I was only 14 with my life full and that’s when it seemed like the world stopped. My biological father had a heart attack and lay on the ground motionless. Despite the brain injury about 6 years later, I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was my mother who found him first and I was next after hearing her cry and yell. I darted across the street to Dan Hunter who could help my mom with CPR as we waited for the paramedics to arrive. I don’t have much memory of what happened next. In the days that followed our house was visited by friends and family. I could tell my mom just wanted to grieve but I didn’t want to bother her.
A month or so later, I went on a once in lifetime trip. Several months before I had applied and been accepted into a week long wider opportunity trip with Girl Scouts to go canoeing for several days in the boundary waters of Canada. I wasn’t so sure about going but eventually I’d go with the push of family. I needed a break to get away from this. It was a great trip but I came back to a different world.
Eventually my mom did remarry. Ray Beets was from Indiana and he helped to fill a void in my life as a father like figure. He and my mom raised me again after the accident. He has been my support as I compete across the globe. Ray is still around and I really hope that continues for a long time loving my mom and loving all of my 4 biological and step siblings ( 2 of which are his)
My dad comes back to visit me in my dreams. Some of these times are quite amusing just as the time where he dressed up in a Halloween costume and staged himself on the porch to “spook” trick or treaters. There was the picnic with his best friend, Dale July, where they sat next to a pile of puzzle pieces and water balloons. I am really not sure what they were planning on doing. Or the time when my dad had a few whipped cream pies ready to go but there was no one in sight.
These little memories help me to remember him. I feel he is my guardian angel who kept me alive along with the many prayers. Happy birthday Dad! I love you Dad!
Do you find Solitude in unusual places? In memories?