Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Picking up the Pieces/The Liebster Blog Award

Picking up the Pieces

After a very brief and heartbreaking battle with bowel cancer, my dad passed away on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 8:15 p.m. est.  As he wished, he died peacefully at his home surrounded by family and friends.  Despite the fact that he died from such a terrible disease, my dad was truly a lucky man in that he knew without a doubt that he was loved by many, many people.  During his illness his house was never empty and the love and respect people had for him was evident.  In the three short weeks between his diagnosis and his passing, my dad knew more love and support than a lot of people realize in a lifetime.  For that, I'm truly grateful.

Those people who know me know that I was very close to my dad.  No matter what I did or path I took he was behind me 100% .  These past few days have been a roller coaster of emotion for me.  On one hand, I'm happy that he's at peace and is no longer suffering; but on the other hand, I'm furious/sad/confused with everything that has transpired.  Just mere months ago my dad was a healthy, active man readying himself for his retirement.  He knew he didn't have a world of time left ahead of him, but he thought he'd at least have a decade or two.  At the very least he thought he'd see all of his grandchildren grow into their teens and the dawning of his seventh decade.  At the very least, he thought he'd get a chance to fight for his life. 

They say that only the good die young.  To me, my dad epitomizes that adage to a tee.

I've never been a huge church going individual.  I have a strong faith and a belief in God, but I've chosen to worship outside of church (most churches I've been to have contained some of the most hypocritical people I know).  It's my belief that faith is faith and a person can practice it any way they choose.  Still, as I tried to come to terms with everything going on around me these past few weeks, I found myself asking God for a lot of favors.  Please make my dad's death as comfortable as possible Please let someone be there so he's not alonePlease give me some sort of sign that he'll be okay. Remarkably, all of my requests were answered.  My dad passed peacefully and without pain; he was far from alone; and I know without a doubt that he's all right.

Within five minutes after my dad's passing, a double rainbow appeared directly outside his home. As luck would have it, I happened to have my camera in my purse and I snapped the photographs that  I've included below.  The second rainbow is very hard to make out in the  photograph and appears faintly over the more prominent arc.  Despite the ominous dark clouds, it had not been raining before or during the appearance of these rainbows and in fact had been relatively sunny up until then. 

Through our grief, the appearance of these two rainbows gave us all the comfort we needed to get through the night.

RIP Dad.  You will never be forgotten.

The Liebster Blog Award

Now on to a much more cheery topic...

When I first started my blog, I figured that I'd pretty much be talking to myself.  As time passed I started gaining followers, comments and overall praise for my posts.  What started out as an aspiring author blogging about writing in the hopes of becoming a better writer herself has turned into a blog with nearly 100 followers and a slew of amazing writers/authors stopping by to render their opinions.  To each and every one of my followers/readers, thank you.

The wonderful Jennifer at  The Writing Cocoon bestowed the Liebster Blog Award (information below) upon me during my hiatus from blogging/socializing with the world. Jennifer writes a highly informative blog filled with her own writing insights, resources for writers and pretty cool photographs.  Check her out! 

Thank you, Jennifer.  I'm honored to be one of your award recipients!

The goal of the Liebster Blog Award is to showcase up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The rules:
  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who bestowed the award on you
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  3. Copy and paste the award on your blog
  4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love
  5. Have bloggity-blog fun!
In compliance with the rules of the award, my five picks to pass on the Liebster Blog Award lovin to are:
1.  Megan Rae Lollman @ Meganraelollman

 2.  Sarah Pearson @ Empty White Pages

3.  James Garcia, Jr. @ Dance On Fire

4.  Kate Kyle @ Gone Writing

5.  Linda @  Wistfully Linda

All of the following are either authors or aspiring authors who have more talent in their left pinkies than I do in my entire body.  Their blogs are informative, interesting, entertaining and highly resourceful.  If you haven't checked them out already, I strongly recommend that you do ASAP.
Congratulations to Jennifer and all of my Liebster Blog Award recipients.  You deserve all the bloggity goodness coming your writerly ways.

Now that I'm officially in the process of picking up the pieces of my life, my blog posts will become more frequent and hopefully worth it to those who follow/subscribe to this blog.  Thanks again for all of your kind words during what has been the worst period of my life.  Without people like you I wouldn't have been able to make it through it.


Sarah Pearson said...

Sara, I'm so so sorry for your loss. It's good that your Dad was able to die surrounded by loved ones, but I'm guessing that doesn't help so much right now. How wonderful that you have such a great relationship to look back on and remember with love.
Hugs to you.

Thank you so much for the award and your very kind words :)

Sophie Li said...

I am so sorry to hear that. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

linda said...

Oh, Sara! My heart goes out to you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss. *HUG* The rainbows are beautiful and I'm glad they brought you comfort. I don't know if there is anything I can do, but I'm sending love and good thoughts your way!

Congratulations on your award. You have a great blog, and I'm so honored you thought of me!

Rob "Sharky" Pruneda said...

Sara, you are one of the strongest people I know. I can see through your writing that you and your father had a very special bond and he's now celebrating eternal life with the Lord in Heaven; and that special bond you have with your dad can never be broken. I'll never forget this story of the rainbow when times are tough in my own life. Very heartwarming.

I also share the same feelings regarding your faith. I too am a strong believer in God, but I don't spend a lot of time in an actual church. My faith in God is practiced through prayer, reading the Bible, trying to live a decent life and helping others when I can.

I'm glad to see you writing again. This was such an inspirational post and reminds me of how we must always remember to spend quality time with our loves ones and to TELL them that we love them.

God bless you, Sara. I look forward to continue reading more of your posts.

~ Rob

Sara Furlong-Burr said...

Sarah--Thank you. It is a source of comfort to me to know that my dad knew how much people cared about him and that his life meant so much to those who knew him. You're very welcome. Your blog is one of my faves. :-)

Sophie--Thank you. Your thoughts, prayers and kind words are very much appreciated.

Linda--Thank you for the hugs. I can use as many as I can get right now. Your love and good thoughts are plenty and much appreciated. Your welcome on the award. You're one of my favorite bloggers.

Rob--Your kind words are absolutely beautiful. Thank you. I'm not nearly as strong as I try to present myself, but I'm trying. I've reflected back upon those rainbows numerous times during the last nine days and they always mange to prevent me from a total breakdown. I'm glad you found my post/experience helpful. I'm slowly getting back into the writing groove, but have to finish some beta reading first. :-) God bless you as well, Rob.

Kate Kyle said...

Sara, I'm sorry for your loss and happy for you that your Dad was able to die peacefully, surrounded by people who love him.

I'm also glad to see you writing again and looking forward to more interesting posts :)
Thank you very much for the award. I like the idea behind it and I will spread the word

Laurel Mayer said...

Sara, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. The rainbows are amazing and beautiful and proof that your Dad is with you always. You're in my thoughts and prayers.