling hours. I vaguely remember the funeral. I just remember pain.
Tuesday is going to be hard. But somehow the 26th is always harder for me. The 26th is the last time I told my dad "I love you". It was the last time we had an argument. We love.love.loved to argue with each other. Always in fun. It was our 'thing'.
The things I regret is not running over and hugging him. I was so sick but it my heart that was such a pathetic excuse. Someone told me that he couldn't say "I love you" back and he couldn't hug me. He already had this planned and would break if he held me.
There are so many things I miss about my dad. I miss arguing with him. I miss how he would ask us questions about our day. I miss talking baseball. I miss the little things he did for me. 'Cause he knew I needed them. But what I miss the most is his hugs. He would grab you. Pick you up and squeeze until you couldn't breathe. I miss his hugs so much.
I just miss him. I hope I can make him proud of me.