hallway echo

i don't know what's going on.
i don't know if it's coming up on that time of the month to bid more of my eggs farewell.

don't you ever wonder who those eggs could potentially be?
and how does the Catholic church feel about these naturally aborted partnerless eggs?
they are eggs, after all...

i don't know if it's stress and body pains.  if it's just one of those times where your mind and body decide to take a vacation to a less than stellar place.  maybe i'm stuck in a rut?  things are great and exciting in my head and heart when i give myself the "snap out of it!" perspective, but after about 20 minutes of air time, i find myself falling hard and fast back into that ditch of ugly doom and gloom.  FOR WHAT?  WHY?  if i am supposed to have my period, can it please come the fuck on already so i can rid myself o these hormones and get on with my life!!!!!!!!

it also might be something else.

it might be the upcoming anniversary of my dad.
this august will be his 10th anniversary.

it has been on my mind since last year's anniversary.
it has been increasingly on my mind each month that creeps nearer.
it confronts me multiple times everyday.
yes, it is most definitely at the point of at least 3 times a day, everyday.

this coming june, i will be 30.
two milestones.

30 is a big one.  i guess.  as big as new year's.  as big as you want it to be.  as big as you make it.

the past 10 years have been a huge journey.  i have grown.  immensely.
dear god, i've had two kids in just the last 5 years of my twenties!!!!

and it's funny...
because before i had kids, i swore i knew who i was.
i felt comfortable in my skin.

children teach you who you are.
they are direct reflections of your every move, your worst habits and your greatest strengths.
everyday, when i go to bed, i know more and more of who i am through them.
i know where i have succeeded and i know where i have failed and what needs improvement.

and still.
i so often feel the mundane repetition of motherhood creates a fog that manages to dim my vision.  i still don't see clearly enough who i am.  i'm hoping that this year is a defining year for me.  i hope that the next 10 years of my growth will provide more clarity and enlightenment.  who do i want to be?  and what steps are necessary to reach that goal?

turning 30 less than two months before my dad's 10 year anniversary has had a profound effect on me.  every morning, every day, every evening that i look in the mirror, i look at my hair.  i look at how long i have let it grow.  i see it the way others see it.  it's not perfect, but i won't say i haven't been blessed with a good head of hair.  i have had enough compliments to realize i should be grateful and not complain about it.  like any other mom, i'm usually just trying to get the hell out of the house, and claw through the night's tangles at stoplights with my dry fingers.

do you know where i am going with this?

because i have spoken to only a few people about it and only in the last month.
i can hardly even get the words out of my mouth.

i was 20 when my dad passed.
like any 20 year old, i thought i had finally reached adulthood.  i thought i knew enough.  thought i was capable and mature enough to make my own decision and that they would be sound decisions.

i know there are some amazing souls out there.  amazing 20 year old souls that defy most of us pedestrian souls.  i wasn't amazing.  i wasn't inspiring.  i wasn't great at anything.  and i was hardly even the greatest daughter within the last months before he passed away.

as a matter of fact, i was just as full of angst and teenage rebellion as i had ever been.  if you know me, you probably know i'm already crying.  and if you know me, you probably know that if i have been thinking about my dad for the past few months, you know i've probably been crying often.

i had "left home".  i "ran away" to stay at kevin's house.  i took my stuff and that was it.  i probably wrote some stupid fucking idiotic note to my parents.  the thought of what i wrote is already burning a hole of shame into my heart.

i left i think at the end of may.
i didn't see him until Father's Day.
his last Father's day.
at dim sum.
at one of his long best friend's restaurants.
the one at Cambie and 5, right by Tandoori Kona.

then i came back.

and at the end of June, my birthday, i made plans with kevin.
and my dad asked me to go to a movie
and i told him i had plans with kevin.
and he told me
along the lines
that it was fine
that i didn't want to spend
my last birthday with him.

and it's memories and regrets like these
that have been killing me year after year
that make me shake and scream and sob at night
and after every line i type when describing them.

and we didn't go.
because i obviously realized that i was being a selfish cunt.
but being a cancer, he was like "nope, it's fine"
and i didn't insist and just make it happen.

and it's things like this, that make me disregard friends and family when they tell me that my dad understood how i was feeling.

i stayed away from home because during the last month of his life he was lying on our living room couch all day.  i didn't know he was going to die.  i didn't know he had a month.  i thought maybe it was just bad but it would get better.  i was in denial and didn't know it.  i would cry in the car before coming in the house and i would just go to my room and just not look as i passed the living room.  i couldn't take it.  i couldn't take lying in my bed at night and seeing his silhouette pass through the hallway.  because he was my dad.  and he was a skeleton.  because i knew when i heard him cough, he was coughing blood.  because i knew when he was in the shower he was sitting on a stool because he couldn't stand on his own.  this was my dad.  the man who raised me.  who made me laugh and told me to stop being so judgemental.  who praised my talents but told me when my attitude was "shit".  here he was, wasting away to nothing before my eyes.

and when he was transferred to the hospital.  i think i visited twice.
and i remember visiting and seeing him in the bed almost vertical.  and i don't remember his face because it was so sallow and distorted.  he couldn't talk.  he was hardly even there.  i don't remember much else.  other than going to the car.   and  crying so fucking hard.

i had a car.  
he gave me a car.
he bought and sold used cars
it was an 84 brown VW with the radio disconnected
because he knew i loved VWs and he knew i loved to sing in the car
he didn't want me to be distracted
because he already told me i daydreamed too much
he didn't want me to get hurt

i wasn't there.  i wasn't there for him in those last days.  not anymore than i was on my birthday when i made plans with my boyfriend instead of my dad.  and so, when friends and family tell me, my dad understood how i was young and didn't know how to handle it, i call it bullshit.  because i can't help but feel, that if i was there, if i sat beside him talking to him and being with him and holding his hand, maybe, just maybe it would have helped.  maybe he'd still be here... maybe.  maybe he'd be with my mom and she wouldn't have to work anymore.  her arthritis wouldn't be crippling and she would have better health.  they would work in their garden together.  they would go for walks on the dyke past the Olympic Oval on summer evenings with the kids.  he would be here.  the kids would know him.  he would be as goofy with them as he had been with us throughout our childhood.  he would get to see their glorious faces, be thrilled by their laughter, smell the nape of their neck, cherish every hug and kiss from their miniature bodies and hear them call his name...

so i can't help but wonder
maybe he went because he felt alone.  

because i wasn't there.
not that i am even close to being some piece of work, but because his daughter, who was right there, was not by his side when he needed it most.  and what kind of daughter does that.  and what effect does that have on a body with cancer.

there are so many other things that i can't erase.
there are so many other regrets that i will never be able to let go of.
memories of the faces of family that day.
memories of the voices and the cries that day.
memories that feel like nightmares.
nightmares that i play over and over like a penance for my failures
because in a twisted way i feel like i deserve to suffer like this
for the rest of my life

the one standing thing, the one ray of hope that maybe this was that way it was supposed to be... is that i appreciate and love life with all my being.  all those positive sayings on Pinterest, i've tagged them all and they are my daily mantra.  i have to live my life.  without fear and without anymore regret.  to do what i love and to not leave a stone unturned.  i think this is how i am able to capture life in my photos where my passion stems from.  i think this is why i take so many photos, day to day.  because everyday IS another day, one more breath, one more pulse, and one more chance.

i feel like i owe these photos to him because they are my life.  these are the photos of the kids that i wish he could see.  i know he would love them.  and i know he would be proud of me.  and in turn, i want to share that with others.  my failure sometimes as a business, is just wanting people to not lose out on a memory, on a moment in time that could otherwise be lost forever.  to me, every moment is special, every moment is a gift.  i feel a crater of guilt in my heart whenever i miss a moment...

i'm the only child that does not have a photo dancing at my grad with my parent.
my sister has hers with my dad.  my brother has his with my mom.
and only memory i have of that moment in time, was me pretending to not know where my dad was while seeing him from across the crowd looking out for me to dance with me.  that's the photo that i have from that moment.  because i am a piece of shit.

i'm pretty sure this is why i can't stop taking photos.
because i feel sick over memories like this.

change your hair
change your life
they say

this august
it's all coming off


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