moving forward

navigating through the life that was and moving into the life that is

Loving completely without complete understanding

on January 23, 2012

Two words that best describe my father are quiet and brilliant.  He is a man of few words, but when he opens his mouth you can’t help but listen.  Whether it is the impeccable timing of his sense of humor or his deep compassion, when he speaks, you want to listen.

My dad and Glen got along so well because they were similar in so many ways and they both loved me with their whole heart. Glen always went on and on about how smart my dad was and how out of nowhere he would say the most amazing things. And I know that the admiration was mutual. My dad was able to watch Glen help me become a better mother, friend, and wife.

One thing I have always admired about my dad is his love of fly fishing.  This pastime is an extension of my dad’s personality, quiet surroundings but brilliant in it’s view.  The picture below is of him fly fishing on the Yellowstone River when we went there as a family.  The quote from Norman Maclean’s book A River Runs Through It, perfectly illustrates the way my dad loves me right now.

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”

My dad does this every day for me. He loves me completely without complete understanding of what I need.  My dad loves me with a complete love that only a father can love their daughter with.  I know that there are days that he doesn’t know what to give me or what I may need at that moment, but he never stops trying.  My days right now are overwhelming and emotional and he listens whenever I need him to and waits for those difficult moments to pass.  I am also much more quiet than usual and my dad never fills the silence with unnecessary chatter.  He respects my need for quiet.  He knows that just because I am quiet, does not mean I am not thinking, processing, growing, and healing.

And as if his devotion to me and my care was not enough, he has become an amazing caregiver of my children as I continue to heal. It will be a few months before I am able to take on the challenge of driving again and so we are blessed to have him.  He takes the kids to and from school each day and takes me to Shepherd Center and doctors appointments. He is also a consistent source of strength for all of us. Transitioning back into motherhood after the events that occurred and my long stay in the hospital, has not been an easy transition.  Although I wish it was not the case, I tend to have moments where I am overwhelmed or overstimulated by my surroundings and just need a break.  Early on this was a definite symptom of my brain injury but as my brain continues to heal, I have become aware that grief of this kind is just as debilitating.  When this occurs, he never second guesses me or pushes me to just work through it, he always steps in when my weaknesses take over.  As I work through this part of my grief, he has taken the time to learn  and understands that no one person grieves the same way.  He sees me working hard each and every day to heal physically and emotionally and often reminds me that it is okay to slow down and take a break or spend some time alone.  I am so thankful for his strength in my weakness. I love you dad!

10 responses to “Loving completely without complete understanding

  1. Dave & Bev Kagan says:

    Oh yes, your Dad is a fine man who deserves the lovely tribute you wrote.
    Dave & Bev

  2. Jessica Deresch says:

    Thank you for sharing , this was really beautiful to read.

  3. Lynn Setsma says:

    What an amazing and beautiful tribute to your dad. I’ve walked along and floated the Yellowstone as our daughter lives within a few miles of it. Sandy, you have wisdom and beauty far beyond your years. Treasure this gift and hold it close.

  4. Deanne Casanova says:

    Good Morning! I just read Sandy’s post and it does bring tears to my eyes–tears of joy to have been a part of Sandy’s and Doug’s lives. Sandy, I can’t agree with you more on your assessment of Doug. He is all that–so awesome. And, Sandy–you are awesome. I am thinking of you often and praying for you to become whole again. You are working so very hard. . . I just love you, Sandy! and I love you, Doug!! Best to you–Dee (aka Aunt Dee)

  5. Karen Schousen says:

    Sandy, you are wise beyond your years. I am truly in awe of the way you are able to express yourself. I am so impressed your are able to acknolwedge in so many ways the love that you have for your dad. There is something very special indeed between a father and a daughter. Thanks for making us aware that we all need to take the time to express to our loved ones how incredible and important they are in our lives.
    I am going to be pondering the statement- loving completely with our completely understanding- it does tend to make one see things in a different way.
    Love you- Karen

  6. What a loving tribute to your Dad. I’m glad that he is there to support you.

  7. Kristen says:

    Very beautifully written, Sandra! ;o)

  8. Beautiful tribute to your Dad, Sandra, incredible changes in our lives last year (for many of us) and incredible opportunities ahead of us. Never really understood how tragedies could turn wonderful pages and bring wonderful changes..?…but seems they sometimes do because we didn’t write the rules! And I love that these social networks can reach so many others that will benefit……………….also love to hear about your ongoing progress and insight. Your Mom’s friend..always…Barbs

  9. Maria Potts says:

    Sandra, thanks for the thought provoking words. You have very quickly become my hero. I think of you often, wondering how you are doing/yet never really having met you…big hug to you lady!

  10. Ann Mione Purser says:

    100% ditto of Karen’s reply… Start to finish. Thank u, Karen for articulating EXACTLY my thoughts. I’m sure yoyr dad treasures this post, Sandra.

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