Barry Blaine Anderson (March 6, 1944 - November 5, 2006)
This post has been somewhat delayed for several reasons but mostly because I couldn't seem to put into words what I wanted to say. I attempted several times, but each time would delete to come back at a later time.
My dad has been gone five years.
Five years since I've held his hand.
Five years since I touched his face.
Five years since I whispered in his ear about some minor college trangressions I had in attempt to bring back a glimpse of life in face (it worked!)
Five years since I whispered in his ear that it was okay to let go. That we would be ok.
Five years since I had the privilege to share his last moments on Earth with us and help transition him to an eternal life we can neither fathom nor dream of.
Five long years.
But at the same time, they have flown by.
I miss my daddy every day - and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. I am comforted knowing that will probably remain true for the rest of my life.
I never want to forget.
The pain over 5 years has ebbed. It's not nearly as stabbing and gut-wrenching. It's manageable.
There are still sad days or sad moments, but mostly we remember with laughter and happy tears.
But they've been hard fought.
The first year I didn't think we would ever get to this place. This place of moving on, living life, missing him like crazy, but grateful that he is in a better place.
But we are there.
Over Quinn's journey of the past 6 weeks, I often thought of my dad and what he would be doing had he been here. I have a feeling he would have been doing everything he could to hold down the fort, go the grocery store (in the years after he retired, he went to "visit" Tom Thumb almost every day - half of it was with purpose for dinner and half was to visit his friends : ) )
He would have waited for me every day that I came home from the hospital with a big hug for his baby girl.
He would have given Matt the advice he could.
He would have supported my Mom and lifted her up.
He would have layed out on the couch and watched Law & Order re-runs to keep Max company and have Ryan run circles around him.
My only question that still remains is how he would have been with Quinn. My bottom, deep-in-the-gut feeling is that he would have been heart-broken to see his littlest baby girl like that and in so much pain. It probably would have torn him from the inside out and there probably wouldn't have been many words.
So maybe it's better that he was her angel from up above.
And I do believe that.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend of my parents sent me an email (Miss T, I am going to paraphrase so forgive me) ---- but she had this dream. We grew up with this family and Mr. J & my dad were as thick as thieves. As life got busier later on and kids grew up, as they so often do : ), our time with this special family was less and less --- but we still always had that special bond.
Anyway, Mr. J unfortunately passed away about a month before my dad. I remember it clearly, and I also remember thinking that my dad would be next. I just knew it.
To the dream, and to paraprase, basically she dreamed that we were all over at their old house, my mom, Miss T, myself, Dad, and Mr. J - and we were eating tortilla chips & salsa (which makes total sense b/c we always had a tremendous fondness for the local Mexican restaurant, Papayas, may it rest in peace).
The ladies were getting ready for a big party and as we were getting ready to leave, we asked why the boys weren't coming with us. They were happily saying that they were going to miss the party because they had to go rock a sick baby girl in the hospital. We tried over and over to get them to come but they were absolutely adamant to stay behind and take care of this little girl.
Now when Miss T shared this dream, she did underline it with the fact that none of us knows what happens in Heaven - what the contact is here on Earth and it's not something we can even begin to conjecture. But through that dream, maybe, just maybe, it was God's way of providing comfort that our little girl was being protected by her grandaddy and looked over and maybe, just maybe, he's totally aware of the situation.
And her sharing that with me just brought so much peace.
This much I do know - if my daddy was here, he would be over the moon for these kids.
And I pray he would be proud of Matt and I.
And also overwhelmingly proud of his amazing son, Blaine, who married a wonderful person, Christina, and shares his fondness for over-sized dogs.
And amazingly proud of his loving wife who has been the strongest woman I've had the privilege to know and call her "Mom".
Five years seems like such a long time - how will I feel at 10 years, 20 years? My only prayer is that these children continue to hear stories about my dad, the amazing man he was, and the fantastic grandfather he would have been. We decided that we will call him "BB" to the kids. BB being his first and middle initials.
Daddy, we love you and miss you every day. I can't imagine what glory you must be experiencing every day but I look forward to the day we are all reunited in that place.
This song has been out for awhile, but I happened to hear it on the way to the hospital one morning and it just reminded me so much of my dad, especially the second chorus. Hope you have a quick listen: