Wednesday, October 6, 2010

making the headaches go away

Headaches have been part of my life since I was a teenager. Around the time my hormones kicked in, the headaches started. Migraines, actually. Throbbing, pounding, behind the eyes headaches. Headaches that make me want to crawl into a hole and lay in the dark and put an ice pack on my head and close out the world.

My dad was a chiropractor and neck adjustments helped immensely. Our family wasn't big on pills and I only rarely took something for my headaches, until I went to college and my dad wasn't available. When he passed away, there went my headache management. During college and after, I just suffered through it. One night, my junior year, it was so bad I had someone take me to the ER. Ugh. Pain in your head isn't something you can escape. It stays with you, it surrounds you.

When I started teaching, one of my students was the daughter of a chiropractor, so I started seeing him and it was great. He adjusted like my dad and was soft spoken and kind.

But we moved and it was a 45 minute drive to see him and so I tried to find another chiropractor. I made a bad choice and saw a guy that was a crook, telling me all sorts of lies about my insurance company. So I didn't really know what to do, but the headaches came back.

I finally saw someone else today. A nice chiropractor who adjusted my neck and made me feel better.

But I got in the car and cried. I called Charlie and told him my appointment went well, and then I cried some more.

He wasn't my dad.

My dad wasn't perfect. My mom could certainly tell you some stories, but he was a great dad and a great chiropractor. He took care of me and made me feel better and rocked me in his lap up until the month before he died. He had a huge heart and loved people. And I know I have told you all of this before, but I was thinking today about how I wasn't there when he died.

I went to college in North Carolina and my parents lived in Florida. I went home in October for fall break and my dad and I had a great weekend. He was in great spirits and was feeling pretty good, and we had some really special moments. We talked and shared and rocked and cried. After I went back to school, he went back into the hospital and we said our goodbyes over the phone. They weren't sure how long the downward spiral would take, and I was a junior in college. He didn't want me to come until it was over. My brothers both visited and stayed with my parents and each had time, and I guess I did too earlier that month. He came home from the hospital and was pretty much out of it for several days, sleeping in a hospital bed in the guest room.

My mom called me on a Monday night and said he wouldn't make it the night. I told her to call no matter what time he left us. By the next morning, she still hadn't called, so I called home. She said he was still hanging on. I told her to go in there and tell him it was time to go home. That he could let go because we would all be okay. He had taken care of us long enough. She called back 20 minutes later...he had gone home.

I think about him when I am at the chiropractor. I think about him when I have car problems. I think about him when I make his special spaghetti recipe. I think about him a lot.

I know that he kept me away out of love. He didn't want me to see him like that, and I appreciate it. I probably wouldn't have handled it well, and I'm sure I would see it over and over again in my memories. The memories I have are happy ones. And my mom has told me the story of sitting with him when he died and it is very emotional.

I guess the point of this is that there are times when the memories just sneak in and get me. I'll be walking along and not thinking about it and then he'll be with me and sometimes it is wonderful and sometimes it is painful. When I watch other people waiting for their parents to die, I grieve for what I know they are about to go through.

This time of year brings those memories about more, since he died on Veteran's Day and it is coming soon. I think about it, dream about him, and miss him. He isn't here for the things I wish he were here for.

He isn't here to make the headaches go away.


marge said...

whew, girlie. that is really tough stuff. i wish i could hug you! you made me tear up.
God blessed you with an amazing dad! something you can cherish forever.
what an amazing gift.
i'm so sorry he'll miss your next big break, your first, second, third little ones, and all the other big milestones to look forward to.

Bailey's Leaf said...

And my post today is about my best friend losing her mom.

I'm so sorry.

Chasing said...

I'm so sorry.

LittleBug said...

*hugs* I don't know what to say. My dad was not a good man, or a good father. For some reason, I still love him, and I think about that day, the day I will get the call that he has died, with mixed feelings. The thought that I will not get to see him ever again before he dies is equal parts relief and pain (he's in prison, life sentence). I wish I could say goodbye. I wish I could know that the day is immenant, rather than the inevitable truth, that I will only hear about it after the fact. Reading your post makes my heart weep, for you and for me. For the love and relationship you lost and the memories you cherish, and for the lack of both on my part. Your father sounds like a wonderful, incredible man, and I am so grateful to God that you had him! I could feel the love pouring from your words, and I am sure that if he had written something similar, the feeling would be the same. Love. Take care, dear one *hugs*

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

I'm sorry! *hugs*

Alison said...

I'm glad you had such a great relationship with your dad. Even though he died too soon, you have wonderful memories of him, which I know you'll cherish forever. I'm sorry he's not here to make your headaches go away.

I think I've told you this before, but to this day, I dry my legs in an upward motion because he told us that would prevent varicose veins. Of all the things to remember.....

KT said...


allyouwhohope said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine.