Sunday, July 13, 2008


I miss hearing Daddy go on and on about his "grand babies" so very much. I don't think I ever had a conversation with him since Shawn David was conceived that didn't include grand babies in it! This is the only professional photo of mom and dad with all the kids. The Christmas before Daddy died, we were lucky enough to all be together and got a few then.

You and Your Crazy Family

I totally miss seeing you interact with your family. All of you are just a tad off and when you guys got together, there was no stopping the madness.

The Whatley's

Not sure when the photo was taken, but I know it was at the lake...someone e-mail me and let me know!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day was this past Sunday. I thought I was doing pretty good, until I broke down crying in the middle of Home Depot. I think it was the combination of not being able to call Daddy to wish him a Happy Father's Day and being in that particular store. He loved to go there and just walk around. I can't tell you how many gift cards I have bought for him over the years to Home Depot.

I sat down that night to type on here, but I just cried.

I miss you so much, Daddy. I love you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We made it....

or did we really? The calendar says that we did. But, it doesn't feel easier today than it did this time last year. Not so fresh, but just as shocked. Just as sad.

If you noticed I didn't (couldn't) update on the days that surrounded his death...the last day I heard his voice (May 14, 2007), the last positive updates, the day he died, the day of the funeral. I just couldn't. I laid in bed pretending to sleep while tears rolled down my eyes thinking of him and every thing I have lost. Who my mom has lost, who Grace lost.

What does that mean, anyway? He isn't lost. I know where he is. And it isn't where I want with us. Does that make me selfish to all the Christians who know he is in heaven?

All I know is I miss him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2007

May 13, 2007 was supposed to be just an ordinary day. It was Mother's Day and beautiful outside. All over the United Sates, people were honoring their moms. Taking them out, showering them with flowers and homemade cards.

I wasn't able to wake up to Grace giving me breakfast in bed, because I was in Shreveport with my mom and dad. I gave mom a gift, but instead of going somewhere nice for lunch, or a cozy breakfast in bed, she and I spent the day at the hospital.

Two days before, I was a little worried about my dad. I mean, he was still on the ventilator and getting dialysis and had so many tubes coming and going everywhere. I thought for a few minutes that day that I might be there a while.

Then, he seemed to start getting better. Slowly, the amount of drugs hooked to his central line started to lower. He woke up and recognized us and even signed a little bit to us. I remember watching his hands make the "I love you" and the "I love you with hugs and kisses" signs. He communicated as best he could. Telling us each that he loved us, asking where people were, blinking yeses and nos to our questions.

So, on Mother's Day, after the lunch time visit, I decided to go home. I thought that I could see Grace for Mother's Day, spend my birthday at home and then go on a date for my anniversary. I thought that I would come back the following weekend and see Daddy. I figured by then he would be up and moving about and talking and joking again.

Little did I know that the ordinary Mother's Day that I woke up to would become something extraordinary. The last time I ever saw my daddy alive. The last time I kissed his head and squeezed his hand. One of the last things I said was "I will see you next week, Daddy. I love you."

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Year Ago Today

One year ago today, at this very moment, I was sitting in a full waiting room, filled with hope and excitement, with a small amount of fear mixed in.

Daddy was in surgery, finally receiving his long-awaited for liver transplant.

The hope and excitement that I felt, the overwhelming relief was enough to make me weak in the knees. I tried not to think about the "other" family. The one that was making funeral arrangements because someone they loved had just died. I kept telling myself it was in God's plan that the person who died happened to do so just in time to save my daddy's life. I struggled not to cry for them as I rejoiced for myself and my family. I fought to keep them away from my heart.

Today, it is not so easy to do that. They just "crossed" over the one year mark. The one that is coming up for us. They are mourning and sad and they didn't deserve to have their loved one die for anyone else to live. I think of all the sorrow and grief that I have felt the past 12 months and I am sad that they do it also. Do they take comfort in the thought that the person they loved saved lives while dying? Do they know that not every one he/she donated to made it? Do they think, "What a waste?" like I sometimes do?

From time to time this year, I have thought of them. Should I send them a note, thanking them for their generosity? Should I tell them of they hope that they gave us? Should I tell them about the man my dad was? How does one write a note like that when the out come wasn't at all like we or they wanted it to be?

The fear I felt in the waiting room was not real. It was a small thought in the back of my mind. A little tickle in the back of my throat that I could ease with a sip of water, if that analogy makes since. It was there, but it wasn't real...because no where in my mind did I ever think or consider that my daddy wasn't going to make it.

When the doctor came to tell us that he was out of surgery, we all rejoiced. We didn't pay attention to the fatigue that he wore like a heavy coat over his shoulders. We didn't notice the worry that crinkled around his eyes. We shrugged it off on his personality, on the thought he had done 2 back-to-back transplants that day. In fact, I barely heard his words after he told us he was done and that daddy survived. It is only in hind-sight that I see his worry over his patient, his fatigue from a surgery that didn't go as well as hoped instead of the elation or excitement that I am sure most surgeons feel when the patient sails through with flying colors.

I foolishly thought the worst was behind us.

When we were finally allowed to go see daddy in the ICU, I looked at him in horror. I still have the image of him laying in that bed stuck in my mind like a brand new snap shot, clear and precise. I see the grayish-yellow, sickly pallor of his skin, the blood that ran like water and tears down his face leaking from everywhere it seemed at the time. For a moment, fear paralyzed me. I was scared to reach out and touch him, to speak even one word.

Then, I thought, "Man, Aimee, you are so dumb; he is fine, he is wonderful, he is ALIVE." I reached out and gently touched his hand, his forehead. I whispered softly to him that I loved him and rejoiced with my siblings and mom that it was done.

As I walked out, I said to them, or maybe just thought it, "Wow, we could have lost him today." Then shrugged it off as easily as I did the earlier fear in the waiting room. "Because, my daddy IS invincible and God won't let someone so wonderful, so good and true die after all he had been through and all he had done for God."

Naive isn't even the word, right?

The day ended with my mom, sister and I sleeping in the hospital, giggling and joking about silly and mundane things. We were all so over come with joy and hope for the future. We teased each other, laughed together and had a good night, sleeping one on a couch and 2 in a tiny, hospital bed. We didn't care. Daddy was ALIVE and on his way back to being who he was before this dreaded disease infiltrated his body, our lives.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

From my other blog.....

I usually don't cross post (in fact this is the first time), but I started babbling about daddy on my other blog and wanted to just say it here where all of you other people who knew him and loved him could see how I feel on the subject of "accepting" the death of my daddy.

"...I mean here I am, 11 months and a week after my dad died, and I still am in the anger stage. I am no where near acceptance. I don't....I do NOT....accept this new reality. I deal with it. I am learning to live in it, but by no means do I accept it.

I actually looked the word up in a dictionary....some of the definitions are: receive with approval or favor; to agree or consent to; to accommodate or reconcile oneself to; to regard as normal, suitable, or usual; to regard as proper, usual, or right.

If these are the common definitions of the word, then why does everyone keep telling me that I have to accept this horrible, terrible thing called death and move on with my life? Why would I receive it with favor or agree with it or think of it as normal? Yes, I know that death is normal...but I don't have to freaking agree with it and consent to it! About the only definition that I somewhat can understand is: to reconcile oneself to. Which means: be resigned to something not desired; come to terms with.

So, I guess I have to be reconciled to this new reality. Because I will never accept it."

Now for a REALLY random thought...

You know how when you slam your finger in a door and it catches you right on the tip of your finger, and you get this ugly, purplish-black mark underneath your finger nail? Isn't that gross?

Well, the other day I slammed my finger in the front door (really stupid of me I know). And now I have that nasty little mark on my left index finger. I hate it. But, every time I look at it I am reminded of daddy. Yes, I know, everything reminds me of him.....

I remember that he slammed or hammered his nails (haha, pardon the bad pun) frequently. He used to always apply a really hot needle or pin to it to burn through the nail to release the blood that forms that ugly mark. I haven't ever had the courage to do that, but I sure wish he were here to do it for me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A random memory...

Once, when we were living on Bay Tree, I came down stairs in some outfit that apparently wasn't appropriate for my age. Daddy took one look at me and said, "You can't even wear that by yourself in your closet...go change your clothes!"