Just me this time, no episode of the caged heart.  I am still going through the rest of my journal, but I  had to take a break because of so many things, starting with the unexpected but expected death of a man I call Dad.  He had been in the nursing home for nearly 6 months and was deteriorating in mind and body, but not spirit.  I had visited just a week before his death, no small feat because he lived 1200 miles from me. I am just so glad I got to see him at his best then, so full of life and happy.  That is a memory I will treasure always!

 He still lived in that same tiny town I kept myself prisoner in for so long before I finally escaped.  He was well-known around town as the man who collected aluminum cans from the roadsides and bars.  He needed something to keep him busy in his waning years.  He felt this would help provide for himself and my mom, noble to the end I say.  He had gotten lost not too long before he had to go to the nursing home, he must have been a bit terrified even in his foggy state of mind.  Luckily, the townsfolk who had become accustomed to him being out and about saw to it that he made it home safely.  Being from a small town is both a blessing and a curse.  That’s because everybody knows all the dirt on everyone else, but these same folks will be the first to lend a hand when it is needed, not thinking of their own gain but only about doing the right thing.

So  after receiving the news we had to make a decision on how to get to Nebraska from Florida, there was the business we ran out of our home of taking care of dogs to think about, and of course our own dogs.  We got that taken care of with the help of a very sweet neighbor lady, she was a godsend.  Then  we had to work out the logistics of all of us getting there.  It would be way too expensive to fly on such short notice, so we decided to drive.  My daughter had the biggest vehicle so we decided to take it.  My husband and I, my daughter and her two small children set out the morning after we got the news.  Her husband came a few days later by plane, and he made the trip back home with us. When driving  it takes two long days to get to Nebraska from where we are in Florida, The kids did a tremendous job both ways of being good, no crying or complaining.

Saying goodbye to my dad was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, and remember, I have been through a lot!  I have known a few good men in my life, but my dad, he was something special.  He was a hard-working selfless man who only wanted what was best for his family.  He loved to keep people entertained with his wit and his enthusiasm.  He tried so many different things in his life and I am very proud of him for that.  He made wine and beer, went to trucking school after he retired from the farm, learned how to fly a small airplane, tried his hand at raising unusual livestock such as exotic goats and beefalo. The list just goes on and on.

As fate would have it however, my dad’s passing was a catalyst for change in my life. Someone at his funeral gave me the worst case of the flu I have ever had!  On the way home the day after the funeral, I got deathly sick.  I seriously thought I was going to die.  My daughter and my husband had a falling out during the trip home as well, leaving me in the middle of a quagmire.  I was hoping to be able to take time for myself to grieve for my dad. I have been hard-pressed to be able to do that because of all this along with finals for school.  I am finally getting to the point where my life is falling back into place.  I am a strong person, time to lift myself up again and press on! I am back to writing and you will be hearing from me relentlessly now.

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