Tuesday, February 14, 2012

525,600 Minutes

I’ve spent most of the last year in a somewhat numb haze. I lost my Daddy in February a year ago. Lost? What a word. That word sucks really—How about I’ve been missing my daddy every day since February a year ago.

It has been the shortest and the longest year I can ever remember. Time has passed, it seems like I remember every minute and I also can’t remember hardly anything. Everything has been touched by change. Sorting through emotions and pushing many things to the back with the feeling of “I’ll get to that when I can.” But emotions do ambush you if you don’t give them the floor to present their case. They will demand to be heard—they will act like the reality show cast member most likely to be voted of the island. So from my cast of emotions that I keep beating down, anger continues to raise its ugly head. Because once beaten down anger just stews, anger plots, anger makes alliances with unresolved grief and will try its hardest to take you down.

Since Valentine’s Day last year I have let it stew in me – anger my vengeful reality show cast member.

Let me set the scene the week before my Daddy died it was Valentine’s Day. No… let me go even farther back. In what I thought were the last few months of my dad’s life I tried to make memories happen. Shall I say I tried to forced memories? I hope it was memories for him also, but I know it was just buying more memories for me. Just one more thing… just one more thing… just one more thing.

The humming birds in late summer, the space station coming over on a cloud less night, the family cookouts, the westerns watched, the Christmas snow, Christmas poppers and fake mustaches, always trying to let him know just how much I loved him, trying to make memories for my little girl with her Pop, they were each other’s Dust Bunnies. But truly it was all for me. I just wanted more time….more memories, more moments.

Not the kind of time that ticks away on the clock but the moments that you are really in, the moments that you know are just yours. When you are aware of life, love, and that this won’t last forever. Those moments don’t tick away, they stick, and they stay. Moments that are different than time.

So back to Valentine’s Day, during the last month of my Daddy’s life the kind people of Hospice helped us, helped Daddy manage the pain, the grief and they tried to take up some of the space in the void of uncertainty. There was so much uncertainty during that time, but they helped us carry a time that was oh so very heavy.

I had plans of spending Valentine’s Dinner with my Dad and Mom that night. Nothing big nothing grand just time together. But that is not how the evening played out. Not like the little Hallmark commercial I had planned in my head.

My Daddy's Social worker was there that day, and had locked her keys in her car.

And you see my Daddy was a helper. If you needed something and he could help he would. That’s it. He would help you.

So in his last year the chemo and the cancer had at times pinned Daddy down. But that week, the week of Valentine’s, He was almost back to himself. Maybe just like me he was saying “one more thing…just one more thing.” On the evening of Valentine’s when the social worker had locked her keys in her car Daddy and Momma took the social worker on a quest to find extra keys. They ended the night opening their home to this woman her children and whipped up some frozen pizza for dinner. It was not my hallmark card but looking back I think it was my Daddy’s “one more thing.” Helping this lady out was his last act of helping another. In the end of the battle of cancer, the loss of his life, he had the last words…LOVE WINS.

AND I HAVE SPENT THE LAST YEAR SO ANGRY AND UNABLE TO SEE THAT. I have felt like that night was taken from me. I have been blind to what really happened that night.

The next day there was the noticeable change in my Daddy’s condition. Looking back it was the day he started parting from this life. By the next Tuesday he was gone.

I’m sitting here sobbing and can’t even see the computer screen because in this moment right now I can hear my DADDY IS SAYING “LET IT GO LITTLLE GIRL, JUST LET IT GO. They needed help, and I could. You can’t stay mad little girl.”

It has been a hard year. A year filled with loss, numbness, grief, overwhelming sadness. Holding on to anger is not easy. Letting it go is even harder. But today on a Commercialized day of red heart balloons and candy that can start conversations, I will listen to my Daddy’s voice. I will let love win. I will try to let go of the anger. This will be one of my moments I will remember this year. I will have a Hallmark moment. I hear my Daddy’s voice in my head and I will let love win.

So here it is to all, I send a Valentine to all those who have my heart! You know who you are. You have held my hand, you have carried part of the load and you have listened to a heart that has been broken.

I love you all more than any Greeting card could say…

So for anyone keeping score

Here’s to a better year!

And for 525,600 moments of love!


From Rent
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?


  1. Pris, I am so glad that you can now hear Daddy's voice telling you to not be angry. He was and is so proud of you. You are the greatest blessing that either of us ever had in our lives, and then you brought us Gretchen. Love you both dearly

  2. Pris,
    Anger is such a hard thing to let go of. I felt so much anger with the people who I was obligated to for cakes during the time I wanted to spend with Daddy during those last 3 weeks. I especially was angry with the 2 brides who I had to get their wedding cakes done and delivered on the day of his funeral. I felt like they robbed me of such precious time and even tho their happy days were going on as scheduled (as it should have)I was hurting and it made me resent them so much. I think that was part of the reason that I have now closed my shop because I let it rob my joy of it all. I am so proud of you for realizing that it is time to try to let go of your anger towards that social worker. It is not an easy thing to do. I guess when we are going through such a painful time in our lives that we just need someone to blame and to be angry with. I'm glad that you were able to see through your anger today and see it for just another unselfish thing that Pop did. He loved and tried to help everyone who came into his life. I hope when I leave this earth that someone can look back and see something that I did for someone else no matter how small it might be at the time.He was such a sweet testimony for us all.I know he's proud of you too.
    Thank you for your blogs.While they are a release for you, they also help others to deal with things that they haven't.I think that you should publish them to let people know that it's okay to feel the way they are feeling and not just what people Think you should feel, especially for the ones who have never gone through it. I love you Pris

  3. I love you, Priscilla! You are who you are, in part, because of your Daddy. He showed you what love was from the time you were born until the time he died. He loved unconditionally..... Whether it was you, Lee, Gretchen, or a social worker. He was LOVE! And, Priscilla, you are his daughte! You, too, are LOVE! We all find it at different times, different ways and sometimes through struggles that will lead us there. Love you girl!

  4. Hi Prisk...I am the unknown that posted. I forgot how to respond and no matter why I tried it came back as "unknown." Love you,