The Day My World Went Topsy Turvy, June 10, 2011

It was March 3, 2011, I received a phone call from my mom (Charmaine), I could hear in her voice something wasn’t right.  My Dad had been diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer (he did not smoke and hadn’t for about 30 years).  He was a truck driver, one of the best truck drivers out there!  As I am finding out most cancers are environmental.  Upon hearing that news my head started spinning, I thought I was going to be sick, the world dropped out from under me, I could not imagine my life without my father in it.  You see I had spent a good part of the last 15 years single and living close to my parents.  After living in California for 12 years it was nice to be home, it was nice to get to know my family all over again.  I those 15 years I was single most of the time (apparently I’m picky and hard to live with?  lol) but at this time, when this was happening I had just split with my boyfriend whom I had moved in with in Nov 2009 and I was now 3 hours away.  My parents spent their whole lives working hard and raising 5 kids.  Good or bad my parents had an honesty and integrity and a no BS way about raising us.  It seemed to us as kids sometimes that they were too strict, too tough, and didn’t understand us, but in the long run they taught us the truth about life.  Its not what you take but what you give that makes a difference.  I even went to live with my biological mother and grandmother for a time because I “felt picked on”  lol.  What a spoiled brat I had become!  Truth is truth.  Right is right.  Wrong is wrong.  Thankfully for my father his illness was short, however for the ones left behind, the difficulties had just begun.  It would seem most everyone has dealt with their grief and are continuing with their lives without him.  Not to say they don’t think of him everyday or miss him, I know they do.  When he passed I dove into work, taking on 2 jobs with lots of hours, never taking the time to grieve.  Keep Busy and life will go on right?  WRONG!!!  Grief is a very powerful thing and you can try to put it off but it will eventually catch up with you.  And it did.  Boy did it ever!  It hit me like a ton of bricks!  I couldn’t even say “Dad” without bursting into tears, no matter where I was, at home, at work, shopping, at a party, at a friends, everywhere.  I think this was partly because of missing him so much and partly feeling guilty for not having been a better daughter to him, for not making him proud enough, for disappointing him so many times in his life.  OK now that brought me to tears admitting that.  But that’s ok.  It’s the process right?  People were avoiding me because they didn’t know how to deal with me, and how can I blame them…I didn’t know how to deal with me!  This June will be 3 years and its still so very hard but I have started to be able to remember my father and all the special memories without completely losing the plot every time.  Don’t get me wrong it still happens but it’s a process I have been told, and we all process it differently.  We all grieve in our own way and our own time.  I use to get angry with others around me because they weren’t grieving like I was.  As if my way was the only way.  LOL, I am my father’s daughter in that regard I guess!  I have never been an easy child for my parents…and I only have myself to blame for that.  But in retrospect it has made me who I am today, some good , some bad, but getting more and more balanced in my life everyday.  I see things very differently these days.  A better way.  So even in death my father was still giving me a gift, a gift in making me want to do better.  It took me awhile to get there in my mind, but its starting to show…well I hope it is.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built one block, or stepping stone if you will, at a time.  So yes its taking some time, Spirit willing I will get there.  Sorry Dad, you know me, always wrapped up in my own world!  But thank you, thank you so much for all the lessons you have taught me.  I know I haven’t put them all to good use yet but I am trying.  And its you I have to thank for that Dad.  So I want to dedicate any successes I have to my parents, Bruce R. Filkin & Charmaine J. Filkin.   And I owe my failures only to myself, but that is ok because as long as I keep my eyes wide open I will learn from those failures and move on with a clearer vision and on a better path.  Last year in February my doctor took me off work due to physical medical problems…because I am a casual employee for the LCBO  I have no benefits.  With medication costing upwards of 500-600 per month and of course all the other bills associated with life I have lost pretty much everything, my home, my car, my sanity some days lol.  But its ok…I have had a lot of time to reflect on a great many things and maybe that was how it was meant to be?  They say everything happens for a reason right?  I have started to look for the light at the end of the tunnel instead of sitting in the dark feeling sorry for myself and although I have lost so much, I have gained much more.  I have a different outlook, one that wants me to be a better person.  Although I am limited in some ways, there are other things I can do, I just had to see that, and focus on what I CAN do and not what I CAN’T do.  I may not have much but I have what I need and that’s the most important thing.  I have decided to live a healthier life, and no ROME was not built in a day but step by step I am getting better at taking care of myself.  I started with my mental health (still working at it day by day, actually always will do that until my last breath, its part of the process, to constantly improve upon oneself, to be better for those you love) and now I have started my own business that I am proud to be a part of, for they promote ALL NATURAL products, another way to get healthy, mind body & soul, do something you love, can be proud of, and WANT to work at.  And although I have spent a lot less time with my family and friends this last year it is because I need to do that to be able to get to a place that I am a healthier person to be around for them.  I know this appears to be about something of a more personal nature than that of my business but in an indirect way, all of the things I my life have brought me to where I am today, including my choice to have my own business.  So you see everything is connected.  If it weren’t for my Dad I may never have taken the time to check myself.  Thanks Dad, your presence is forever in my heart and I love and miss you very much!  I know you are still here.  Thanks for the dimes Smile

Poem from dad with picture-page-001


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