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Some thoughts

Most of the time on this here site, I like to write about things that make me really happy. Food. Style. Furniture. Denim jumpsuits. But I was thinking about some things yesterday, and decided I’d write a more serious post today, both in the spirit of unloading some of my emotions on you (thank you!) and writing something that made me scared to hit ‘Publish.’ The Lululemon bags I see on MUNI tell me I’m supposed to do one thing a day that scares me, so this is my thing for today.

Yesterday was July 13, 2011. Seventeen years before, on that exact date, my father died. I was 9 years old.

The crazy thing about yesterday is I didn’t even realize what day it really was until about 4:45 in the afternoon. Chalk it up to a busy day at work, a million other things on my mind. But once I realized that it was July 13th, and did my annual mental calculation of how many years I’ve lived without my dad, I felt a bit sad, a bit regretful, but mostly, I felt filled with wonder.

When you lose a parent, there’s this weird dichotomy in your life. On the one hand, you get so used to living your life without them that it’s almost as if they never existed (and yes, this is hard to think about). On the other, their passing made such an indelible mark on your life that sometimes it feels like you can’t go a day without thinking about them. I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic, but on July 13, 1994 my life absolutely changed forever. There are countless traits in my personality that I can trace back to my childhood and his passing. People always talk about their defining moments — his death is 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, mine.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this on the bus ride home last night, and what I decided to take away as I processed what the last seventeen years has been like is that life is simply incredible. I don’t know how else to explain it. It never ceases to amaze me how surprising, exciting, devastating, humbling, challenging and fun life can be. And as I grow older, and am able to look back on who I was and the person I’m becoming, it is wonderful to reflect on the twists and turns in the road and where each little path had led me. It can be a strange sensation though, because I do still miss him.

One of the hardest things about death is trying to both simultaneously accept that you will never know what a future with that person would’ve looked like (especially when that person was taken from you too soon), while also doing your best to treasure the moments you had together. My father won’t be at my wedding, but I’ll always remember the way he could cook a steak. And his laugh.

Nevertheless, I’ve come to recognize that the woman I am today is not the woman I would’ve been if my father were still around. It’s very scary to accept and embrace that. But after seventeen years, I’m getting closer. And at the end of the day, though I never knew my father as an adult, I am certain he would’ve been proud of me.

To me, that’s all that matters.

{Image Credit: Quentin de Briey}

12 Responses

  1. You are so incredibly brave. Thank you for sharing your story. xoxo

  2. Victoria,
    First, I really don’t know what to say, but I am thinking so many things right now! Thank you for posting this. It made me cry and want to drive home and hug my dad (both my parents, actually). I’m sorry that you lost your father at such a young age, but I can promise you he is very proud of the person you’ve become!!! Thanks again for posting this!

  3. Thank you for sharing something that must have been extremely difficult. This was so beautifully written and I’m so sorry that you have had to deal with such an extraordinary loss. You’re an amazing woman! Your dad would be so proud, I just know it.

  4. Tears down my face. I lost my father five years ago when I was 19 and completely understand so many of the things you wrote. Thinking about you – and you are very strong and brave! You should be really proud of yourself – as you know he still is.

    xoxoxo

  5. Such a beautifully written post. After reading this I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling around, but the one that comes to the forefront is to truly live in the moment and relish every moment you have especially with loved ones. You really are a wonderful and honest writer. Your father most definitely is proud! xoxo, Julie

  6. Beautiful words. I wish I had your strength and clarity. He would definitely be proud.

  7. This is beautifully written. Your words really touched my heart! Your father would definitely be so proud of you. x

  8. Wow Victoria, this was such a beautiful and touching post!! I agree with everyone else’s comments, He is definitely proud!!! xoxo E&A

  9. Thank you for sharing that story.

  10. Dearest Victoria! What an incredible journey. Your dad would be very very proud of the young woman that you have become. Love.

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