Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Remembering The Sunshine

Pic from somewhere on the internets. I found it a long time ago.

For the past 9 years this week has been a tough one for me. It is the anniversary of my dad's death, the week he lost his battle with cancer and I lost a part of my heart.

I usually become introverted and melancholy and it takes awhile to kick the funk and get back into the happier swing of things. However, this year I decided that I was going to approach things differently. I am taking control of my emotions by making it a week of celebration instead of loss - a celebration of the life he lived.

On Sunday I went to his grave. Spiderman has always been his favorite superhero and so I blasted Michael Buble's version of the Spiderman Theme Song from my car and performed it there with a combination of dancing and sign language. Irreverent? Maybe. But I drove away laughing, knowing he would have gotten a kick out of my antics.

Monday was a day for quarters. Dad always brought quarters to my kids whenever he would come to visit and so I took a roll of quarters and left them in places for others to discover. On the sidewalk at the elementary school, on top of the pumps at the gas station and on the shelves at the library. I even slid a few dollars worth inside of lockers at the high school when I went to my daughter's basketball game. It made me smile all day to think of someone finding one unexpectedly.

Yesterday I observed and I wrote. I made a list of all of the characteristics and quirks and qualities my kids have inherited from my dad and was reminded that he still lives in them. I looked at pictures of my brother and saw Dad there, too. It was a happy day.

Today I will freeze a box of Hostess Ding Dongs and share them with my family later tonight, along with some popcorn. These were two of his favorite treats. The Ding Dongs were a highly coveted delicacy and popcorn was a nightly staple when we gathered around the TV to watch everything from Highway To Heaven to The A-Team.

Thursday is a day of preparation. I will be cutting and gluing and getting things ready for Friday, the day I have been most looking forward to!

Friday will be ice cream day. Dad loved ice cream and I can not wait to share his love with unsuspecting people all over our city! Until this plan becomes reality I would prefer to keep the details to myself but let me just say this: I can NOT WAIT until Friday!

I guess the point of this post is this: I have the power to decide how to approach things. And I think it's safe to say that this week of this year is going to bring plenty of wonderful memories to mind for years to come. Unlike years past when I have chosen to reminisce on what was missing from my life, this year I have chosen to celebrate what I still have - nearly 28 years worth of wonderful memories of my father.

Happiness is a choice and it has made a world of difference to me that I planned to be happy this week. To the point where I don't want to stop, actually. Because you know what?

Nothing brings happiness quite like choosing sunshine when it feels like winter.

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