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Why is it so hard to forget? 🕊️🤍

Updated: Nov 30, 2023





... maybe because we aren't meant to.



Hey, you! 🤍


Today is my dad's 10th death anniversary. To tell you the truth, I thought that after 10 years I would be in a better place, but it doesn't seem to be that way. Again, I wish I knew what to do. I was told that time would heal all wounds and that I would miss him less, but in my case it doesn't feel like that. If anything, I'm more heartbroken than I was and I miss him even more than I did.


Two days ago, I posted a flashback from the time he underwent his heart surgery. It was taken from my old blog and then I started reading the other posts. The after. Some parts I recognize, others I must have blocked out. Nevertheless, life is emotionally abusive.


So for the second time this week, let's go back to the past. Here are some snippets I thought I would share here.


 

March 17, 2013


My morning today wasn't exactly how I thought it would be. Dad came to see me early morning to give me "a special envelope". I asked him what it was and he simply answered, "If something happens to me, open it. There's a list of people you will have to send a death certificate to .....". At the words "death certificate", I turned my head and an unexplained fury took over me. It was too early in the morning and I just didn't want to deal with this now. I wanted to be as far as possible from those papers, never wanting to ever open that damn envelope.


-


March 18, 2013


I woke up early this morning feeling a knot in my heart. I had no more excuse. Ever since Dad gave me 2 new pajama pants to cut and stitch, I've been ignoring it and said to myself I'll do it the next day. I've continued to put it on hold, never really acknowledging it. Kinda like the way I am handling Dad's surgery. I've been doing exactly what the doctors asked us to do in preparation, without noticing that our time was running out. But D-Day has finally arrived and I finally fixed Dad's pajamas. I also brought Dad to the hospital this afternoon to get him settled in his room prior to his heart surgery. The videos we took of S and Dad hugging and saying goodbye are heartbreaking to see. And we're finally here - at this exact point. This is what we worked for all these past weeks - the doctor's appointments, the trips to the dentists, the physical therapists. It's an emotional experience to go through and it's certainly not easy. I am not a big fan of the unknown and it freaks me out. But here I am, in the middle of this darkness. A big part of me dreads tomorrow morning when the nurses and doctors will drag Dad to the operating room, but another part of me just wants it to be over. I can't lose him. Not now. The doctors tell us to go through this with a positive mindset. Which is what I did these past few weeks, the image that I wanted to show to Dad, to my daughter, but I am only human and by nature, pretty sensitive. Alone during the day, these thoughts creep in my head. What if Dad can't take the surgery, the anesthesia? What if something bad happens? What if I lose him? My father. My father, my hero. If anything bad happened, I wouldn't know what to do. I wouldn't know how to go on. I spent weeks preparing Dad for what will happen to him. But what's gonna happen to me?


I wanted lunch to be something special for Dad. This would be his last home cooked meal in a while, so I thought I'd make all of his favorites: Andouillette Sausage, Pan-Roasted Potato Cubes, Endives Salad, and Cherry Clafouti.


-


March 19, 2013


My dad was operated this morning. At 8:00 AM, Dad called to say they were taking him in. I remember how I kissed his forehead yesterday. That was my first time to do that ever. On the phone, I told him I'd come see him as soon as I could. After that, I couldn't move, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything.  I just wanted to stay in bed, rosary in my hand, sobbing in my pillow. A familiar position I had been in 10 years ago to find my comfort.


Getting updates about Dad was impossible. Family members are encouraged to get in touch with the ICU to get updates, but they were out of reach. As each hour passed, I told myself that if no one contacted me by now, it must have meant that Dad's surgery went well and he's doing okay. No news is good news, as they say in France. But there was still a voice full of uncertainty and worry at the back of my head. I waited to be able to call to know if I could come over, but by 4:30 PM, I had absolutely no update! Visits at the ICU are allowed by 5 PM, so I just decided to go, even if there was a chance I couldn't go in.


I waited and waited at the door. I talked to another visitor and he told me that maybe it might be too soon to visit. A nurse later came out to see me. I asked her if I could come in and see Dad. I searched her face for any clues, before I asked her the big question. Is he okay?


"He's fine," she reassured me, "he might not be able to talk to you as he still has his tube in, but he's fine. The surgery went well. Leave your things here, put on the scrubs, and wash your hands please. I'll be back to get you."


I let out a deep breath, as if wanting to expel bad air out of my lungs. Bad air I was keeping since the morning.


"Looks like he will be talking to you after all. My colleague just removed his tube. Come in." 


He was smiling when I went into his room. I couldn't help but smile as well. He was attached to tubes everywhere. I would have been frightened, but he continued to smile looking at me. Trying to reassure me.


"I made it through." 


"You did, Dad." Thank you, Lord. 🙏


-


March 20, 2013


Having news from Dad yesterday was wonderful and being able to talk to him was beyond amazing! He looked so good that if I didn't know better, I'd think he never was operated. I can't wait to go see him at the ICU again this afternoon. I'm hoping that he looks and feels as good as he did yesterday. It has put me in a much better mood. And I am so lucky to have my loving husband. He has taken over all of my usual tasks for me and asked that I just rest. Preparing our daughter in the morning, bringing her to school, picking her up, cooking our meals, doing the household chores, and putting her to sleep. How lucky I am to be loved so!


-


March 24, 2013


I've been visiting Dad at the hospital every day since his surgery. He was staying at the ICU up until yesterday when he was transferred to a high-care room. He shares the room with another patient and they are pretty strict about visiting. Visiting hours start at 3PM until 8PM and only 2 visitors are allowed at the same time. Dad really wants his own room, where he is alone, but he doesn't really have a choice. I'm just glad that he's doing good and out of the ICU. I'm hoping that it continues as well as this.


-


March 28, 2013


In the past days, Dad was transferred from the high-care room to his own regular room and he is leaving the hospital tomorrow to go to a 3-week stint at the cardiac rehabilitation center. This week didn't go as well as we had hoped. The doctors found water in his lungs and they had to remove it - twice! That is why he had difficulty in breathing for a couple of days and problems with oxygen saturation. After the water removal, Dad tells me he feels better. But physically, he looks weak. He looked so good right after the surgery, I wonder what happened since? My husband tells me it might be because the anesthesia and morphine has left his system. Well, I remind Dad to just hang on and soon it will be all over. I so did not need this added stress right now!


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March 20, 2013


The original plan was for us to visit Dad at the cardiac rehabilitation center tomorrow (Saturday) since we couldn't go on Sunday. I thought I would give today for Dad to settle in his new room and get to know people. But he called and begged that we come today. I wasn't too pleased since I had the week all planned out and today was already meant for something else. I had to remind Dad that the cardiac rehabilitation center is 100 kilometers away and going there every day like I did in the hospital was not possible. I don't have the time and the budget. And if we ever went, we would go preferably right after lunch and spend the whole afternoon there. This was also a reason why I wasn't so pleased to go today because it meant that we could only stay 1 or 2 hours, unlike tomorrow where we could stay the whole afternoon. But Dad insisted and so off we went. The cardiac center is in the middle of a beautiful landscape. I just love the setting and will definitely dedicate a post for it. We had to leave Dad when his dinner was served. He is in a double room, but staying alone for the meantime. His roommate was brought to the hospital and will return. Dad is hoping he will have an individual room soon because hee really wants to be alone. We left him at 6 PM.


-


April 4, 2013


Since today is a Wednesday and it is a no-school day, I thought we could go see Dad at the cardiac rehabilitation center. It really is beautiful in the center and we brought Dad outside to see the park. Dad used a wheelchair, but I'm hoping he will start walking on his own soon. It was a quick walk outside though, since there was a cold breeze.


-


April 15, 2013


We spent the afternoon with Dad at the rehabilitation center again. Today was a hot, good day and one that we've been waiting for a loooonnnngggg time! Longer days and sunshine are much appreciated! Dad's hospital room was warm and stuffy when we arrived, so we took the opportunity to open all his windows and walk around the park. There were times when the sun was really hitting hard that we had to hide under the tree shades. S ran around like a mad kid, picking up any wild flowers she saw to make a nice bouquet for her papi. We left the place close to dinner time.


-


April 21, 2013


We went on a road trip to see Dad today. He is doing great, thank you God. I have great news, can you guess??? The doctor decided that Dad is fit to come home and therefore, a week from now he will be back with us. Once again, we will have to adjust, but we're beyond happy that Dad is coming home.


-


April 27, 2013


After a month and a half of absence, Dad is finally back home! We're so done with the heart surgery, cardiac rehabilitation center, road trips, and running from one place to another. I realize we will still have to deal with medications and doctor's appointments, but I'm so through with the rest. I just want to turn this chapter over. I spent so much time worrying and stressing that I just want to think about something else. So it was on a rainy Friday morning that Dad came home, chauffeured by a very nice health personnel. It was close to lunch  and I had just spent the last hour preparing our lunch. I wanted it to be perfect. S was super excited to have her Papi back home


-


May 4, 2013


In the past days, I've been craving to eat out and bugging Dad to come with us. He keeps saying that he's too tired, but I haven't let go. I guess my bugging paid off because he finally agreed to go out tonight. I can be very persuasive (and annoying) when I want to. Ask my dad. He's my favorite victim. LOL.


-


May 8, 2023


Endives au Jambon is one of Dad's favorite dishes and he says I prepare it perfectly to his taste. I was still in the phase of making some of Dad's favorite dishes since he left the hospital. Imagine how happy he was when he found out what we were having for lunch today!


-


May 31, 2013


I brought Dad to see his cardiologist this morning. The good doctor said that everything was doing great with the heart valve they operated on, but there is still the question of Dad's arrhythmia. Because of this, Dad takes anti-coagulant medication which we have to be careful about. Basically Dad cannot fall down or else he'll bleed out. The doctor asked us to come back by the end of June to run some tests and he will tell us then if we can proceed with an intervention to correct Dad's arrhythmia. But it's nothing to worry about - he is doing really good. We're happy. Anyways, we were out of the doctor's office by noon. I began to wonder when was the last time we ate out, just the two of us. Probably about 8 months ago, I think. And then I thought it'd be cool to go on lunch date with my daddy, just the way we used to 7-8 years ago. So as I was driving the car out of the hospital, I casually mentioned that we could eat out. My treat. Dad smiled. After driving for 5 minutes, I pulled in the parking lot of Courtepaille in Metz Metzanine. I already had lunch here once, so I knew Dad would enjoy it here too.


-


June 6, 2013


I had to bring Dad to Morhange for his regular monthly check-up this morning. Ever since Dad came back from the hospital, I've been in charge of preparing Dad's medication. It's crazy how many he has to take at each meal!


-


June 28, 2013


Dad had a check-up with his cardiologist yesterday. The Husband, S, and I came along. It was really quick. We had an appointment at 11:00AM and by 11:30AM, we were out of the office. We agreed that Dad would go to the hospital from July 17 to 19 for a quick heart intervention. Everything is alright, according to the cardiologist. Because they said that today was the only sunny day of the week, we decided to go downtown.


-


July 10, 2013


My day today was unforgettable! And in a really good way. It started with me receiving my positive letter from the company I recently tried to apply to. After successfully passing the exams and interviews, I am told to wait for my next letter where I will be told the dates of the training. Yay for me. It's excellent news. We felt like eating out tonight and celebrating. Dad wanted to treat us and he wanted to try the Lebanese restaurant I found online. I read so many positive reviews, so we were going in with really high expectations. Which isn't always a good thing, but I won't keep you in suspense. We were floored by the delicious food!


-


July 17, 2013


Dad is really sick. :(


He is looking worse and worse every day. I called his doctor and he told me that we will push through with his hospital admission tomorrow. He did warn me to call an ambulance asap if Dad starts to have real breathing problems. It's a really scary feeling I am feeling right now. We'll see how it will go tomorrow and truthfully, I am relieved to know he is going to be admitted and taken care of by professionals. I tried to surprise and make him happy by preparing one of his favorites, Chicken Liver, for lunch today, but sadly, he barely ate anything and wasn't in the mood at all. I see him so weak and tired, and I hate that.


-


July 18, 2013


We brought Dad to the hospital this afternoon for admission. When we left him, he was settled in his own room. He looked tiny sitting on a chair. He looked tired, weak, and so unhappy. Then he started crying, really crying. Shaky shoulder, uncontrollable sobs, and his hands covering his face. Saying something how he didn't want to leave us, he wasn't ready to pass away. I felt miserable. There was no way I showed him the tears I felt were threatening to drop. I reassured him that everything would be alright and that he was in the hands of excellent doctors. I tried to reassure him, but truthfully I think I was reassuring myself more. The only way to get through it, is to get through it.


-


July 21, 2013


The Husband and I are home alone again. Dad is still in the ICU, closely monitored by the renal specialists. He had to undergo an emergency dialysis the other day to remove all the potassium in his body. He was scheduled to have another one today, but after exams the doctors did not see the need for it. His potassium level has stabilized. They also inserted a catheter, so he's peeing out all the extra water he has in his body. That is slowly improving. The doctors are also trying to find out why he was experiencing acute renal failure. They haven't found a cause yet though.


-


July 28, 2013


Busy day today. When I had one of Dad's doctor on the phone yesterday, she told me that Dad was most likely staying the weekend in their hospital. But I got a call this morning by his main doctor and he told me that everything was going great concerning Dad's renal system and ultimately the thing that needed to be worked on was his heart. He was afraid that if the needed intervention wasn't done on his heart soon that the kidney would start acting up again. In short, Dad's kidneys were not coping well with Dad's heart arrhythmia and the heart shock needed to be done as soon as possible. Fine. So by afternoon, Dad was transferred back to the first hospital where his cardiologist practices. With the transfer and stuff, I told Dad that I wouldn't be able to come see him today.


-


August 4, 2013


Lunch today was a late one. Around 11AM, Dad called and said that we had to come see him immediately because the hospital needed to talk to me about putting the television in his room. In other words, I needed to give her a check as a guarantee or no television for Dad. I hate to be rushed like this, so my mood was a bit sour! As soon as we got there, I politely told the secretary what I thought of their policy and rushing the significant others like that! It's just for a television, for crying out loud! And it's not like Dad can run away from the hospital with the remote control. Putting that aside, Dad looks to be doing good. I wonder if the doctors are gonna keep him a month as suggested by his cardiologist. He loves that we are visiting him every day, but I gently reminded him that we won't be doing that. It breaks my heart to tell him that, but life in France does not permit it. Between having work, taking care of a 4 year old, and everything else, I can't afford to run to all sides like I have no responsibilities. And sadly I can't afford to pay a full tank every 3 days. Perhaps some won't understand what I mean and say that I've changed since arriving in France, that I've adapted the lifestyle here, and maybe it's true, but those who have lived abroad and were in a situation similar to mine know what I'm feeling right now. But perhaps I am the one judging myself. To lessen the guilt of not being with Dad from morning till night every day, I call him every morning and every night. It's not the same as a visit, but it lessens the guilt and reassures me.


-


August 7, 2013


In the afternoon, The Husband and I went to see Dad at the after-care hospital. I brought him everything he needed to last him a week - pajamas, shirts, underwear, towels, and pants. I also made sure to buy some recreational items like reading and activity books to pass the time. He was happy that we came over, but then again he's always happy to see us.


-


August 15, 2013


On Monday, we received Dad's medical bed in anticipation for his arrival. The bed will help him sleep upright and go in and out of his bed on his own. Then yesterday, after weeks of hospitalization, Dad came back home. We prepared everything for him to be comfortable. As you can imagine, he was pretty happy to be back. He confessed that a part of him thought he wouldn't make it. According to the doctor, we avoided a catastrophe. Dad's first night went great and he was up early this morning. I woke up early too because I thought I'd make some desserts / snacks with the blueberries I had. I knew that we would be having visitors over this week to wish Dad well and I needed to prepare something to offer them.


-


August 17, 2013


Dad wanted to make some changes in his room. He asked me if I could bring him today to a place where he could buy some cheap, but nice side tables and maybe a lamp.


-


September 9, 2013


Sudden change of plans. On Friday afternoon, I brought Dad to the doctor's office because I saw that he wasn't doing good. As it turns out, he is again a victim of pulmonary edema! Damn it, when is this ever going to stop!!! Considering how badly things went the last time, our family doctor contacted right away a cardiologist who advised us to admit Dad at the hospital yesterday morning. When you're at that moment, going through it all, there's not really time or space to process it. But now, lying in bed, alone on a Sunday morning, it's finally sinking in. It hurts. God knows how much it takes for me to  put up a strong facade. Because we all have a role to play for Dad. The Husband is the understanding one, the one who listens, the softie. S is the clown, putting on a show anywhere anytime, making us laugh, sharing her innocent stories from school. I am the strong one, hiding behind my mask of encouragements, I push to do beyond our limits, and I believe that someday somehow it will go back like the way it was. It's a hard role to play. No one can see my tears, no one can feel my pain, and no one can hear my sadness. Because if I crumble down, the whole house will too.


-


October 4, 2013


Dad has been dropping hints about Spaghetti and Meatballs for a while now and I thought I'd make him happy. Dad has been feeling under the weather lately and truthfully, we're starting to get a lil worried. He had a big smile when he saw what I was putting down the table. Then again, he's the one who taught to make meatballs and they are deliciously moist!


-


October 6, 2013


Worse has come to worst and Dad has been hospitalized once again today. Despite his hesitation, I urged him to go to the emergency room because I could see that he was not doing well and it's been that way for the past couple of days. I don't know if his hesitation was based on fear or denial, but I knew that I would regret it if I just did nothing. I guess my thinking wasn't too wrong as the emergency room people decided to keep him. Because the ER was busy, The Husband stayed with Dad, while S and I went home. Later in the day, I was informed that Dad would be hospitalized in another cardiology-specialized establishment. As I drove the car, it started to rain hard. The tears that I would not let out of me was felt outside. By dinner time, Dad was settled in an intensive care unit room. He will rest for now, as I suspect that by Monday he will undergo a series of medical tests. We made sure that he was fine before we left.


-


January 17, 2014


Hi Everyone.


It's been quite some time since I last wrote here. In fact, for a while, I thought I'd never be back. That I wouldn't find the courage or motivation. Or simply, that I'd never be able to go back to my old usual self.


But this past week, I've caught myself signing in, wanting to say something, but not knowing where to start from. The past few months have been the worst of my life. I lost almost everything that mattered to me in my life. One after another and I felt myself being stripped.


But right now, I finally feel like I'm coming up for air after this shitty period of my life. Friends and families haven't seen me depressed, but deep down I know I am a mess. Most days, I look at the mirror and I don't even recognize myself. The emotional, transparent girl that I was has become an almost cold-hearted woman with protective walls up to the roof. I am not proud of what I've become.


Luckily, in the past months, I was privileged to meet new people who I consider as good friends now. Talking to them has helped me in this dark period. The tears could not stop falling the day I finally let the walls break down.


I realized how much good that was for me. As well as how much I missed blogging and writing down my thoughts and feelings. I understand I might just be writing to myself most of the time, but it sure feels good. And I want to start again.


--


"Sometimes we don't want to heal because the pain is the last link to what we've lost."

-JmStorm


I'm hurting because I remember you and I never want to forget you. The pain, although horrible, is a reminder of you. 🕊️🤍


xoxo Elodie



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