Monday, December 13, 2010

A different kind of weight...

well, I kind of dropped of the face of the earth for a few days and I'm sorry about that but this past weekend life ushered in a different kind of weight.

The weight of the past. The weight of life when it gets a little heavy.
The weight of things that you just have to deal with...because it's all part of it.

We will get to that soon...but in an effort to catch you all up...here's where we left off...

My last post was Wednesday night, and I like I mentioned then - Thursday was shaping up to be a big night of fun with the Titans football game.
And after a long week of work, a Thursday night football game tends to lend itself towards a frolicking good time a lot more than a Sunday noon game.

Uh....  I had a BIG time!

We tried our best to cheer the Titans on to a victory...one drink at a time.
But sadly, they could not pull it off.

My group, however, pulled off quite a fun night out on the town in honor of the effort!
I am not a big drinker in the first place and now that I am all considerably smaller...well, it doesn't take much before I'm fully prepared to wear a lampshade on my head.
After dancing for at least an hour at a fun little place that didn't actually have a dance floor, playing shuffle board, and carrying on with all sorts of general shenanigans I crawled home in the wee hours of the night and collapsed in the biscuit for a great sleep.

I had ever intention of getting up and working out...until I actually got up.
Oops...change of plans.
Hey - who hit me in the head with a shovel?
Ummmm...could I please get some aspirin?
Maybe some water?
 ...a cheeseburger???
You know you've dinged yourself pretty bad when a cheeseburger doesn't even sound very appetizing.

I would tell you I regret it, but truth is - I had a ball! I do not let my hair down like that very often -because let's face it - the recovery time just ain't what it used to be.
Can I get an Amen?

Thursday night was all good clean fun but it left Friday to be an all hot mess.

I did manage to make it to my appointment at 1:00...and was ever so thankful it wasn't any earlier.
That says a lot since I'm the girl that springs out of bed like toast from a toaster every day at crack-a-doddle-doo in the morning and seizes the day.

Friday I was just thankful that I didn't need to seize the commode.


Just about the time I was sitting down to blog and recount all the antics of the previous evenings rompings - in much greater detail and with a few pictures...
That's when the wheels came off.

The different kind of weight than I usually discuss.
The weight of life. The past. The stuff that hits you right between the eyes.

I got a call from my brother and he said simply "I'm on my way to pick up dad and take him to the hospital. He's dying."

Now, for those of you that don't know me - my biological father and my "daddy" are two different people.
Terry, who is actually my step father, is who I think of when I talk about my dad and any of you that know me and have been with me when I introduced you to "my dad" - well, that would have been Terry.

I have a strained relationship with my biological father, and he is the one I am talking about today. Not Terry. Terry is doing great and I can't wait to see him this weekend when he comes to my house for the holidays. I'm really excited for them to get here!

My father, on he other hand, isn't doing very well.
 Although I haven't seen him in years, it is still with a heavy heart - as you can imagine -that I received the news of his health.

I have known he wasn't in great shape for a while.
It is hard to be in great shape when you don't really take care of yourself - and as much as I wish he took care of himself - he hasn't in a long time.
He is -and has always been- a four pack a day smoker.
He is also a heavy drinker. I'm guessing he thinks I do not know the heavy drinker part.

He was always a beautiful man - 6'4", 240, really handsome.
He currently weighs 125 pounds.

Ironic, isn't it? I've been blogging about weighing the same thing.
But it's a whole other matter on a 6'4" man, than a 5'6" woman.

I felt so sorry for my brother having to deal with it alone - I am in Nashville, they are both in the Dallas area - and I wished I could be there to help him, literally and emotionally, carry that weight.

I decided I had better get on a plane.

It got more complicated Friday night when my father refused to go to the hospital until Saturday - who knows why ???
 I can't really tell you I've ever understood any of his life choices.

None the less, he finally made it to the hospital on Saturday and they admitted him immediately, wondering how he had survived that long.
He began immediately feeling better with fluids, oxygen and food - as he had been completely out of all of them.


I flew to Dallas to see him, and knew that more than likely it would be the last time I ever saw my father.



I was sad for the life he lives because although I had to distance myself from him a long time ago for my own self-preservation - I have always wished all good things for him.

I have never once taken any solace in knowing he was a lonely man. It has always broken my heart.
I've always wished for him to have friends and family in his life, but honestly, I've never been too surprised he didn't. Sad - yes. Surprised -no.
He just never really figured out how to be a man of character. I think he tried, I really do...

but the one thing I have come to know for a fact in this life - if you nurture something it will grow, starve it and it will die.
My father nurtured a lot of the wrong things in life, and I'm sure he would go back and change them if he could. But that's the funny thing about life - you can't go back.

You can forgive, even forget, but you can't go back and do things differently.

You can't go back and "un-hit"your children and take away that hurt.

You can't go back and "un-say" the horrible things that you said to your children that made them question themselves and their worth. (and if you ask me- the words hurt WAY more than any spanking. It's why I try to never say anything to anyone that I KNOW will hurt them - it's just not worth it.)

and you can't go back and "un-teach" all the wrong ways to be a man - or how a man should love.

You can always start doing things differently and try and make up for the past.
But that usually requires admitting you might have been wrong in the first place.

I know my father always loved me - I have never questioned that before, and still do not question it - and I'm sure he did the best he could to show both my brother and me that he did.
He just kind of sucked at it.

I'm not sure how to be any more honest about it than that.

So, like I said -going to see him, opened up all sorts of wounds.

I felt a weight.
A weight from the past.

and it was a heavy one.

My brother prepared me - or tried to anyway- to anticipate how ill he looked.
There was nothing that could have prepared me once I laid eyes on him.

I hardly recognized him.
He is 67 years old and looked like he was at least 98.
It was shocking.
I felt so sorry for him.

Although he was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Dallas - and I'm thankful for that - I cannot imagine that he could survive much longer in the shape that he is in.

He told me he was admitted for pneumonia, but the nurse told me she did not see any mention of that on his chart, but that they were treating him for COPD (pulmonary disease - from smoking) and they were watching for "with drawl signs"- I assume from drinking.
I do not remember him drinking a lot growing up - but I was well aware that it has been a primary focus for the last couple of decades.


He was thrilled I was there and I was happy to see him too... I guess. As happy as you can be to see someone so ill and know that there is nothing you can do for them because , quite frankly, they do not want to be helped.
Trust me, we have tried. 
My brother has begged him to go to a doctor for YEARS, as have I - and we certainly offered to pay for it when the "I can't afford it " card was played.
But there was always an excuse, or reason given why he wouldn't go...we were making headway if we ever got so much as an "I'll go soon".

My brother has carried the burden of looking after him much more than I, mainly due to me living in another state. But also - they have that father son thing - which makes it more complicated, I think.
I'm thankful for my brother.
I've never been more thankful for him than when he came to the airport and picked me up so I wouldn't have to go see him alone.
(Thanks, Bud. I love you.)

 My father is still in the hospital and I do not know how long he will be there. I hope they let him stay for a long time so he can regain some strength - both physically and mentally - and seek further medical attention.
I would be lying if I said I thought he would do anything other than return to his old habits and wait for it to be too much on his body.

That literally breaks my heart to say it - but I feel it's the truth.

I have been sick about it for days.
...and knowing it might make me sound like a horrible person, I was so relieved to come home.

His is just not a world I understand, and it is one that is REALLY hard to bare witness to, it just leaves you feeling helpless and sad.

We had a nice visit, even though sometimes I am at a loss for words.
Which...is NEVER the case!

I assured him I loved him and was glad to see him feeling better.

I quizzed him on when he was eating, what the doctors were saying, what could we do to help him ...he danced around every question and every request.

Very sad.


He also said a few things that I will spend some time thinking long and hard about in the near future.

He made a few comments about the weight of some of the woman coming in and out of the room.
The women that were trying to help him.
I believe after he explained how he would be "lost without her help" - talking about one friend that came to visit - he said "you know, the one with the second biggest ass in the bunch"
SWARE.
Can you believe that???
Why would he comment on her outside appearance (and btw, she was lovely on the outside) when the point he was trying to make was how beautiful she was on the inside.
This is the kind of thing he has said since I can remember.

I was equally bothered by his comment as I was how pitiful he looked.
They both upset me.

I can only imagine that all the comments he made to me growing up about peoples weight and how they looked - about my weight and how I looked -well, I'm sure it left quite a mark.

This time around - he was nothing but sweet to me. He's really been nothing but sweet to me for years.
But then again, I haven't allowed him to be anything but sweet to me in years. I changed the rules a long time ago between the two of us.

He told me I looked gorgeous.
He told me I looked happy and healthy.
He told me how much he appreciated me coming to see him.
Ho told me how much he loved me.

I appreciated his kind words. I really did.

But I appreciate the kind words I say to myself even more.

Because it took me a long time to believe myself as a young woman when I said something kind to myself about my appearance...if I said anything nice to myself at all.
I had heard a lot of unkind things growing up from him. Not all unkind, of course, but enough to have some staying power.

I had to learn for myself that I was worthy of being loved.

I had to learn for myself that I was gorgeous, happy and healthy.

I am forever thankful for my mother and for my step dad- Terry ( I prefer to call him my dad) for they made sure that I always heard ONLY positive things!
They made sure I knew I was loved and worthy of always being loved.
They helped me to learn how to love myself and others.
They got it right the first time.

Please say a prayer for my father.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be to live with so many regrets.
I will always love him, despite my frustrations with some of the choices he's made.

I guess that's the great thing about God and children.
They tend to keep loving you no matter what you do.



I know today's entry is a little more heavy than usual but when I agreed to blog during the first thirty days, I agreed to be totally honest about everything I was going through, so I felt like if I'm going to keep blogging then I'm going to keep being totally honest about everything I'm going through...seems only fair.


We all have all kinds of weight to deal with in this life.

Some you have to bare, some you have to shed.
But all of it is yours to do with as you feel...

and that's a beautiful thing.

I hope my father finds peace.
That is my prayer for him.

Tomorrow I am back at it - I'll report on all the fun stuff again...
like asses and workouts and food plans and struggles.

I'm going to go decorate the tree and and then go to bed early so I can get up early and SWEAT!!!
I need it.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season so far...
Merry Christmas...
AND PUT DOWN THAT COOKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xoxoLa

PS - you are beautiful! ... Just in case no one has told you that today. :)

15 comments:

  1. I needed that last line, La. Thanks for that. and *hugs* and prayers for you and your father.

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  2. Thank you Laura for sharing your story.
    I don't know you but I KNOW you ARE beautiful, inside and out. Your words are honest and come from a good heart.

    I hope things turn out for the best, whatever that may be.

    Wishing you and your family all the best on this Holiday season.

    Paola

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  3. Wow Laura, I'm so sorry you had to go through this extremely difficult days. We are here to support you, any time you want to share more than the thassless road ;) .
    Big hugs La!!!
    xoxo
    Lola

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  4. Lampshade on your head! Thanks, Brad Paisley! On the "heavier" side, I know what it is like to have to remove someone from your life in order to have any kind of normal life. A life without negative comments, a life without drama, a life where you can enjoy the many enjoyable things in your life instead of dwelling on the one negative. I do not know what it is like to have that person be a family member, let alone such a close one. I know your struggle is hard, but I can tell you know your decision you made a long time ago has made you the wonderful person you are today, no regrets. Congratulations on making lemonade from lemons. Thanks for giving the rest of us somewhere to go at night after the kids are in bed and relax with you, your stories, and your journey. Happy Holidays!

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  5. hi laura, sorry to hear about ur dad. a few other posts back i asked how the sweet potato was cooked and what was in ur salad and dressing? would u please let me know as it looked delicious :) thanks
    jacqui

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  6. Hi Laura... I am sorry you had to go through something like that. However, your outlook on life and your humor shows how you have risen above it all and have become a beautiful person inside and out. I love reading everything you write - you are such an inspiration! Hugs to you and your family!

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  7. @Jacqui.c -
    Sorry ! I forgot to post about the salad dressing and sweet potato -
    ok- sweet potato - is simply baked - actually, if I'm in a hurry I will nuke it for about 5 minutes or so first to speed up the process - then I will bake it to brown up the outside. I eat my sweet potatoes plain - I prefer them that way!
    The salad dressings I use have changed considerably since I started Boot Camp - I have always been a lover of all things vreamy and delicious - Ranch, Blue cheese...but I got used to using Red wine Vinegar, Rice vinegar and a little balsamic during boot camp and I'm sticking to those lately.
    So- on the salad you are referring to - I believe I used Red Wine Vinegar and a splash of Balsamic.
    I use the Rice vinegar on arugula with tuna - sometimes add a little low sodium soy- but VERY little - as it can really puff me up!
    I'll try and add more psecifics to ingrediants and pictures - I hope that helps!!!
    Have a wonderful day!
    xoxoLa

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  8. Thanks everyone- you all are so supportive and it is appreciated more than you know!
    I am feeling much better today - ready to get back on it and am going upstairs now to workout before I start watching ELF or something on TV!!!
    Have a glorious day!!!

    xoxoLa

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  9. Laura- I am so sorry to hear what you've been going through and certainly have your father in my prayers. You have no idea how incredibly similar our "fathers" are, and this his very close to home. I hope your days get easier and that you have a lovely holiday season. Take care, and enjoy your fairydust- I will mine!

    Janelle

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  10. Laura, it is the first time that i've cried reading your blog however it didn't feel a lot different than the times that your blog were making me smile or bursting me out laughing. what i felt inside in both situations are admiration to your sincerity and appreciation for your being. again just like the first day i wrote here, i wish that you were my next door neighbor and my best friend so that i could come and hug you (blood circulation stopper kinda hug!) however i can only send you a giant cyber hug!

    i wish the best for your father, to you and all your family. just like you have already put it in the best words, i wish him to find peace.

    You are a very beautiful woman, inside and out.

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  11. Wow what an entry! Truly spoken from the heart! Made me teary to read what you're going through right now :( I also say a prayer for your biological father and that he gets better!

    No one has told me in a long time that i look beautiful. (Not that I've heard of anyway hehe) Not even my beau of 7 years. (Well he has told me but not in a while) But YOU did now :) *smile*

    PS/ Found you via Tracy Anderson's FB-profile /DS

    Big hug,
    Caroline

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  12. Laura, I'm sorry your father is going through such a rough time with his health... I have sent some positive thoughts for his recovery.

    Thanks again for sharing your life with us. You are an amazing person... and good job with starting the day today with a workout! I guess I should get off my butt and go do mine...

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  13. laura-
    my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. you are an inspiration to me in so many ways. thanks for all your honesty.

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  14. Hi Laura, I found your blog about three days ago (?) through videofitness.com forum. I have been "doing Tracy Anderson" on and off for more than a year (just her mat stuff -- never the cardio!) and bought her book when it came out. When I found your blog, I started at the beginning and read through the whole thing -- it's a wonderfully fun read!! And very inspirational. I have just caught up to the last post, and I feel like I've just finished a good book that's left me wanting more. I do hope you come back, though I know you are going through tough stuff now -- my mom died this summer but I think I'm still in denial.

    Just wanted to also say that about a million years ago when I was in junior high, I lived in Brentwood, TN!

    Thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us!

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  15. Laura, so sorry that you're going through such a rough time. Will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for always being real.

    Love to you,
    Donna

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