Our little Family

Our little Family
Our Little Family

Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Months this Week

My dad has been in Heaven for 2 months now.....I bet he is having a blast with a humongous dairy and being with both my grandpa and opa.  It is still so hard though!  Why is he gone and no longer with us here?  How can Heaven be amazing without us there?  Is there no sense of time there, so he does not feel it like we do?  These are the type of questions I ponder.  Goodness I still miss him!  I just still stay achy a lot of the time.  I keep plugging along, and am striving to "live my life," but you still just have it constantly on your mind.  It just builds and builds and sometimes I just have to look at pictures or listen to the song my sisters and I dedicated to him at his funeral, "Daddy's Hands" to let the tears roll down my cheeks.  Often times, Brandon is with me in these moments.  He looks at me with such sadness, and he tells me again how much he hates this for our family.  He misses him a lot too.  I ask him, "Why! Why is this true? Why!"  Of course what answer can he give, other then the one everyone says, " I don't know Alison." 
I have been feeling homesick.  I want to see my family and be with them.  I want hugs from my mom and sisters.  I want a hug from DAD.  I was already missing him so much when he was at the dairy, and now I miss him sooo much more knowing he will not be there when I get home to give that hug with his enormous hands wrapped around me.  It sucks!  I am anxiouis about going home in some ways.  It will be the first time back since the whole ordeal, and I think the real reality of his absence is going to hit me hard.  I will just have to lean on the support of everyone and enjoy my time with all the other wonderful people who are anxious to see us.  Dad would want us to have a fun Christmas.  He wants us to laugh and be festive.  He loved Christmas.  One of the cutest memory I will hold of him at Christmas is his craziness of candles that day.  I am suprised the house never burnt down! haha.  My mom always knew this about my dad, so she would buy tons of candles that matched her Christmas colors for him to light.  Sure enough though, it was never enough, and he would start pulling out every candle of every color (yellow, pink, light blue, etc) and light them as well.  So cute!
Well, I just wanted to write a bit.  My mom went the other day and visited my dad.  His pretty plaque had been placed over his grave, and it looked really nice with the wheat framing the edges.  It was just so painful to see his name with an ending date.  It was a visual reminder of how real this all is.  But, this did happen, and now we all have to learn how to cope with it and enjoy things as much as he did.  He would be so sad if we didn't.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

live your life

Alright, a little explanation of my blog title.  I have always been the epitomy of the oldest child.  I love taking care of people, especially my family.  Sometimes I am torn to do things, because I have this pull from them which I have created.  Hey, what can I say, I just like them A LOT! 
My dad and I always loved to go biking together.  It was our thing, and whenever I was home, he would always try to make time to go with me.  It was our time together, and we could talk about anything and everything.  Actually, at my dad's funeral, my speech was on this very story.  I had titled it, "Bike Rides of Wisdom."  On our very last ride together before I moved to Georgia, my dad and I were discussing the big move.  I was telling him how I was so excited and that I loved adventure, but I was just going to miss all of them so much.  He responded, "We are going to miss you too, but at the same time, we are always here, and we want you to 'live your life'."  He assurred me again that he felt I had so much potential and nothing would make him happier then if I would live my life to the fullest.  This conversation sticks in my head clear as day.
The loss of my father is huge for my entire family and all who knew him.  It is hard sometimes to enjoy things and get excited about upcoming events like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are just around the corner.  There is just going to be such a big hole, since he will not be there.  While it is of course going to be hard, nothing would be more upsetting to him if we did not live our lives.  He wants us to have fun and enjoy things, and I am sure he is much happier looking down at us laughing then crying.  It will be a struggle, but my goal is to try my best to live my life with the same energy and happiness my dad always did.
So, as I reminder, I decided to get a tattoo which read just that.  When I look down at it, it reminds me of my dad and his words of wisdom.  It gives me a sence of power and a feel that he is always walking with me giving me encouragement and strength.  Love you dad and thank you for always having loved me so much in return!

The last time I saw my DAD

While my dad did pass away in September, the last time I had gotten a chance to see him was the beginning of August.  It is a treat that my dad had thought of visiting me that weekend with my mom.  He had a dairy event to attend to in Milwauke, and he figured that since he was that close to us, might as well come and see our new home in Georgia.  He called me about it, and made my day hearing that he was going to be coming!!  I started brainstorming thinking of all the fun things we could go do, and that we wanted to show them.  We had such an amazing weekend the four of us.  We really ended up hanging out more then anything else.  We did go to Stone Mountain one day and that was awesome!  It was Brandon and I's first trip there as well.  We did everything there and had a great time.  I think that night, we also ended up doing a movie night too.  We watched 2 movies in a row, and my dad stayed up for both till 1 in the morning!  Beyond impressed.  Actually the last movie we watched together was The Hangover.  He about died laughing through it!  He always loved a good comedy.
I loved that my parents were there.  While Georgia was treating us well, I still was VERY homesick for my family.  I missed them so much!  I think that that is something that makes my father's death even worse.  I was already missing him when he was on the dairy, and now I know that he is not there at all.  Our goodbyes at the airport were HARD!  I did not want to watch them go.  That day though, I was really suprised by my goodbye with my dad the most.  Every time I think about it, and now as I am writing it, I begin to tear up and cry.  This goodbye was different, and it is painful to think that it was the last time I got hugs and kisses from my dad.  He would say goodbye to me, give me that look of pride and joy along with a look which read, I miss that you aren't in CA, but I know it is good for you here.  He even said it over and over again to me.  He would say bye to Brandon, and then he would be back again for another hug.  I know he wanted to go back home to the dairy, but at the same time, his looks and hugs were one that felt different.  Almost like he did not want to let go.  My mom started to move toward the baggage check in as I got into the car crying, but my dad did not move.  He just kept standing there at the curb staring at me right into my eyes.  He did not budge but just continued to wave and blew a kiss as we drove away.  This is my last picture of him in my mind. 


Life can really take you for some BEYOND unexpected turns, and this year we had a very painful and tough to swallow incident.  On September 16th, one of the men I admire most in my life, died in a tragic car accident, MY DAD.  This event has rocked my family's world!!!  OK, I understand that there are a lot of close families, but we are one of those families that is labeled emeshed.  We are each others best friends, and our family unit means the world to us, and suddenly it has been shattered with the big loss of someone so important to our cirlce.  My dad was one of those people that people just loved to be around.  He took his time for everyone and anyone and had a real zest for life.  Full of laughter, positivity and energy, he took things on with full force.  His loss is one that has been hard to bear.  How can someone with so much still to give be suddenly taken away?  I just keep telling myself it can't be true.  It just can't!  But each day, there is no phone call, nor is there anyway to get a hold of him.  I just absolutely hate it! 
His funeral was one of celebration.  One could certainly tell the impact he had made on people by the 700 plus people that attended his funeral.  Quite a statement!  I just feel like that entire week was a blurr, and did it really happen?  I am not faced with the realization every single day being across the country in Georgia.  I am not on the dairy not seeing him fly from one thing to the next.  I don't see him not having his coffee breaks, or that his hat is not left on the floor.  These things are going to hit me HARD when I go home again for the Holidays.  I am almost nervous by how it is all going to make the wave of terrible feelings return (not that they aren't here in GA) and make it feel like it just happened again.  Whenever I have gotten home in the past, be that from school, college or my bay area home, one of the first things I would do is go look for him on the dairy, but in December, he will be no where to be found.  This is just so painful and a dread it!  Dad we are all missing you TOOOO much!!!!  Why did you have to leave?


A little bit of background first

Well, this is my first blog post.  Kind of exciting. I just wanted to start off with a little bit of information about who I am, where I came from, and what the heck has been going on in my life!  Again, as most know, I was born in Lodi, California on a dairy farm.  Amazing way to grow up!!!  I worked hand in had with my parents on the dairy.  Nothing was better then getting up early and working with the cows in the morning with dad or helping mom feed the calves.  As soon as I was born in fact, I was in the stoller with a little netting over me next to the calves right in the middle of things.  What a gift to live where your parents work!  This is something that I believe brought us all so close together.  Another thing too that was so neat, is that our parents always encouraged us that we could do anything.  You can drive that loader, you can disk 700 acres, you can do it, and just trust yourself.
Besides the working part, there was plenty of fun involved as well with my two younger sisters, Jessica and Erin.  Building forts in the cotton seed was a favorite, along with climbing hay bales, rope swings, having mud wars, riding bikes up and down the silage pit while it was being packed, sliding down the plastic on the silage pit, playing in the mud ditch during the summer, driving ATVs and golf carts at our own pleasure and just enjoying the joys of childhood for a farm kid, all the freedom in the world and plenty of room to do it and get dirty!  What a life for a kid!  Man, sometimes I wish I could relive it now and then.
Well childhood did pass, and I went off to college at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California.  Talk about a change of scenery!  In school a studied communications and enjoyed making new friends and being in an environment that was just so welcoming and encouraging.  I had a great college experience!  Along with just school, I met my wonderful husband Brandon.  What a gift he is!  We married after college and just celebrated our 2 year anniversary this October.  When we first married, we lived in the Bay Area.  We had a cute apartment and house during our time there, but it was never the fit for us.  Suddenly, a brand new opportunity opened up for me on the other side of the country to work in the Dairy Industry in the Southeast for a company called SUDIA.  We knew we had to go, and where excited about the journey ahead.  We both have that drive to try something new.  It has been a great blessing!  We love it here!  People are so much friendlier and their mentality for life is just so much healthier.  Plus, the homes here are amazing!  The move was also very beneficial for Brandon, since he was in the middle of changing his career from computers to firefighting.  There are so many more opportunities here compared to the zero in California. 
So that is a little overview.  There is much more to tell, but at least this gives us a start.