Up to speed.

On Labor Day I woke up and let out a huge sigh of relief.

I didn’t have to work that day, which was good. Any day I don’t have to work is a winner. But I celebrated also because the summer, for all intensive purposes, was over.

The summer had some positive points. Brian and I adopted a precious dog, to be Bandit’s “big brother”

He had a name, and that name was Endeavor (I kid you not…) but we changed his name to Harley. He is the sweetest, gentlest, most laid-back dog ever created. A perfect foil to neurotic hyper love-you-to-death Bandit.

I’ve also done a lot of traveling, made some great new friends, discovered why I love my old friends, and started to actually make progress in my war against my low self esteem and negative self worth.

This goodness is all at the cost of something, however.

On July 5, 2011 I joined a club that has many members, but no one really wants to join. My sister and I joined the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people who have lost a parent. I came home from a normal day at work where the only thing out of the ordinary was better than normal music on the radio for my drive home (a fact I can laugh about today) only to receive a call at about 8:00 PM that my father had been killed in an accident. Brian drove me an hour and a half to Nowhere, KY where I hugged my mother and my sister while my mother whispered “We’ll get through this.”

And we have. And we will continue to.

I’m not saying that I’m by any means moving on with my life following this. I didn’t write about my father much, he had his own blog called Amplified Air which we intend to keep up in his memory, but I loved him so much. He taught me to love to read, and to write, to create and to learn. He took us to see operas and plays, and also to see The Who and Star Wars. He built us a tent in the backyard to play in and woke us up early on dark mornings to watch meteor showers. He read me Robert Frost’s poetry and searched my grandfather’s house for vintage Science Fiction for me to read. He taught us to drive in the snow and to swim by tossing us off the back of the boat. We were spoiled kids, but not by material things; my sister and I grew up knowing we had a mother and a father who loved us, and we still do. I miss Dad every day. We didn’t have to talk every day for us to stay close, and all the time we spent together we cherished. I look back on all of the things he taught us and it makes me think that maybe it was all for a reason. Maybe the things we learned from him he taught us because we wouldn’t have him for very long. He was a part of everyone he met, and everyone loved and admired him. In the ten years he taught at Bible College he inspired hundreds, maybe even thousands of students. Many of them drove long distances to come to his services and many of them sang in a special choir put together for him.

I’m sitting on my bed in my small apartment in Lexington crying a little as I type this. I, along with so many other people, feel empty from such a loss. My biggest struggle is knowing that as long as I am here on this earth, for however long that may be…it will have to be without my Dad. But as my mother said as I stood on the porch of dad’s former boss’s house. “We’ll get through this.”

And we will.

Brian and I will get through the uncertainty in our lives. I will get through my three interviews next week and hopefully come out with a better job. Bandit and Harley will grow up a little, and maybe not jump so much on unsuspecting guests. I will study for and do well on the LSAT, my first step toward getting in to law school. My sister will overcome her health problems. My mother will learn to live life without a man she loved for over 30 years. We will all survive.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. I wasn’t there when it was taken, I was already living here in Lexington. This is at the graduation of the Bible College class of 2010, the class I was supposed to be a part of but joined the class of 2009 instead. This sums him up, a fun-loving man riding around on a pink Schwinn cruiser. If you looked at this picture you wouldn’t know he was an admired and respected professor, a husband and father, a genius at his craft of audio engineering.

Nope, he’s just a man on a bike, having a good time and making people laugh.

My heart hurts I miss that man so much.

Sixteen year old me was sitting at the kitchen table whining about my Algebra III homework. Dad was cooking omelets for dinner at the stove. I put down my pencil and stared off in to the abyss. Dad looked over.

“I don’t understand this problem. I can’t do it.”

“If Hannibal could cross the alps on elephants, you can do a math problem.”

That saying evolved in to everything. If Hannibal could cross the alps on elephants I could get backstage and run Summer in the Son even when I was throwing up from anxiety and fear. If Hannibal could cross the alps on elephants I could drive a stick shift, parallel park, crochet (dad was really good at crocheting by the way…), read French, wire a stage…and the last time that phrase was used against me I could take his arm, walk down an aisle in front of a hundred people and marry my husband.

If Hannibal could cross the alps on elephants, and a man like my dad could make an influence on so many people’s lives. What can you do? What I can I do.

The answer is…we can do anything we put our minds to.

Get out and do it. Whatever it is. You know what it is. Its that nagging feeling deep in your soul that something needs to be done but you don’t want to do it, you want to keep on with your easy life. The alps are looming in front of you and you don’t know how you’re going to get across and you know the Romans are waiting on you.

Get on your elephants and cross over.

I miss you dad. I always will…but it feels so good to write again, and I thank you for that.

Liz.

Expect to see more of me readers.

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