Happy Saturday friends!
I wanted to share a rather personal story with you, about my Dad. My Dad Jerry, was a driving force in my life. The one person I could always trust to be there for me regardless of my mistakes, and there were plenty. He never judged me, not once. In May of 2000, my parents retired and moved from San Jose, California to peaceful Park City, Utah. My Sister was having triplets and my parents wanted to be near their Grand-Daughters.
I was only 26 at the time, and decided retirement wasn’t for me. I moved to Phoenix instead. I had been to Phoenix quite a few times before 2000. The Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey team moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. If my memory serves me correctly, 1995-96 was their inaugural season. I was driving to Phoenix from San Jose to see my favorite goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin play. I fell in love with Phoenix. I also fell in love with cactus and succulents, but that is a whole “nuther” chapter. I was finally on my own, in a new city and state. It was hard, but fun.
In January of 2005, I got a phone call. My Dad had been to the doctor for some tests and an exploratory surgery to see why his back hurt so much. I always figured, “no gnus is good gnus”, the old Gary Gnu saying from “The Great Space Coaster” kids TV show. That Saturday morning was overcast, cold and rainy. I answered the phone. It was my Mother. her voice was quivering. She said that Dad needed to talk to me. She passed the phone to him and my Dad said, “hey Kel, I need to talk to you.” I couldn’t breathe, move or talk.
He went on to tell me that during the surgery they found a huge tumor under his spine and that it was breaking his bones as it grew, hence the pain. They had gotten most of it out, and put a rod in his back to fix the fractures. He then told me that he was stage 4 with small cell lung cancer. He had a year to live. He began to cry and gave the phone back to my Mom. I told her I needed some time to process the information, and said I would call back soon. I hung up. I went to my pantry, grabbed a bottle of red wine, and layed down on my dining room floor and chugged wine from the bottle and cried.
I could not believe that my Daddy was dying. I had always tried to prepare myself for that day, but I know now that there isn’t a damn thing you can do to prepare for your parent dying. I called my employer, gave my two weeks notice, secured a rental car, and started packing to get to Utah as soon as possible. I got there two days before he was discharged from the hospital. I became my Dad’s caregiver, while my Mom took care of my Nieces. It was a hard thing to do, but I am so glad I did.
On March 10th 2005, my Dad passed away. Two and a half months after diagnosis.
A year later, my boyfriend and I were geo-caching up in Payson Arizona. There was a small winter storm pushing through and all I wanted that day was to see the snow. The last time I had seen it snow, was while taking care of my Dad in Park City. Snizzle (snow and drizzle) was all this storm was producing, so I was rather annoyed. As we were driving up the highway I noticed a new home community being built on the west side of the road. They were beautiful log cabin style homes, absolutely stunning. I was waiting to see the advertisement sign, to see what they were called and how much they cost. I said to my guy, “I would love to live in one of those homes, they are amazing.” Finally we came to the entrance of the development, and there was the sign. The community was called “Daybreaker Estates”. I froze. My parents home in Park City Utah, where my Dad passed away was on a street named “Daybreaker”. I got really quiet, and kept thinking that the home sign, maybe was a sign that my Dad was with me. But that seemed so hokey pokey. About 10 minutes later the sky opened up and the sun came out, and while it was snizzling, an enormous rainbow appeared over the highway. I knew then that the rainbow was my Dad. My Dad was probably very annoyed that I didn’t get the Daybreaker hint, and had to throw that rainbow right in my face to get me to see him. I got it Dad, I got it! A few hours later, it snowed, and snowed and snowed. From that day forward I started paying attention to the signs my Dad would give me that he was nearby, and always watching.
I started noticing in times when I would need my Dad, I would get a rainbow. That year on my birthday, I got a rainbow after a monsoon storm. My second Christmas without him, I got a rainbow. My friends started sending me pictures of rainbows they would see, telling me “Your Dad says HI”. I told my mom and sister about the rainbows, and then they started seeing them all the time too! Rainbows have kept me sane since my Dad died. They are a huge part of my life. Thank you DAD!!!! I love you and miss you so very much!
Here are a few pictures of the rainbows my Daddy has given me/us over the years.
This was taken from my bedroom window. My house seems to be a rainbow magnet.
This was sent from my Sister. It was taken from her backyard. The view is of the Wasatch Mountians in Salt Lake City, Utah.
On my drive home from work.
After a dust storm.