Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wish You Were Still Here

The last photo that I have with myself and my beloved dad. He had just had three silent heart attacks, I had just broken and dislocated my arm in three places and had surgery and a titaminum implant placed in my arm, forever and ever.

I told my dad that it was my alien implant and it would allow communication through the 'mother colony' between us forever. It has. Thank you daddy, thank you my sweet little mama. I still am incredibly connected even now through space and time into that other dimension where I feel only your happiness combined.

Happy Father's Day to all of you who have your fathers in this place and time.

Happy Father's Day to the fathers of your children.

Happy loving thoughts to those of us whose dads have moved on across the golden rainbow of time and space.

Father's Day in Memory and Deed...It's History and Why We Celebrate It

I miss my dad deeply today. Oh, how we worked so hard for so many of your final years as you helped your wife/my mother deal with the physical, emotional, and yes..even spiritual..dimensions of Alzheimer's Disease

You were such a champ, dad. You were our larger than life super hero. You worked so incredibly, incredibly hard to take care of her by yourself, doing absolutely everything for her until you could do it no more and needed a rest. That shingles attack almost destroyed you bringing you to your knees as it attacked your ophthalmic nerve causing you to cry out for me in pain. I was grateful you were courageous enough to admit you needed help and asking me to come up to Alaska from my home in Oregon for the second time in one month. You were devastated by having to do so, but you knew I would keep your trust and be there without making you feel one bit less than you were. I treasure that.

 I treasure all memories of my life with you, growing up in a pioneer Alaskan family. Playing in the fern filled forest and tiny town lots across the street. Learning to do and make do..almost everything the hard way because we had no other choice, really.

Learning from you to be the hardest worker I can be, to be steadfast in all ways, to have the courage and the fortitude and the deepest of love for family...all from you my dear and beloved father.
Watching your enormous bravery facing one horrific obstacle after another and always doing what you had to do for all of us.

Growing up in my grandparents home after they passed away and treasuring the connection to the past, the present, and the future and learning how all of it combines into one as you worked night and dad to provide for us.

Watching you as you had to lose everything and start from scratch to give to us, rebuilding that home practically by yourself in 1970 after a terrible fire had burned it to the ground.

You threw my young teenaged brothers out the upper story window to save their lives, causing burns up and down your arms, and singeing your own own face in the process and inhaling its smoke deep into your lungs in the process. You hunted, fished, planted, gathered and worked so hard doing so much so we could all have what we had...over and over and over for decades.

You were an artist, a builder, who worked with the magic of electricity serving our community in the Alaska Light and Power Company for all of our lives...such a name for a company knowing now all that I do...a miracle worker you were..with Light and Power for all of us.

A better father, husband, uncle, and grandpa never existed though many of us lived so many thousands away and didn't get to share in the joy of so many growing years. My children were still blessed to have had you in their lives as we shared a journey through visits and the 9 months you and mom lived here with us in Oregon..battling the end stage cancer that was supposed to end her but didn't. Because of you, because of me, because of the miracle of modern medicine and our own combined power of light and love.

Happy Dad's Day...wherever you are, how every it is. I feel you still. That connection, that energy that can never be created nor destroyed.

We are and I and mom. I feel it and I know it today and everyday. You both may be over on the other side of the river, across that golden rainbow in the sky. But we are all one.

coming and going: 2010

I with my broken and dislocated in 3 places wrist, you with your 3 silent heart attacks..both down but not out and tag teaming our care of our beloved mother/wife

I titled this  "Turning Ninety" , a variation of a "Turning Twenty" pattern.  As a WWII veteran, the father of 5 children, and a hard working and very dedicated and loving husband to my mother, and as someone who never forgot his and his brothers sacrifices for country and for family during WWII, I used photos from that time and from his courtship with my Louisiana French mother, who he met, fell in love with and married after the war years.

Because my mother was legally blind, but could see shapes and colors and could see details if things were large enough, or if she used a magnifying glass, I made the quilt pieces and photos very large.
They both loved it and treasured it. After their deaths, it came back home to Oregon with me, once more and now I treasure all of the memories of making it, of them and our lives together.

Our last photo in 2010:
For the last year of your life, me with my broken and dislocated wrist, you with three silent heart attacks, we still worked together, side by side, inside and out of our hospitals..tagging team our care of mom. We knew how by then.

At top, one of my last Father's Day gifts to you, all  wrapped up in my usual homemade gift wrap....fabric wrapping cloths and bags and ribbons and gift tag. For a very long time, I felt as flat and as empty as these gift bags. But I learned from you how to fill them back up again. I am filled with love now. Love of family, country, state, and memories that can never be taken away ..not by my mother's Alzheimer's, not by your vascular dementia as you gasped for breath and hung on to everything you could to stay with us.

Oh, we loved and love you so.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.