As many of you know from my About Page, I started working with my dad when I was 12. My dad and I had a very special bond even before I started working with him. We talked politics, religion, and business every single day. I loved hearing his stories and listening to his advice. So when he died 2 days before I was supposed to be induced with my daughter, I was beyond heartbroken. It was such a whirlwind those first few days, as it always is. I had lost my sister, my grandmother, my mother, my grandfather, and now my dad within 10 years. And prior to that, I had lost two great-grandmothers, a grandmother, and one aunt and two uncles. Needless to say, loss is something I am very familiar with. And now I was left 9 months pregnant and solely responsible for my dad’s arrangements.
From that whirlwind emerged a blanket of love from friends and a baby girl. The sun peeked out from the clouds and a warm rain came down as I delivered my baby. I remember thinking, as I pushed, that the raindrops were tears of joy from my parents.
Many people say that I am so blessed to have my daughter to help ease the pain of my dad’s death. And I am here to tell you that this is far from the truth. The pain of losing a father, a last living family member, and the joy of having a child, do not offset one another. I am very thankful for my daughter. I love her dearly. And I am thankful for my wonderful husband. I am thankful for my friends, and I am thankful for the beauty around me. But none of those things offset the grief I carry.
People often ask me, “what gets you out of bed in the morning?” And I would like to answer that my daughter or my husband or my business get me out of bed. But the truth is, I hate to squeegee the shower, and if I get out of bed and get in the shower first, my husband will squeegee the shower for me. Yes, it’s a practical reason versus a poetic one, but I got out of bed this morning because of it. And I am thankful for it. Without the hate of squeegeeing, I may still be in bed.
So as we approach the holidays, I want everyone to know that while you may not carry your load the same way I do, I know you have one. And your worst thing is your worst thing. Don’t compare it to anybody else’s. And know that what gets you out of bed doesn’t have to be what others think it should be. If it is the squeegee, be thankful for that. After all, you got up this morning.