Like the Ocean’s Tide…

So it’s been a full week of what I consider serious revelation… Of what feels to be an almost purging of my soul…

And then I had a dream last night… In the dream, at certain periods of the night, water would flood in through cracks in my walls… The water height in the room wasn’t a lot at first… And it drained out like the ocean tide after rushing in…

But as it drained… It would drag things stored under the bed with it…

The floods became multiple… And then big boxes under the bed started to disintegrate…

It’s like I would lay there, hear the water flood in and then watch it rush out as it took things stored underneath with it…

At one point, the water came up to the top of my bed and rushed over the surface…

It tried to pull my journals away… But I grabbed them quickly… Unfortunately the ink on the inside was smeared everywhere… So I had no idea what they said anymore… No idea what my mind was thinking in those moments of life… Or even how I felt…

And I feel like that’s where I am right now spiritually… That this belief system I’m comfortably laying on is going through some serious changes…

That a tide-like thing is washing away what doesn’t need to be there…

And as parts of my belief system disintegrate, they quickly become nothing more than piles of trash, junk…

And then my thoughts that pair with my beliefs… Things I value so much and hold dear… Well it feels like it doesn’t matter how hard I hold onto them… Because, like in the dream, once the water has touched them… They don’t make clear sense anymore…

And this of course makes me somewhat nervous… Because in the midst of it all… Well I feel very detached… Like I’m floating around… And I’m unsure of what is actually solid and stable still…

He’s Become a Memory…

I’m learning that one of the strangest… Yet saddest things about death is the fact… Well the fact that my dad has become a memory…

He’s so far in the past now… So frozen in time… Held within the frames of photos and thoughts…

And it’s just sad…

Sad and altogether weird…

Because when I look at life now… At all of the life he’s missed out on… Well it hurts in a way… But it’s honestly just sad…

And I guess this is just part of the process of life… Of death… Of having a close loved one die…

That all of a sudden they’re so far behind… So many days, weeks and moments in the past… That well they become a found memory…

After my dad died.. My grandmother told me that, “you’ll soon forget about the bad times… The hard times.. The sickness… And you’ll just choose to remember what was good”…

And that’s where I find myself now… I’m no longer bitter and angry that he’s gone… I’m no longer left in tears because he’ll never return… And I rarely see my mom and sister filled with grief…

Because life has continued to carry on… And we’ve just simply choosen to hang onto the memories of him that made my father my father…

And I’m sure I’ll have more moments throughout life that remind me how much I hate that he’s gone… I already hate watching people I grew up with have kids… Seeing their kids with their dads… Because my dad will never be a grandfather… Something he wanted so much… Something he would have been so good at…

Instead he’ll be a memory to me… Withheld in my stories to my husband and children… He’ll be a memory to me like my mom’s father was a memory to her… I only know my grandfather through pictures and stories that I’ve been told…

And I just hope that I can represent my father well… That I can truly encompass his life through my precious memories of him…

Looking Back…

IMG_1937
You need to write… that’s what he says to me… write… express what you’re thinking… express how you feel about life and the place you are in right now… and honestly… well I don’t know what to say about life… about this year… about all that it has been….
Looking back 2014 has been a year I’ll forever remember… and honestly…. though I’ve experienced a tragedy…. well it’s been a good year…
This time last year I was depressed, disappointed and didn’t know what my life would come too… I honestly didn’t have any idea where I would go next… but I knew I hated where I was… actually… hate might not even be the right word for what I was feeling… I loathed the person I’d become…
And so I wonder to this day if picking up my life and moving it to Cali was the best decision… it sure feels like it… but I have my days… and my insecurities keep me questioning if I’m doing this whole life thing right…
I mean most people I know are married with kids or heading that way… and so comparing myself is an issue…
But in all… I guess this year has taught me that life is pretty amazing… that you don’t need much to live and be happy… that the people in my life… the ones I continue to surround myself with are the ones that matter… and that you can be happy anywhere once you’re happy with yourself…
And I think that’s the biggest thing for me this year… that I’m finally just happy with myself… happy to just be… and to just be me…
I’m happy and at peace… and those are too things I want to maintain in my life… I feel like I should be saying i want to maintain a relationship or the payment on something… but to me… well to me maintaining my happiness and peace are the most important things right now… because I feel like they will certainly help lead me to other things I genuinely want in life…
And these two things cost me so much… but they are good…
And who knows what 2015 will bring…. or what I may loose… 2014 brought death and I lost my father… but it also opened up the opportunity for me to start writing again in the most real way I know how to today….
Of course I’m a little scared… just the thought of entering a new year full of new unknowns… living in a city and state I know I don’t want to stay in forever… and working a job I don’t want forever either… the transition and end of those things do frighten me some and cause me to wonder “what’s next?”….
But at the same time… this all went smoothly… once I finally got on my own path… my own road marked “Amanda’s Journey”… once I got off of everyone else’s and started my own… well it feels like it’s been smooth sailing… even when waves have been rough and i’ve had some raw moments…
And I think because of this…. because I’m finally on the road marked “Amanda Winder”… well I think that means I should continue to move forward… and I should continue to just be me… and i’m honestly so ok with that…

Smile for Me Baby

IMG_8765

Since I’ve been missing dad so much, we finally decided to set up an old TV/VCR and watch home videos. Three hours later, I was grateful. I was grateful and I was sad… sad and crying. Just hearing my dad and seeing him made me miss him so much more.

But I’m so happy that we have so many videos… that I’ll never have to forget his voice. It’s frozen in time on those tapes. He’s not just in my memory. He was behind the lens of the camera’s eye for a while, so now I can cherish him forever and share him with my children.

It’s strange the things we choose to appreciate after loosing someone. The entire time we watched the films I listened for dad’s voice very intently and I was watched everything he was doing. From teaching me how to play the keyboard they got me for my birthday, to hearing him say my name… those moments were there. And they were priceless.

I think the moment that brought the most tears to my eyes was hearing him say, “Amanda, sweetie smile for me.”

Dad used to say that to me ALL the time. “Hey, smile for me. No.. that’s not a good smile. Smile for me for real.” And I’d finally give him the smile he wanted. Even in the hospital he said, “Hey pooch, smile for me!”

Being on the opposite end of the smile, I never knew or understood what “smile” he wanted…. well not until watching those videos.

There’s a scene in one video, my first day of 2nd grade. He’s videoing us as mom is waking us up. First he scans Bridge and she’s like passed out asleep, not ready for kindergarden at all (typical). Then he scans the camera to me on top bunk… and when he catches my face I have the sweets, brown-eyed smile on my face.

In a strange way it melted my own heart because for the first time, I saw why he always asked me to smile for him. That face I saw, well it melted his heart every time.

When he saw me with that grin a father could only love on his face, he laughed a deep-hearted laugh. The laugh almost sounded like, “I was looking to find you sleepy eyed like you sister, but you’re all chipper and ready to seize 2nd grade.” Like the excitement was luring out of me and all I could do was give that grin that he loved.

IMG_3448

When I saw this and realized it was the smile, the smile I never understood but always filed under “smile for me baby”….. well, I burst into tears. I was feeling so much love in that moment from my dad. Even writing this is causing me to tear up again because I wish more than anything I could hear him say that again.

A lot of the time I took that phrase and wanted to hurt him because he would say it to me when I was pouting or angry. When he saw the look of worry on my face he would say it to me too. He just wanted my worries to wash away, and he wanted to she that grin. A grin only I could give him.

And even when I smiled I guess what most would consider a “camera ready, fake smile” at him, he would say, “No Amanda. Give me a real smile. Come on you can do it.” And then he would make me smile until there was a smile in my eyes.

It’s strange the things I miss about dad. The things that made him… well him. They were unique to dad. And as his little girl, that smile made his heart so full every time. I could just tell by the response in the video.

I wish more than anything I could have him here to say that to me again, but I don’t. I don’t and it sucks… but it does give me one more reason to be grateful for him and his fatherly heart. It gives me a reason to cherish the fact that he loved me so much. And it most definitely makes me want to give a “real smile” more often.