Last night I was hanging out with JD and CGN.  We were having a few drinks and checking out the lunar eclipse (it was pretty cool) and having girl talk.  The usual topics of conversation came up:  guys, money, jobs, life, love, etc.  Then we started discussing CGN’s upcoming birthday festivities.  Eventually we transitioned to talking about her real birthday, which happened earlier in the week.  She was talking about how this birthday had hit her weirdly.  She was bracing herself for turning 29, one year away from 30.  She thought she would be worried about wrinkles and leaving her 20s, but in reality the loss of her father was what kept popping into her mind.  Her father passed away about 4 years ago from a heart attack in the middle of the night.  I don’t know a lot of the details because I’ve only known her for about 2 years and she doesn’t talk about it much, but I think he was working in his office upstairs one night while the rest of the family was downstairs.  He had a massive heart attack and passed away sometime during the night.  Her mom found him the next morning, and it was too late. 

CGN took up the role of being the family’s rock and handled the funeral arrangements because her mother and brother were so upset.  I think she bottled up a lot of her grief because she was trying to be strong for her mother and brother, and now it is finally hitting her.  She was really close to her father, and he didn’t have the chance to see at her wedding or will never meet his grandchildren.  As she was talking, I could feel myself tearing up at the thought of never being able to speak to my dad again.  He called me twice last night because he was excited about the eclipse, and he wanted to know if I could see it.  She will never have her dad call her about something random or just to chat again.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a parent at my age.  In some ways I still depend on them so much, and they are such an important part of me.  My mom is like one of my friends, and we talk all the time.  My dad and I butt heads sometimes, but he’s the one who’s next to me when anything goes wrong with my house or walking me through what to do on the phone. 

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have both parents be alive and healthy because I know there are many people who don’t.  I am also lucky to have parents that are still together (it will be 29 years in May) since divorce has become so rampant in our society today.  I am so fortunate to have both my parents around to help me with my wedding, to walk me down the isle, to celebrate important milestones with me, to listen to me complain about a million and one things, and to just be my parents when I need a shoulder to cry on. 

For those of you who have lost a parent, my heart goes out to you.  And next time my parents bug me about something, I will try to appreciate the fact that I have both parents to do that to me and not get mad at them since life is too short to be angry with people and hold grudges.  You never know what the future has in store for you.  One moment you could be the happiest person in the world and the next it could all be pulled out from under you. 

Mom and Dad –

I may not say this to you enough, but I want to thank you for all of the things you have given up for me and all the things you have done for me throughout my 25 years.  You are the best parents a girl could ever ask for.  I love and appreciate you guys so much!