October 8th, 2014.
A day I have thought about for at least 6 years.
Today, my daughter turned 16. Her sweet 16.
Now before I go any further, like any dad, I love this girl more than life itself.
I think she is stunning, beautiful, smart, funny and most of all, God fearing.
She is perfect in every way to me and I hope most dads feel that way about their girls.
Now around this time when she turned 10, we noticed my mom was starting to get sick. Forgetting things, getting lost, etc., and I have well documented on here my love for her and the fight she had.
I remember distinctly on this day, October 8th, 2008 asking God, in fact begging, to let my mom see this day.
I wanted her to see Hannah turn 16.
Selfish, I know, but that is what I wanted.
The next almost 3 years were pure hell but I kept hope that this was all “A phase” my mom was going through but Alzheimer’s doesn’t play around.
“A Phase” to this cruel disease basically means, F you!
My mother adored Hannah. Adored her.
Big brown eyes, a beautiful smile and a personality that my mom would often say, “Oh God Joe, she is just like you.”
16. I just wanted her to see Hannah turn 16.
I never let Hannah go see my mom in the last 6 months of her life.
Mom wasn’t mom and I wanted Hannah to remember her in the good times, not the bad. I would deal with the bad.
As the time drew near with my mom, I got angry with God because I knew she wouldn’t be around on this day to see Hannah turn 16.
I now just wanted her to live long enough to see my son enter kindergarten.
Selfish again, I know.
Mom passed away in June 2011, 3 years before Hannah turned 16 and 2 months before my son entered school.
She got to see neither one of these things.
I was so focused on this day that as I look back now, I wish I would have been more focused on the ‘Now,” not the future when I was with mom.
So stupid to think she would make it another 3 years when I wasn’t sure she wasn’t going to last 3 more weeks.
I thought long and hard today about what my mom would think about Hannah and my son had she lived.
We would have all gathered in our favorite Mexican restaurant and sat around and laughed.
I ended up learning through all of this that today is what’s important.
Tell the ones you love, that you love them.
Hug often and always ask how your friends are doing.
It is about the now.
Not tomorrow. I can’t control tomorrow and I learned that lesson the hard way.
But, I can control today.
And that is what I do.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart.