Monday, October 25, 2010

He came. And I held the roses.

Last week was my birthday and last week I suffered a depression relapse. The relapse made every day hard which meant the birthday meant even more. It was a day I needed. And possibly what got me through to the next day…and the day after that.

Jenny sent me gorgeous magnolias and balloons. Mrs. Fatass wrote a guest post for me. I got oodles of texts. A package from Carmen. Lots of emails. Even phone calls I picked up for. A Tiffany charm from Rambo and my favorite pizza. Homemade cards from my little girls. Facebook wishes amuck. Quiet time with my favorite shows.

And one more thing.

I was working – getting through – breathing. It was about 3pm. My day was almost over. I had made it through. And I looked up. I saw my mother walking towards my office….holding a dozen roses.

Followed – by – my – father.

Gulp. Choke back the lump in my throat. Hold it together.

I saw him. Saw him tense up. Saw him get nervous. Saw him look away.

Because if we locked eyes – we both wouldn’t make it through this moment. We both knew what it had taken for him to come in here.

I’ve worked here 11 years. It’s the first time he has stepped foot in my office….during business hours….past other people….in broad daylight.

I hugged my mom. I didn’t hug him. I knew he was barely holding it together.

My mom said, “This was your dad’s idea. He wanted to bring these. He picked them out.” And she handed me the roses.

Three little sentences…I’ll take to my grave

He couldn’t carry the roses. He couldn’t have handed them to me. I wouldn’t have wanted him to. I knew it was all he could do to just be there.

My God in Heaven…he was standing there. In front of me. In my office. On my birthday.

And he didn’t even have to be.

We made small talk and I was nervous now. What would we talk about? Please don’t let there be awkward silence. Please let me get through this without losing it.

I made it. They left. I said thank you. I sat down at my desk....still holding the roses. And I let what just happened sink in.

Beyond the social anxiety that sometimes completely stops him from being a father….there is love. And on special days – even my father fights his demons and his fears and he tells them to go to hell – for me – by walking in here….knowing what it will do for me. He makes choices like I do…even though everything in him wants to do the opposite.

And since I don’t believe in coincidences…I’m thanking the Big Guy upstairs for giving my dad the strength to do what he did that day…knowing the relapse I was in….knowing it would allow me to take one more step up out of the black hole I was in…

To those of you who have parents who buy you gifts – small or large – please, I beg you…never, ever take it for granted. For those of you reading this thinking flowers from your father is commonplace, normal or even expected….I hope you realize that indeed it is not normal for every daughter. And that you are lucky.

For me, it is….

A life raft
Confirmation of sometimes doubted love
Roses I will never throw out
A moment I’ll never forget
A memory I’ll tell my girls about
Simple…yet profound

For 10 little minutes on a day in October…..everything in the world was okay…..simply because….

He came.

And I held the roses.


Jen said...

I want to hug BOTH of you. That is the sweetest thing ever.

Nikki said...

I'm a new follower and a new bandster - so apparantly, I have some catching up to do. I just wanted to say so glad you had a lovely birthday and received the loveliest of gifts. This was the sweetest day. :)

Justawallflower said...

This should have came with a warning. Now I have to sneak out of my closet at work (where I hide to read blogs) with tears running down my face! I have never received a gift from my dad that wasn't actually purchased by my mom, so I understand how big it can be.

MrsFatass said...

You already know what I'm going to say, but I'll say it anyway:
I totally get this.
I've often described my relationship with my father as 'instinctual.'
This is what I mean.
Happy birthday, dear friend.

Jacquie said...

Ok, Draz, first of all, being away, I missed wishing you a happy birthday. But, really, you sure know how to get the tears flowing from me. I am so happy for you and your dad. What a gift!

-Grace- said...

How sweet of your Dad. I hope he knows how much this meant to you. Love you, hun.

Gen said...

I'm so happy for you and your father!

But worried!

You know I have my own bouts with depression, but thankfully I have not been in the deep dark place in a couple years. Please take care of yourself! It has to be the absolutely number one priority! Do whatever it takes to get through this. Make sure your doc knows. Are you feeling better this week?

tessierose said...

I'm so happy for you. You deserve to know you are loved! Big hug!

Roxie said...

Okay, Draz. Seriously, it's starting to get harder to hide the happy tears here at work. I may have to read you at home only. ;)

I'm so glad you and your father had this moment. Best birthday gift ever!

Amy W. said...

Yep. Almost started crying. I love when life gives you things when you need them the most.

Maria said...

That was so sweet, Draz. I'm so glad you got such a special moment, and at just the right time too! HUGS!

Amanda said...

I seriously am tearing up!

MandaPanda said...

I teared up reading this! I'm so happy for you because I realize how much it means to you. In a small way I get it. Not to the same degree, but my mom always handled gifts in our house. Holidays, birthdays...the cards always said "love, mom and dad" but I knew it was always from my mom. For my anniversary this year, my dad bought me a kitchenaid mixer...something I have absolutely always wanted. My mom didn't want him to give it to me because she thought it was too expensive and he never bought the other kids stuff. I was sooooo touched. There's just something extra special when you know it's coming from someone you don't expect it from. So happy for you right now.

Read said...

Wow, I'm not sure how I feel about both you and your father being capable of making me cry while I'm at work. But in this case I'm just going to go with it. What an amazing thing - there aren't any coincidents. The universe knew what you needed most that day and found a way to get it to you. What a beautiful present. I'm so glad you were able to receive it and that he was able to give it.

Liz said...

This is so so so amazing to read - so glad that your dad was able to give you this part of himself on your birthday. just when you needed it!

DB said...

I am so happy for you both - this was HUGE!

Donut Butt said...

I have tears rolling down my cheeks reading this. And goose bumps for what that moment meant for both you and for him. What an incredible birthday gift from your dad, not just the roses, but to overcome his own fears to be there for you, his daughter. I am so happy you got to feel your father's love when you needed it the most. Really, goosebumps!

rskmom said...

Enjoy it, embrace it, remember it.

My Dad never bought me a gift. Ever. He's gone, now, so he never will.

I feel with you, girl.

CathyB said...

Just. WOW. I so love this for you!

Catherine55 said...

I am so glad that this happened. What a meaningful thing! Sorry to hear that you have been down, and I hope that this new year will be a wonderful one for you!

Ms. M said...

What a special moment for you! I totally get why it means so much & I'm so happy he was able to be there for you. {HUGS}

Sandy Lee said...

That is so sweet. It is hard for those we want to love us to let it out. I had a great dad but he never really said the "I love you" words (neither did my mom) but he taught me to be an independent person-how to fix my car, build things... A week before he died, I spoke to him on the phone and when I ended the call, I (yes me) said I love you to him. He mumbled a goodbye but I knew he heard me and I knew he loved me. That was the last thing I said to my dad. His death was sudden 7 days later.

I share this with you because the burning memory you made last week will be with you forever, during joyful times and in times of darkness. They really are a light.

Thanks for sharing as it brought my own good memories back if just for a moment. Those who have died continue to live with us because of memories we share with family and friends. Keep it up.

TracyZ said...

What a great moment for that you'll have to cherish forever. To remember when you need a little lift up.

Mo said...

Wow that so resonated with me.

Three years ago on my first of four days in hospital my dad visited and bought me flowers.

Now most people who knew him as outgoing and generous would not have been surprised.

But for family we knew what it meant, it meant he chose to over ride all his anxieties to bring me flowers, check on me and stay for an hour.

See my aunt whenever she would go to hospital would tell us not to allow Dad to visit her because she knew it would mean she was at deaths door, As that was the only way he would go to a hospital.

Three years later and I repaid that visit by spending as much time as possible with him when he had to be in hospital and got diagnosed with terminal cancer.

And that memory of his visit got me through my lapand surgery too, knowing he would have visited me then too, if he had been alive.

His love for his kids would allow him to overcome any of it.

Scuttleboose said...

Aww, this is such a sweet post. Happy (late) birthday, and I am so happy for you! :)

Ice Queen said...

Oh Draz.

I thought I could get through this without crying. I was wrong. What a moment. For both of you.

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

Love that the sun came for you again beautiful

Bonnie said...

I am so happy that you got what you needed. Someone was definitely looking out for you.

Dizzy Girl said...

This makes me so happy- I was praying all day that you would have the best day ever. :) I'm glad he came- and your mom did too, so so so so so sweet. ILYGTD