The day I watched the new Wonder Woman was also the same day that my father died..
Just five days before I had seen him…he seemed just ok. His oxygen was turned WAY up and he was having a hard time going grocery shopping but he just seemed so upbeat about getting a lung transplant that I felt the same. He had been struggling with pulmonary fibrosis and working super close with his doctors to lose weight and improve what health he had to prepare for surgery when the time would come..
I wasn’t going to go see him that day, the day before Father’s Day. The previous two days were two weddings in a row, one in Idyllwild that I actually shot and the other was in Oak Glen for some close family friends. I was feeling run down from two days of weddings especially because I overindulged more than I should have the night before. I was feeling selfish and did NOT want to drive 40 minutes to go see my dad. I got on the phone with my sister Starr and figured if she said she wasn’t going than I could flake too. Except Starr told me that she had spoken to our father earlier and he mentioned that he was not feeling well – she urged me to go visit and even though she didn’t say it out loud I know she was saying in her head “Lisa, get off your ass and go see our Dad!!”
I have to say thank you to my sister for entering my conscience and we got in the car and made our way to Bermuda Dunes – 115 degree weather with a dry heat.
Walking through the door, I saw he had a recipe all ready to go for our visit and he had a great huge smile on his face seeing us! What a good surprise for my day he said…I think he wasn’t really expecting us. He was so cute watching the US Open…he had it on his laptop and the big screen. We chatted for a bit and decided that we would make the recipe – a shrimp and sausage crab boil in foil packets – he handed us his credit card and keys to his truck and off we went. Igor was stunned that he got to drive “Bobber’s truck”.
Dinner turned out amazing as we watched golf and chatted about his plans for transplant and what was next on his list. We left feeling better that we had gotten to visit and get an update his health…
Now he has been gone from this earth for 16 days…still in my heart and my memories, but no longer is Bobber (my nickname for him) going to be able to lecture me, tell me how proud he is of me or just shoot the shit over a beer.
That Thursday morning after that our neighbor called me on my step mom Michele’s cellphone…the medics were there, he wasn’t breathing “Does he have a DNR?” they asked. Do Not Resuscitate. “Yes – but I don’t have paperwork” I said – my heart was racing – what do I do? go to work? No – I have a wedding to shoot on Saturday! What am I going to do if he is in the hospital? I was pacing all over our 1100 sq ft apartment throwing clothing and camera gear everywhere trying to figure out what was next.
Five minutes go by…I call the neighbor again. Not good news.. We race out to the desert..
I feel lucky to have had a dad like him – someone I could pretty much always be myself with. Of course there were times growing up when I wasn’t able to comprehend that no matter what I did or how many mistakes I made that he would always be there and love me for just me – Lisa.
The grief for me comes in waves – I think it comes from being a survivor and always striving to be independent, even at an early age, that is just who I am. I am not big on showing my vulnerability, granted a quality I am sure my Dad gave me. Don’t get me wrong, I can cry – tears come when I am sad, happy, in love or just listening to a good country song. If I shot your wedding, I definitely cried. Go figure – the father daughter dance gets me every single time! My dad and I danced to Alan Jackson’s “Drive” – we both have a thing for jeeps, kinda like “it’s a jeep thing”
It’s funny how OK I feel with tears. What’s weird is that I am not OK with letting the tough stuff get to me, there is a stiffness in my heart that I cannot describe and there is just a HUGE part of me that wants to avoid the whole thing all together. I don’t feel numb I just feel a little lost at moments. Just soldier on – maybe just fly through all this grief and sorrow just like wonder woman could.
But…I am NOT WONDER WOMAN! I am just me…a daughter, wife, friend and photographer.
So yes, I will tell you, the past two weeks have been tough. I took a little pause from social media, which I am sure in the business world is the ultimate no-no. I needed to not worry about what is next and getting more “likes”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do care about you – my people, my tribe..I know you will be there to lift me up when I am down and some of you have already. I just want to extend my gratefulness to all of you out there reading this and following along. Giving me love and sending over messages when you can.
To my lovely clients…Don’t worry! I got this! I am working non-stop to keep pushing out amazing galleries for you and I am so thankful to you all!
What is next? well life is next! I know that I am allowed to be sad and I miss my Bobber. I am so thankful to have spent Stagecoach with my sister and him – can you believe he lived over 20 years in the desert and never went to Stagecoach? So there you have it..I remember my dad as someone who inspired me to do what I love and be the best I can be..he use to always say “Even if you are just a floor mopper for your job – be the best floor mopper you can be!” This is where no matter what station in life you are, you have to keep going. Grief will not overtake me in my life – I am just learning to accept it.