Sunday, March 6, 2011

Time To Say Goodbye

I think a person prepares themselves the best they can. But when reality kicks in, there is no preparing for that. My brother is leaving today, and is going with a heavy heart. He doesn't know if this will be the last time he will see his father alive. The days are rolling by and I've stopped to take a look into the past. These last two years haven't been easy in the slightest; they have been the hardest years of my life. I have become strong, because I had to. There was no choice in the manner. I have grown up in a way that makes me somewhat sad. Any bit of child that was once inside of me, is now gone. This is my life now and I am strong. I am proud of that fact - but in the end being strong doesn't prepare to you say goodbye.

The last couple days have been rough. My step-father is doing really bad. His pulse has been really high, and then really low. He passed out in the shower yesterday too. The male nurse has been really worried which isn't a good sign. And my mom and brother had to go to the mortuary yesterday to start making plans; I couldn't go... no way.

This morning was hard because my step-father (Greg) seems to have a cold. I was joking to my mom and said, "I hope he doesn't get me sick." And she came into my room saying, "He doesn't have a cold Jess... this is really the final stage." His lungs are starting to give out and that's what ALS patients end up dying from. When she told me that I nodded and she left the room. Of course I started crying, how could I not? Yes, I knew this was coming, there was no denying that, but it's so final. The reality that my step father is dying is like a knife in my heart. This man who has shaped my life is leaving this world. I don't want him to feel anymore pain, but I do want him around. I want my children to know this man changed my life for the better - and even though I can tell them about him, show pictures and movies, it isn't the same and it never will be. My mom has been having a heavy heart lately and keeps kissing his forehead - whispering how much she loves him.

Cameron, my older brother just left and watching that was definitely bittersweet. He couldn't barely get words out but said, "Dad I love you so much... you have made me the man I am today and I'm thankful for that. You're my hero." He doesn't know if he'll ever see his dad again, so these words he has to say every time. The way things are going, I'm not sure if he'll ever see him again.

I think about my everyday life and the worries that seem so life-altering, but when you put it in perspective, they are like an ant on a hillside. They are minimal to what we are going through as a family. Math, school in general, boys, friends, feeling fat or down on yourself are nothing in the scheme of things. Life is what matters. Living to the fullest is the point. I'm not going to waste anymore time on anything. I say this a lot, but something inside of me has changed these last couple of days and I really mean it this time. Life should be full of joy and when I leave this earth I want to have no regrets - I want to do everything and have everything I have dreamed about. I want to be surrounded by the people I love and I want to have made a difference in someones life.

That's the point of life in my eyes. Because when it's time to say goodbye you realize what it's all about. I probably won't write about Greg again until... well you know... it's too painful and my eyes are anything but dry right now. But I had to get it out - I just had to. I also want you all to know the message I'm trying to say in this post. LIVE. Don't waste a minute of it. And don't worry about the stupid things - be happy and be thankful for everything around you. Love everything. And smile. Just smile.

Thanks for reading.


  1. LIVING in honor of your step father sounds like a wonderful plan.I am sure he would love that a well! Much love to you and my thoughts are with you.

  2. this was truly beautiful to read. my thoughts are with your family. it's wonderful that you are able to find a positive message about living life from such a difficult time.

  3. The blog is very good!

  4. I can't even imagine- be strong like you have been, lady! I know you can get through this. Lots of thoughts and prayers for comfort coming your way!

  5. I am sorry to hear what your family is going through!!! I have to thank you for this post though. I know we all take things in life for granted and this post just made me think it of all the good things I have in my life and to, just like you said, live!

  6. youre such a strong and inspiring person jess, i cannot imagine the pain and sadness you and your family are experiencing. it is So so smart of you to look at the situation with determination to live your life to the fullest. thinking of you and your family and i will pray for your step-father. xoxo jcd

  7. Oh my gosh, reading this nearly brought me to tears, twice! You said it all so well, and wow, I feel honored to know you, Jess. What an amazing woman you are, and an amazing family you have. Even through this horrifying experience, you all still love. This is what love is about: being unconditional. You and your family are in my prayers, darling <3

  8. Aw Jess, this really got to me. I can deal with anything in life, but goodbyes and death are two things I've always struggled with. Most of us do, it's when it doesn't affect you that you need to start worrying.

    There's nothing I can say that will change the way you feel, but it seems you've grown stronger because of this. At this time in my life I'm very philosophical about many things. I could have been killed in a car accident three years ago but it brought with it many changes and made me a better person. These things are meant to try us, and they truly show us what we're made of.

    By the way I'm here through my friend Jill's blog (I adore that girl!) The title of your blog is what my wife and I have on our dining room wall in huge black letters.

    Hope you're doing okay. :) You and your family are in my thoughts.

    On a more uplifting note, that photo is amazing. I just LOVE eyes!!