One thing is for sure, those of us who have lost a parent understand how difficult this is. I liken the experience to a first-time parent. Before having children, everyone tells you that your life is going to change, that you will never understand the capacity to love another human being until you have a child of your own. I know that is true for me. I understood for the first time just how much my parents love, and had sacrificed for me when Alaina and I welcomed Luca into this world. I specifically remember one remark a college professor made to me in graduate school after I commented on what a beautiful picture of his children he had on his office bookshelf. "Yeah, it's crazy, you would step in front of a train for them." When Alaina was pregnant with Julian, I almost felt guilty thinking how could I possibly love another child just as much as Luca, but I do. I love each one of my children equally and appreciate their uniqueness, and special gifts that each bring to our lives that enrich them.
The realization that my father will not physically be present in my life is still sinking in. It still feels very surreal. I don't think anyone who has not experienced the loss of a parent can truly appreciate just how difficult it is. You join a special fraternity on that day—one in which we will all ultimately become part of.
I would look to my father for guidance for just about everything. Suddenly, I am forced to live my life making decisions based on what I think my father's guidance would have been. I am thankful that my children all had the opportunity to stay over his house and spend time with him the last couple weeks he was here. What is amazing about the whole process, is that suddenly, some things become very apparent. Lessons that you thought you understood, now hit home with a clarity and realization that seem more profound. Family is the most important thing in our lives. No greater evidence is needed than having an older generation of extended family around that can empathize with our family.
Thanks to all of my blogger friends who have shared their condolences, both publicly and privately. It was so wonderfully uplifting to me and my family.
Needless to say, the training has been quite inconsistent this week. I fit in a run here, a swim there. It's okay. Life happens. Amazingly, I just won an entrance into the Rev 3 triathlon at Cedar Point on my friend Kelly's blog! It has been a whirlwind week full of emotions. Thanks for having this drawing Kelly. I am super excited. I guess I ought to start ramping up the training, huh?
Nine days until the Musselman HIM. Super excited about the race and the Arts Triathlon beforehand. More on that soon.