Inside Look: How my Journey Began.

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Tragedy. Tragedy changed my life. The tragic event that happened to me not so long ago will forever be burned as distant images in my mind. How can I forget the smells, the sounds, and the memories of that day? Honestly, a part of me doesn't want to forget. Those moments are the last memories I have; good or bad. At the age of 23, I had to watch my Father slowly slip away to another dimension.  As I held his hand and listened to the monitor come to a constant tone, everything else around me stopped.  Voices became foggy, the room started spinning, and I thought my life was over. I dropped to the floor; nurses rushing to hold me up whispering in my ear that it was going to be okay. Nothing seemed real. People talk about pain, and this was the worst pain I ever felt. I kept asking myself how at the age of 23 I was supposed to make a decision about the life of my parent? Someone I went to everyday to help me make decisions. At that moment, I felt like I gave up on my Dad. How could I let him go?

The nurses brought me a chair, my family left the room, and I sat next to my Dad. I sat there holding his hand until someone walked in the room to let me know an hour had passed. I couldn't believe this was going to be the last time, and the last moments I would have with him.  I sat there alone, staring at his face, trying to memorize the wrinkles and sun marks that wouldn't have been captured in even the most recent pictures.  I gripped his hand in both of mine as hard as I could, because I knew this was the last time I was ever going to hold my Dad's hand. The hands that held me as a baby, taught me how to ride a bike, high-fived me when I did something great, and gripped me in those bear hugs he loved to give. Those were the hands that were supposed to give me away at my wedding, and hold my children. Everything we had planned for in the future changed in one moment. I never thought getting a call at 6:00am would change my life forever, but it did.

Losing a parent is the worst pain anyone will feel. You can't prepare for it; no one can.  For about 2 weeks my heart hurt. It's hard to explain, but the pain doesn't seem to set in until life starts to go back to normal. When I started to realize I had to learn to live with out my Dad, it was hard, and I know it always will be, but from this tragedy I have learned a lot.

Tragedy has a way of tearing people down, but it can also be the stem of truly beautiful moments. This horrible loss has brought my family closer together. It has opened my eyes and showed me how lucky I am. I have such an amazing support system. I have some of the best friends and family anyone could ask for. I so badly wanted to go into a depression; I went weeks feeling horrible if I smiled. Then after a while I learned that my Dad wouldn't want me to go on like this. I realized that tragic, life altering events,  make you reevaluate everything.

When something horrible happens in life, I beleive you have two paths to choose. You can either decide to turn the pain into happy memories and positive energy, or you can go into a depression and get stuck in a rut. For a while I wanted to go the second route, but I finally realized that all of the sadness I was feeling could be masked if I start to put my life back together. I wanted to start to do everything that once made me happy, and this is when my journey began.

This blog isn't meant to tell people to change their ways, lose weight, etc. This blog is just a place where I can share the moments that make me happy. The moments that continue to act as stepping stones toward happiness for the rest of my life. Sometimes we get so preoccupied with what we "have" to do, and not what we "want" to do. I can't tell you how many times I look back on my life and say, "why did I ever stop doing that?" I rode horses my entire life, and then life got in the way, and I stopped. Why? So, what am I doing now? IM RIDING HORSES! And being on a horse makes me the happiest I have been in a long time.

I know I have learned, along with many people around me, that tragic events show you how fast life can be taken, and change in a second. Once you realize how fragile life is, you have to start living and stop waiting. It is never too late to take that last minute trip, or do something that makes you happy. I can't wait to start checking things off my bucket list. I want to live my life.  I want my obituary to say, "She never took her life for granted." Neither should you! Trust me, I have a long road, and I will always have good and bad days, but I believe my Dad will be with me on this journey, and that's all I need to know.