a year later

A year later I reflect...

6:35:00 AM

This is a tough post for me to write. On February 10th, 2012 my biological dad passed away from a heart attack. This year has been one of the toughest I have ever experienced (read about my relationship with my dad HERE). I reflected through Facebook of all things on the days following his passing. It was extremely hard...but something I needed to do. Does that sound weird? Here were my days starting from the moment I found out. Somehow I pray if you or someone you know is going through it you can find a gleam in the words that are written. This is a very personal post for me. If you have anything negative to say. Bite your tongue and keep it to yourself please. This is my blog and I have many readers who helped me through the days I felt most alone. If you were one of the many women who wrote me beautiful words to help me sleep at night, thousands of miles away from home I cannot thank you enough. You and God helped me through these days. The day that I found out I had just taken this picture...it had started out wonderful. Funny how you don't see what is right around the corner!

February 10, 2012 -

{ OMG...I just found out my dad died } - I can honestly say I still feel the pain and numbness from when I wrote this.

{ I found out a little bit ago that my biological dad died. I have so much pent up anger towards this and him. I didn't even get a chance to say good bye...}

Today I found out my biological dad died unexpectedly...my heart is in shock and my emotions are all over the place. I am angry sad, bawling and then completely fine...I am told this is the normal grieving process. The thing that breaks my heart the most is my Grandma is just finding out. }

{ Thank you all for the well wishes and prayers. It truly means the world to me. My heart is aching and I am still in shock. I have hit 3 levels of grief today. Non stop crying to the point of which I can't breath (and my eyes are now cotton balls), complete anger and frustration and then completely mellow like nothing ever happened. Some know I had some UN-resolved issues but it almost makes the pain that much worse. Paul and the kids brought me some gorgeous flowers which was very sweet. We are currently scrambling together to find a plane ticket (on a tap water budget!) for me and Mush will be my lap rider as I don't want to be alone. SO badly wishing I could at least take EG with too. Gonna stay with either my Aunt or my other 1/2 (cousin Mandy) so that part is taken care of. Just need to figure out flights (need to arrive no later than Monday...funeral will be either Tues or Wed) and childcare for the kiddos. I listened to friends & family and took some Advil pm...help with the killer headache and help m sleep. Please continue to pray...I appreciate it immensely. Those that know me well know I have a super had time asking for help, this situation is no different! }

{ But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. ~Psalm 59:16 }

February 11, 2012-

{ Today I am holding it together better than I thought I would...probably because I am so busy packing, getting stuff ready for when I am gone etc. I am going to miss my kids and hubby desperately. I WISH we could all go. My brother Xavier stopped in which was perfect (much needed) and one of my besties Rachel. I had a long talk with my dear friend Jenni which also really was needed. She knows just the right things to say...but in a non-scripted way! I fly out with Mush at 10:35 a.m. have 1 stop in Salt Lake City before flying into St. Louis at 5:38 (so 3:38 our time). We have a viewing on Monday, funeral in Illinois on Tuesday and then back to Missouri for a veterans memorial and then Wednesday is the wake. Going to be a long emotional week. Thankfully I will have Mush by my side. I fly home Saturday (leave at 12:30 our time) and then fly in at 7:13 p.m. Continued prayers would be wonderful. Rhonda is bringing Paul a few meals during this week to help take some load off of him. His boss is going to let him work from home which is nice. Mush is coughing a ton...please pray for health for us...I don't want her (or I) feeling badly. She has 3 teeth coming in. Prayers of safety and peace would be nice too. ♥ }

February 12, 2012-

{ I miss my family already and we haven't even left the house yet! } Due to cost of flights we couldn't afford for our family of 5 to fly. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with...and still wish my husband and children could have been by my side.

(My traveling partner happily eating in the airport. She was poppin' yogurt drops while I was popping zofran!)

Boarding our next flight. I Sat with Greg one of the marriage speakers for Focus on the Family! You think God had a hand in that one?? Nerves much better just hungry! }

{ So very tired! It's 10:30 in Missouri. We were not able to eat during our layover due to lack of time. We then went on the worlds tiniest plane...that was packed! Thankfully I once again sat next to a nice Christian man who has 14,grand kids! Great to be here and was greeted right away with my cousins, aunt & uncle. I missed them a ton. Sofie is so energetic this time which is wonderful! Mush is having fun but is exhausted and stuffed up. EG apparently woke up sobbing cause she misses me...breaks my heart as I miss them too. Viewing was bumped to Tues with the funerals. Continued prayers please...I also pray mush wakes up not stuffy!! }

February 13, 2012 -

{ I miss my hubby and babies...its snowing here today expecting 4" which has pushed everything now to Wed and burial on Thursday. }

February 14, 2012- 

{ Night 2 of insomnia...really I am wide awake at 2:30 a.m.? I am sleepy...just can't sleep. I tried pulling Mush into bed to see if it would help...after about 20min if her wiggling due to wanting her own bed I gave up and laid her back down. I will Def be napping today. } this was a hard day for me. I have ALWAYS loved Valentines day. I am a sappy one! I know...I left surprises for my kids and husband and was so sad to miss the Valentine party fun for my children at school. By this point I was having the hardest time eating. I couldn't keep any food down. The emotions were literally ripping my insides apart. I would take a shower and just cry my eyes out letting the water flow over me. I remember in these moments I prayed more than I have ever prayed in a dark and lonely situation.

{ Please pray...with only 3 hours (maybe) if sleep...myself, Mushy, my aunt and uncle all feel like we have a tummy bug or something. Hoping it passes quickly cause the zofran isn't even helping...no fun! } and taking care of a lively, not knowing what is going on 1 year old during those moments were the toughest!

{ Ugh...we feel just crummy... }

{ So tired!! Gonna make pizza in the earth stone oven...Mushy just ate a craft puff ball and will eventually poop out a craft! Feeling better...have yet to try food for the day but am hungry!! I miss my valentines so bad!! } She never did pass the puff ball! TMI I know...but I am a mom!

{ Well tonight I had my crying spell! Between emotions for the upcoming funerals, lack of sleep and not feeling good...oh and more important I miss my family so so bad...I lost it! Feel a bit better and think maybe stress making my tummy upset. Continued prayers please...Mushy is feeling better and having fun! }

February 15, 2012-

{ Eating nachos with my aunt looking at old pictures...Noah looks exactly like my bio dad as a kid...pretty trippy! I finally slept last night and Ava Faith did too. Woke up this morning shoved down some saltines and then slept for another 1/2 hour. I really think its all emotions making me sick. I feel great right now and sleep felt amazing. Tomorrow starts the craziness. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it, I wish Paul and the kids were here. Praying I continue to get sleep and then feel good the last 3 days here. My uncle Mike flies in tomorrow and I am very excited to finally meet him. My day is about to get great as we are heading to HOBBY LOBBY!! YAY! } yes...we do not have a Hobby Lobby in Oregon. This must be fixed immediately!

Hobby Lobby was heaven!! I found a ton of stuff that would cost a fortune for a carry on!! Mushy got a Lamb Chop!! She loves her lamby and giggles! }

February 16, 2012-

{ My stomach is a mess. Prayers please...today is the day and I feel as though I can throw up... } this was the moment I would walk into a large room. To an open casket. And look down upon my father, for the very first time. Never meeting face to face only knowing each other through phone, letters and pictures. 31 years later. This was how we would meet. I remember my Uncle Mike holding me up as I walked into the room. I was a mess. I shook like a leaf and the emotions were so intense I thought I was either going to pass out or throw up. I never got to look my dad in the eyes. I never got to see him smile in person. I don't know what he smelled like. But I do know the sound of his voice. And it replays in my head all the time.

 (My grandma Kitty and I...she is my dad's mom)

February 17, 2012- 

{ Today is the funeral and burial. I.am looking forward to this being all over. My body can't handle much more stress and I am plain exhausted. I prayed this a.m. that God could help me to forgive my bio dad. Please pray that today I feel better. I have been so all over the map that I have barely eaten since arriving. I keep trying but won't stay in me. I have horrible cramps related to it all. Looking forward to a night with my cousins...here chillin out and really looking forward to heading home to my family tomorrow! }

{ In line for the procession. On the way to the burial. Gonna have a heart attack riding with my uncle Ralf! This was the hardest thing I have done yet. I slipped a picture of me and my family in his jacket my token of forgiveness. } I can honestly say in that moment...I forgave my father. I pray that he was there in that moment and that he knows it too.

{ Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever done. The Navy Color Guard were there. My mom met my bio dad when he was in the Navy all those years ago. } With every shot that rang out from the color guard...I felt it deep inside. Like someone was shooting my...heart.

{ I just called my dad and told him I loved him! For every abandoned child I pray they have a guy like MY dad step (no pun intended!) into their life to take an others child as their own.} My step dad has been my dad all these years. I don't know what I would do without him. 

{ I am not not going to lie...today was completely overwhelming and hard. I will miss my Missouri family but really am looking forward to coming home tomorrow. Prayers I don't feel nauseous the whole flight please!! Noah asks every time we talk "mama, you on a jet plane yet?"  Going to hopefully sleep well tonight! }

My father is buried at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Mehlville, MO. The song that was played at his funeral was Miranda Lambert's - Over You. The words to this song (EVERY WORD) is completely true. Right down to the snow.

February 18, 2012-

{ My tummy and back hurt...all on a day where I want to enjoy before I fly for more than 6 hours...please pray!! }

(As hard as it was having a 1 year old with me during such an emotional, complicated and difficult journey. She sure was a wonderful distraction!)

{ Mushy is greeting with the flight attendant! We got a large seat in the bulk head...very nice and roomy! Whole section to ourselves! Very nice soldier asked if he could help in any way! Very sweet. }

{ Emotionally, physically and mentally drained! I have never been more tired in my life! My body hurts and even worse is my foot that is turning black from my carry on suitcase falling out of my aunts car onto my foot...bare....on top! I am so thankful to those bringing us meals this week. I am just drained in every possible way and its wonderful to not have to worry about it. Great to be home. Wonderful to hug my family...sad to say goodbye to my Missouri family. I love them very much! }

A year has passed. And with each passing day I never forget my father. He is still in my heart and I will always love him. It took every ounce of me to forgive my father. Its something I still regret not doing sooner. I like to think of him up above, watching over me. Hoping he finally kicked the horrible smoking habit! My dad was barely over 50. I mean who thinks that they will lose their parent so suddenly when you are only 31? A week after his funeral I turned 32. It was the hardest birthday I have ever celebrated. I have moments still where I break down and can't stop. But I am finally sleeping again. And eating. Its hard for me that my dad will never know his grandchildren. He has no idea that he has another beautiful granddaughter on the way. Since then I have lost touch with a few family members who put blame on me and do not agree with me grieving my father. I can honestly say they have no idea what its like and its sad but unfortunately this is how some people get over their own personal pain. I can also add that it has brought me closer to other family members, who are completely understanding and extremely supportive. Thank you for understanding and letting me vent and reflect on such a hard week of my life. Its still uncanny to me that due to snow we had to pro-long the wait of the wake, the funeral and then the burial. I can honestly say that was pure torture! Something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I am thankful for my little Mushy (who still sleeps with Lamby! Our Hobby Lobby find!) being my travel companion. It was difficult at times but she was a wonderful distraction.

Why is it when you search for pictures of someone. You want to reminisce on your favorite pictures...you can't find them anywhere? That is how this week has been for me! I have a whole stack of photos some that He is just charming and handsome in...yet I cannot find them anywhere! But here is a fave of mine!

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  1. God meant for me to read this today. Thank you for sharing as always. I know he placed you in my life, even if just over cyber space!
    So many things in your story I have been through, just in a different way. Differing loss but same whirlwind emotional journey, travel and grief . Those blurred days with a baby for support. My beloved grams died only four months after my Lestie was born, never got to meet her. I had to fly into Seattle from Ky. Thankfully we had a very gentle God to help us when we were thoroughly broken down. I deleted all my posts because I would sit and read them over again, like torture trying to control my mourning. I do still have some pictures though. You are brave and God had a purpose for your pain to develop your into a women who could share brokenness to help heal through your testimony.
    You are very special to me, and all your blogs tug my heart strings.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss as well sweetie...Thank you so much for your kind words <3

  2. Thanks for sharing your raw emotion. Praying for continued peace in your heart, especially during this time as you reflect on the past year and how it has molded and changed you to who you are today!

  3. Hi Aleisha, I hope that a year later your pain has lessened and that you are finding comfort in new joys that the Lord has placed in your life. I'm just stopping by to say how touching your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thank you so much. I take it each day at a time!

  4. Aleisha, I am so sorry that your family members don't get your grief. It seems so insensitive to me that they feel that since you never met your father you have no right to be so deeply effected. Why don't they understand that you spent most of your life holding on the belief that your father would one day make the effort to know you, to be part of your life? Why don't they get that you always loved him, always needed him, always wanted to know him? And now that he is gone that dream of having him as the father you always longed for, always knew was in him is gone? You are grieving that would could of been will never be, and it hurts. I believe without a doubt that the Lord put your step father in your life because He knew that you needed a dad, a real dad. The Lord knew that although your father did love you his own demons of shame prevented him from being the father that you needed, so a substitute earthly dad was given. Your father's shame in abandoning you blinded his ability to see that your love and need of him forgave all that. He knew what he did was wrong, he always loved you. Maybe, just maybe, if his family understood the complexity of the situation they could of helped him with self forgiveness so that this would never of been. But for whatever reason they saw only the surface, I am so sorry. Your earthly father, your step father, is a gift to remind you of how deeply you are loved, how worthy you have always been, and how your father's abandonment was not about you but his own demons. He always did think of you, that I am certain. God bless, Alisha.

    1. Imaya I have read your words over and over and over again and I cannot thank you enough... xoxoxo

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