Friday, January 18, 2013

Being busy and remembering Dad

Wow, this past week or so has been crazy busy! I finally was accepted into University of Missouri-St. Louis, so I had a lot to do before the semester starts. I managed to get enrolled and get my financial aid taken care of, get my books, and attend a transfer orientation. At the orientation I spoke with a student rep from the Honors College, and after discussing it with Brett, decided to apply to the Honors College as well. In keeping with the dizzying pace of the last week or so, my application and writing samples were rushed through in a day, and I met with an honors adviser yesterday for an informal interview. At the conclusion of the interview (which was actually highly enjoyable and thought-provoking), my adviser welcomed me into the Honors College, and helped me sign up for an honors course (which involved dropping Bioethics, a fact I'm a little bummed about). My acceptance is contingent on good letters of recommendation (which I have no worries about), and continued good performance in my classes this semester.

Whew! Thank goodness classes don't start until next week!

Yesterday was the anniversary of my dad's passing. He died January 17th, 1999. Naturally, I always think of  him a lot around this time of year, but it seemed especially poignant this year for a couple of reasons.

First, as part of my application to the Honors College, I had to submit 2 writing samples. One of the samples I chose to submit was a poem that I wrote a couple of years after Dad died. My writing it was actually pretty random, because it was one day at school when we had those stupid standardized tests. I finished way early (as usual), and words just started popping into my head. I wrote them down and later posted them on a writing website I had joined. The poem has remained largely the same, with one major revision a few years ago. I love it, because I can still feel those emotions every time I read it, and I felt it was honestly one of my better writing samples that wasn't done for a school project.

The other reason I was thinking of Dad a lot is more personal. I have so many regrets about my relationship with my dad. I was so young when he died, and I always felt like I had been such a disappointment to him. I was smart, but I didn't apply myself. I was in trouble so often. He was always having to discipline me. There were some good times, but I'm sad to say that I have more negative memories than good ones. In recent years especially, as I've grown up and matured, I've fervently wished he were he and could see me be proud of me. I know he looks in on me from time to time, but how I wish he could stand by my side, give me a big hug, and tell me how proud he is of me! I have worked so hard these past few years, not just to make Dad proud, or other people proud, but so that I can be satisfied with and proud of my own accomplishments. And part of the reason for that is my history with Dad.

I do have good memories of him, too, and I cherish those memories. I wish we'd had more time together. I am so grateful to have been sealed to my family in the temple, and to know that I can be together with all of them again.

A couple of Christmases after Dad died, my mom gave us a copy of a letter he'd written as part of an assignment for something at church. The last line was, "Goodbye, my dear ones. Parting is hard, but our reunion will be sweet." That line is firmly embedded in my mind, and how true it is.

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