It was a Sunday afternoon, New Year’s Eve to be specific. We were so close to it being 2018 and I was spending the day relaxing, since the next day my entire family and I were planning on heading to the Rose Parade in LA. You see, my dad has a huge love for tennis. Throughout my entire life Sunday’s have been spent at the tennis courts. Thats just how it went. He came home on this particular Sunday while I was relaxing feeling a little…off. He had a headache, which wasn’t normal. He had a bad day at tennis, which was also super not normal. Us girls in the family (my sister and mom) ruled out some other symptoms he was having which were big no nos. In the Reyes family, we like to play it safe and so we decided that him and my mom were going to take a trip to the ER just to make sure everything was ok. Well thank goodness they made that trip, because little did we know… our lives were about to change forever.
It’s been six months since my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer. Six months since he went into surgery. Six months since we figured out he also has Lung Cancer. Six months since we all had to process that losing him was a huge possibility of becoming our reality. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that in January I went completely MIA. I did no posting for about a month, and this is why. When a tragedy like this strikes, everything else gets put on hold. My blog was dead to me. I barely went to work. Tissues were my best friend. The hospital was my new home. It was my new reality, all of our new realities. So the fact that I can sit here today and let you know that I’m going out to breakfast with my dad, to celebrate Father’s Day…is a miracle. Because the start to my families 2018, felt like the end of the world.
As I’m sure you know now after reading this, this Father’s Day is very special. It’s one that I thought wasn’t going to happen. Heck, none of us thought was going to happen. My dad plays a HUGE roll in who I am today, and for that reason and so many more is why I love him. I know out of all the people in the world, I am very lucky to have a dad to celebrate this holiday with like I have my whole life. This holiday can be tough for a lot of people, though. Some don’t have a father to celebrate with because they aren’t apart of there lives, some don’t celebrate because they don’t know who there dad is. And for some it is hard to celebrate, because their fathers have already passed on. And this year, that reason resonates with me the most. Unfortunately there will come a time where both my mom and my dad, will go home to a better place. With the series of events that have happened this year, I became more aware that the older I get the more of a reality that will become.
So before I share the letter to my dad, I ask you to remember these things. Hug everyone you love a little tighter, because you never know what can happen. Call that person you’ve been meaning to talk to for weeks. Give someone a nice compliment. Try not to judge anybody, because you have no idea what battle they are trying to fight. I would read things like these before my life got flipped, and find them sweet but never really truly understand the meaning. Now that its me, now that its my family that it happened to, it makes sense. Its all true. Life is short, so try and spread nothing but love.
To my Daddy-o…
I know you never thought you would live to see another Father’s Day again, and neither did I. But here we are. These past couple months I can’t help but reminisce on all the memories we have together. My favorite are the ones from when I was little. One of my favorite things to do is pull out our family videos and watch them over, and over, and over again. They will never get old to me, because seeing you throughout the years love this family the way you have is something I extremely admire about you. You came home after long days of work, with open arms for your “big girl”. You gave me the biggest smile and always were my jungle gym. You let me on your lap in the mornings to steal all of your cheerios. You swam with me, and also let me jump off your shoulders. You did Dad’s campout at school with me. My list goes on and on with all the memories we’ve had together, so I’d say I’m a winner. The real winner. To have the privilege of growing up with a Dad like you– someone who knows hard work, someone who knows how to love unconditionally, and someone who knows how to lead a family. Because of you, Dad, I know what real love looks like. You were my first love and I’ll always be your little girl. From you I have inherited strength, wisdom, and of course my attitude. I love you, forever and always!