Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father’s Day Tribute to my Dad

It’s been over a week since my last blog post and much has happened in that short time.

Last Thursday June 13, 2013 my father suffered a heart attack while at home and then another one in the hospital shortly after arrival.  There was nothing anyone could do for him and he was gone.  I got a call from my brother-in-law at 3pm while I was picking the kids up at the school bus stop.  Not the best place to be to  receive a call like this.  But where is????  The call was about the first attack and he was on his way to the hospital.  I phoned my husband and he was leaving work right away.  I had to contact all the parents of the daycare children.  Thank you to all of them for picking their children up early that day.  As we were on our way to the hospital in Guelph, my brother-in-law called again and asked us to meet.  This time there was no good news.  

I know that may sound abrupt and short, but I don’t know any other way of saying it without getting too emotional and then you would not know anything because I wouldn't be able to type.

We made our way to the hospital and it was very surreal.  I saw my father lying there and it just wasn't right. The saddest part of it all was just leaving him there in that room.  I knew for my children's sake and for my own, we could not stay there all night.  There was nothing we could do.  And THAT did not seem right.  But we had to go and that made me sad.  I did work the next day to keep my brain busy with the kids, but that night I had the crappiest sleep ever.  I knew though that I had to get some rest because I still have my own two children that need me to keep going.


Last time I wrote to you I told you about me signing up for the 5K run of The Waterloo 10KM Classic.  Well today was the day, and I ran it in honor of my Dad.

I woke up to the sound of rain outside and this Wimpy-Weather-Runner thought…  “GREAT!”  

But since I started the 21K training program, the weather has been mostly crappy for my runs, so I am not really Wimpy-Weather-Runner anymore.  Yes I will still probably cringe at the thought of going out in crappy weather and need a little extra motivation, but once I’m there, I’m good to go.  For today’s race in the rain, my Dad was all the motivation I needed.

Before leaving the house this morning, I copied a picture of my Dad and laminated it and pinned it to my hat.  He was with me the entire way, from start to finish and beyond.

In addition to being a wimp due to crappy weather, I am also a BIG sap, but for those of you that are avid readers, you already know that.  I get all sappy when it comes to races (not that anyone can see these out on the course) (well, at least I don’t think they can).  Today was no exception, of course. 

As the race began and all the runners and I started on our way, I started to get choked up and I had to pull myself together if I wanted to finish strong.  I got it together and recorded a personal best for my 5K.  I had my Nike+ Running app going on my iPhone so that I could track and record my distance and time.  According to my app, my time was 28 minutes 25 seconds for the 5K, but my official time for the race was 29 minutes 39 seconds.  I am very proud of both times.  The race was actually a bit longer than 5KM.  My Nike+ Running app recorded the distance to be 5.29KM, but who is really keeping track.  I AM!  My run today according to my 21K training schedule was to be 30 minutes, so I joked with my husband that I had to run 1 or 2 minutes more.
This was at the starting line before the race.
My husband and the kids are up in the stands somewhere.

I'm in there!!!
In the second picture I'm directly under the letter R in START.  I'm wearing a black hat.  In front of the guy in the orange shirt.  Do you see me??? Near the person taking the picture on the far side.

Getting back to the sap that I am, there were a couple other moments out on the course where I felt tears welling up in my eyes.  Along with the app running, I had a playlist of songs playing with a couple of them my Dad’s songs.  I was kind of hoping they would come on when I was finishing the race, but they didn’t.  They both played after I passed the 5K turned around point.  It was a great feeling that I was heading into the home stretch.  Even with the songs playing, I held it together and finished strong.  If you are wondering which songs were on my playlist…The Twist by Chubby Checker and What a Wonderful World.  You should have seen my Dad dance to The Twist, oh yeah; he knew how to Twist It!!!  A thought came to me tonight…it would have been so great if at the end of the race, I could have got them to play that song over the sound system, and then everybody start doing The Twist, in the rain of course.  Oh well, a fun thought, but a little late.
Here I am crossing the finish line.

With a personal best too!

Here is me and my Dad.  
Post race.
My son loving the rain.

Today’s race was for my Dad.  Next Saturday I have another 5K race that I have been looking forward to for a long time.  My sister and I will be doing that one together and I think that one will be for my Dad too.  Color Me Rad Toronto Saturday June 22, 2013.

The last few days have been long.  I feel like I need to keep on keeping on for my children.  Everyone grieves differently and it will hit us all at different times in our lives, remember the love and the strength that the person you lost has showed you, and pass it on to the ones you love.  Teach them to be strong and passionate about life and your lost loved ones will shine through in the people around you. 

It’s like how my daughter likes to be in the garden.  I got that from my Dad (and my Mum), and she gets it from me.  It’s just like with the running…she sees me run and now she is into running.  I have registered her for her first 1KM fun run coming up here in WaterlooON…Saturday August 24, 2013…In Running Colour…put on by the Waterloo Running Series.  Check out the website for more details -
After seeing the race today, my son wants to do a race too.  He is geared up for the Dirty Dash on July 14th in WaterlooON.  I still need to register us for that one.

On Thursday of last week, I noticed some pictures on Instagram of some friends Peonies that had bloomed in their gardens.  I looked at mine and they were still not in bloom yet.  One of the white ones was just starting to open.  You might be wondering why I am telling you all this, well I do have a point and I will get to it.    The next day, that single white peony opened up.  

I told my daughter that it was because of Grandpa.  My Dad was a gardener, and loved planting, growing and selling vegetables at the market and later on bedding plants.  He was always a busy man.  Even at the end, he had been outside enjoying the day sitting on the deck looking over what once was the garden he so carefully looked after many years ago.  His green thumb has been passed on to my own little girl and she told him just last Tuesday evening that she loved planting things.  We went for a visit and she told him all about the garden that she planted here at our home.  He was pretty thrilled to hear that.  With the tragic event that happened only two days later, I was happy that my children were able to spend that time with my Dad, their Grandpa and sharing their gardening stories.  It was a great visit, but I didn’t think it would be our last one with him.  He has been in and out of the hospital a lot this year and when he was in the hospital, he did not look good.  When we were there last Tuesday, he looked good, even despite a nasty fall he had taken that Sunday before.  Whether that had something to do with the heart attack that occurred on Thursday, we will never know.  We just have to remember all the good times we shared with him.

Okay, I will get back to the peony part of the story.  Yesterday, Saturday, we stopped in to see my Mum and she was telling us about the flowers that she had ordered for the funeral.  My Dad wanted peonies.  I almost fell off my chair when she told me this.  She said that my Dad had said (I guess when they were making funeral arrangements a few years ago) that he wanted peonies at his grave.  It’s almost like he knew.  The peonies are in full bloom now.  So my Mum, my sister and my Aunt with the help of some other friends, have gathered together some beautiful peonies to supply to the florist to create an arrangement for Tuesday.  I will also be taking some of my white peonies in honor of my Dad’s wishes.  I never knew that my Dad loved these flowers so much.  That is probably why I love them so much too.  They are so beautiful.
I don’t know when I will get back to writing again.  I am going to get through these next few days and see how I feel.  I am going to try and stick with my training because I know my Dad would not want me to give up.  Even if I have to switch up my days a little, I will not give up.  I kind of want my long runs to end up on Saturdays, so I may just take an extra rest day this week.

I would like to thank everyone who have sent messages with condolences to me and my family, it means so much to us all.  Many ask if there "is anything they can do?"... Take care of yourself, that is what you can do.  Start your own journey to become A Healthier Version of YOUrself.  Start now, don't wait for tomorrow.  Tomorrow never comes.  Start today...NOW...take up my Just Push It! Challenge.  Do some push ups, even if it's just one or two.  Do it!  I'm up to 22 regular push ups.  TODAY!!!

I am going to resume my strength training as well this week.  I am feeling rather soft and I don’t like it.  My belly feels like jelly and my butt has gone soft.  Not good.  I want to Stay Strong for myself and for my family.  Because of the health issues throughout my family history, I wanted to be sure that I stay on track with my journey to be A Healthier Version of Me, and I want my husband and our children to be the best they can be too.

I will be back again soon.

Until then…Stay Strong!


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