Five Years is Just Too Long

This is going to be a hard post to write. And, for those who know me, you will probably be surprised at my candidness and openness in the post. I’m not an outwardly emotional person at all. But, I have a lot of thoughts, feelings, emotions and a simple need to get them out there and to connect with those who have been through this and those who knew and loved my dad.

5 years ago, my world stood still. It stood still for days, weeks, and looking back the better part of a year. After a long battle with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease and the rapid progression leaving him bedridden, my dad, a once avid runner, outdoors man and charismatic man, simply couldn’t live any longer.

The idea of losing him wasn’t shocking. I knew it was coming. I knew he was done and had no quality of life to live for. After a close call in early May 2006, we thought his outlook had improved. While on vacation with dear friends two weeks later, Jeremy and I got a horrific phone call that he was gone. He decided he was done and that was that. He left us to grieve, but he was no longer suffering. After booking an early flight and staying up all night reliving the horror what happened, Jeremy and I arrived in Tulsa to face reality.

When I think about him being gone for five years, I can’t bear the idea that he hasn’t been a part of my life for five years. Five years is a long time. A lot has happened. Jobs, trips, children, moving, friend’s children and marriages and he hasn’t been here for any of it. That is heartbreaking.

After getting through the initial grief, shock and overwhelming sadness, the hardest part to this day is that it will just hit me, out of the blue, like a punch in the stomach, that he’s not here. He’s not here. He’s not here. I can’t call him to talk about exercise, work issues and anything else I want to talk to my dad about. I also can’t get annoyed with him for asking me a million questions when I’m about to leave, I can’t roll my eyes when he tells me to make sure I leave one headphone out when I’m running and to always be aware of my surroundings.

So, while it’s been five years since I lost him and day to day life is easier than it once was, I don’t think there will ever be a time when I don’t feel that punch in my stomach when I see or hear certain things. And, it’s not the big things. It’s the small things. It’s when I see that Chevy has a new Camero and I know that he would have been so excited that he would have taken me to the dealership to test drive the car with no intention of buying it. It’s seeing other grandpa’s with their grandchildren. It’s Jeremy getting a beer fridge in the new house and not being able to taste new beers with my dad. It’s me starting to take yoga and not having him to be enthusiastic about my new adventure. It’s doing a double take at the store when seeing a stranger that walks, looks, or has mannerisms like him. Those things, will never go away. And, I don’t want them to. I want his memory to stay close and never fade too far away.

But, most importantly, he doesn’t know my daughter and my daughter doesn’t know him and never will. That, THAT, is the most heartbreaking part of it all.

The following is the speech I gave at his service. I wrote most of it in at 3am driving over an hour to the airport in the dark less than 12 hours after learning of his death. The memories literally flooded my mind and I wrote them blindly in a book all over pages with words already printed because there was no paper but I had to get these out. The fear of forgetting them was completely consuming.

Just before my dad passed away, I had a long talk with a great friend about what eternal life of lost loved ones truly means to those still living.

Dad’s eternal life is in heaven, but also, his eternal life is still living with and through us.

Here on earth, the things he has taught my mother, my brother, my husband, our friends and family and myself will live on and be passed on to new generations.

This past week as I was remembering him, I wrote down just a few of the many things he taught all of us. Here are a few I want to share with all of you.

  • First, how to make sure that those you love, especially your spouse and children know you love them and you tell them every day.
  • How to calculate price per unit at the grocery store to find the absolute best bargain.
  • A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
  • Drive your car like you’re going to sell it. Also known as, “not allowing a single piece of dirt or trash to ever be left in your car.”
  • That it is actually possible for someone to fall asleep or “snooze” as he would say, at Yankee Stadium in the middle of a Yankee-Red Sox game. (not sure I’m going to pass that one on)
  • To always have an open mind, try new things, accept others and never be afraid to be different.
  • And lastly, whenever I went through a difficult time, he would always, always tell me, “It’s just a moment and the moment will pass.”

And, he’s right. This time of grief, sadness and loss is real and here right now, but our grief will slowly turn to loving, funny, enjoyable and fun memories.

And we will each go on in this world here on earth doing better and being better people because we all knew my dad, Jim Scovil, Jr.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    May 30, 2011 @ 21:52:28

    Such a beautiful post Canaan. I’ve been thinking about you today. Hugs.


  2. Nicole
    May 30, 2011 @ 22:21:56

    Tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss.


  3. Sarah L.
    May 30, 2011 @ 22:51:05

    Thinking about you friend! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years either. I know that your daddy is SO proud of you and the amazing woman, friend, wife, mother that you have become since he left us here on earth. All my love!


  4. Megan B
    May 31, 2011 @ 07:18:05

    Love you lady. Your dad is constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I am blessed to have known him. LOVE YOU and your family. Big hugs for all.

    love “An”


  5. Jeanne
    May 31, 2011 @ 12:21:56

    I can almost feel your pain. It’s the same for our family remembering our precious Niki. I saw a man about a week ago that made me take a second and third look because he reminded me so much of Jim. It’s like you said that pang of loss and disbelief that he is really gone is suddenly there. He is missed by all of us who laughed so much with him.


  6. Laura Provence
    May 31, 2011 @ 16:09:13

    Beautiful post, Canaan. I love you and your entire family!!


  7. Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 15:55:40

    *hugs* to you and your family!


  8. Laura Ronck
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 10:53:23

    Canaan, Thanks for sharing. It sounds like your Dad was an amazing man! Now I know why you are so amazing!


  9. Jo-Lynne Shane
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 20:16:15

    This is heartbreaking. What a blessing, though, that you had such a positive relationship with your dad. ((hug))


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