Do you think my dad intended the anniversary of his passing to also coincide with the ever-popular, yet unofficial “Mean Girls Day”? It was sure hard to miss when October 3rd would be and yes…it was a Wednesday, so everyone wore pink! So yeah, Dad probably hated it. 😜
Leading up to the day, Mean Girls was a fun, welcomed distraction…but by the time October 3rd rolled around? I was over it. You didn’t need to tell me what day it was via 40 or so Facebook statuses. And on October 2nd I decided what I would do to make sure the negativity stayed at bay. What could I do to keep us all from crying in bed all day? That’s when it came to me…
3 acts of kindness aka Good Deeds for Dad! I had taken the day off of work, so I was ready to spread some love. My mom and I met at a local cookie bakery and bought roughly 5 dozen cookies. The first stop? Our hospice facility. I know how those families feel and sometimes you just want a yummy treat to go with that 4th cup of coffee. A side dish of warmth to wash down the hardest time you’re living in. So we left two dozen cookies for the families and staff and spent a little time in the space that we called home for 4 days.
Next, we headed to the hospital. The renal floor is where we spent the majority of our stay because they knew Dad’s dialysis schedule and orders. And we were just fine with that because they were the best in the hospital. The kindest, funniest, thorough, and knowledgeable. I wanted them to know just how much they meant to us last summer and it worked out perfectly that our favorites were there. It was bittersweet hearing their words about Dad and how they think of him when other patients come in. They reassured us that he touched so many lives and that visit was so good for my heart. I’m thankful for all they do every day, giving so much of themselves to patients and families. In doing so, they’re forever a part of our family.
On the way home, I had one more act of kindness I wanted to fulfill. Something I had never done…I started a pay it forward at Chick-Fil-A! It felt great, I’ll never know if or how long it kept going, but I got to start it.
The rest of the day was spent hanging out, trying to not be as sad and talking about our Good Deeds and how it’s a new tradition. I went to bed grateful for the day spent with my mom and sister, just as Dad would want.
I wish that was the end of the anniversary recap. But alas, my friends, no Good Deed goes unpunished. With all the running around on Wednesday, somewhere along the way, I had put my sunglasses down. And by Thursday night, I couldn’t remember where to pick them up.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that my memory is usually batting at .400. I remember EVERYTHING and it is so rare for me to lose things. But grief has really enjoyed taking bits and pieces from me, including my memory. And he took Wednesday and my sunglasses’ exact location. By Friday at 9 am, not being able to find them was all I could think about. I found myself crying for long periods of time. I went to my car three times, slamming my leg in the door and bruising it. I called all of the restaurants we visited with no sign of them. I cursed, I cried more. And it hit me…I knew what this was about, it wasn’t the glasses. It was the reason WHY I couldn’t find them.
Wednesday I focused so much on keeping sadness at bay that I hid my grief. I didn’t give myself ample time to acknowledge the anniversary of our loss, so grief came in the back door and scrubbed away the five seconds it took for me to put them down and left everything else.
Grief is a journey. While I loved my day of giving, I needed to give some of it to myself. The one year anniversary hit and I sought a day of only happiness instead of following the path that was made for me. I needed the balance of doing good, but remembering why this day of good now exists for my family.
And for those of you wondering… Yes, the glasses were found. And the lesson is now learned. So here’s to the journey to year 2, may the times of sorrow come, but also go quickly. And may my sunglasses always be where I put them down. 🙂