Saturday, December 20, 2008

Those we think of during the Holidays: Dad

Two weeks after I turned 18..... My dad tumbled down a flight of stairs, busted his head up pretty badly, fell into a coma before the medics even arrived on the scene. He was flown to a trauma unit in the state of PA, about 5 hours from where our family was living at the time.

Four sleepless days and nights in a trauma ward. Watching priests come and go, praying over my father's motionless body, wondering if all the machines Dad was hooked up to were keeping him alive or if he was powering them with body heat. My younger brother and I spent most of our time, tucked away in the backseat of my uncle's mini-van, discussing how ridiculous PA was and how Dad could just not possibly die... just could not happen... in fact, we should just go home....

So much more to this story: Sharing my hotel bed with my mother, listening to her sob throughout the night (she has always been so strong). Analyzing my relationship with my father vs losing him altogether. At 18, having that crushing feeling.... that nothing is ever really under control... ever. Anything you love.... is free to leave at any time, without your consent. I was the one who answered the stupid plastic hotel phone - Had to break the news to my mom that her husband.... my father.... was completely braindead - no brain activity at all - zero. To this day, I still believe that the nurse thought that I was Mom...

This time of year is hard for me. I always wonder where I would be in my life, if he was still part of the household... Would I have finished school? Would I have ever got a chance to travel and model the way that I have? I remember once when I was 17, my father showed up at a hot-tub party in the woods. He was so pissed I was wearing nothing but a bikini, he pulled me out of the tub by the hair.... I wonder if my younger brother would have kept playing soccer, if Mom would have bought the porch swing she wanted, if dad's best friend would not have drank himself to death..... I wonder if things would have been better or if they would have been worse? Or maybe everything is just relative in the end? I really do not know - All I do know is that Christmas was Dad's favorite holiday.... and like many of you, I miss family that cannot be around this time of year....

Creeps me out when people mention that loved ones 'are always with you' or that 'they are watching you from another place'.... I enjoy solid things. I enjoy that my father was a Donor..... Disconnected from life support, his organs were donated to people all over the US. He gave life through death. Dad's heart went to a 40-year old man in Hersey PA with three young children, who used to write us from time to time. It is amazing to know that somewhere out there, a man who would have died of congestive heart failure, is spending Christmas with people who love him - All because someone gave the most unselfish gift possible...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

How utterly odd that you wrote that TODAY..my father died 17 years ago today when I too, was a teenager. In fact, I spent every single one of my teenage years watching him die. Three plusses that I see from your story- a) he felt no pain; b) he basically died in his sleep' c) others directly benefitted. For those of us who had to watch horrific things happen to our fathers for years and years as they died slow, agonizing and painful deaths, we consider this alternative to be a true blessing to those on the sidelines. Hey, when I go, I want it to be that easy. Ya know?

But of course, I'd want my kids to be old enough to be ready for it, too...

I guess there is no good thing about death, really. But, it's a part of life.

Peace to us both, J.

Take care, and I hope you get everything you want this week.

Annette

PS - I had a father dragging episode in my history too. Ironically, it was the same day that I, in the beginning of my career of cussing, tried out the word "prick" on a certain boy, which I quickly found out wasn't the thing to say in front of Dad...

London Andrews said...

Hey Annette - thanks for sharing that. : )

You know it is very strange, because after I posted my blog, I checked out my mom's blog, which I rarely check up on... for the first time in months, she also posted a short blog about my dad. It was about the quotes he had started hanging up before he died...

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Emerson

I, personally, always liked his Julius Caesar quotes.

Ha - you know Annette, I did not get dragged around often (I can count the times on one hand). But I did almost the same thing you did... Called my mom a 'cunt' when I was about 12 (truthfully, I did not even know what it meant at the time) - Geeze, Dad heard me and he dragged me across the lawn that day.... whew!

I think that good things come from all kinds of things - even sad things - even death - and I do not think that you ever stop learning or experiencing your own life - and I am very thankful for that. A life without experience, is a life that is not being lived.

I hope you have a very happy holidays, chica.... best wishes for you and for the fam...

London Andrews said...

Also, nice guy who keeps writing me... : ) I am getting your messages but for some reason, my email account will not let me write you directly. I do not find you creepy or anything of the sort - and I thank you for finding a loophole in my super ninja stealth skillz - that particular email account of mine has been shut down for years, I used to use it while I was working on murals in 2002-2003. There was a time where I worried people would realize what my real name was - but I really just do not care as much as I once did. Regardless, thank you so so much for writing, to let me know... it means a lot for you to write me on it.... : ) Worrying about my safety and such... : )

vikingman said...

Thank You for this post,
much more than for all the others,
there is so much LOVE in it, all the lines are full of it, LOVE and FEELING and this is so wonderful.
Love for those around You, for those not longer around You and all the rest.
Though life has been almost unbearably tough on You, You seem to be following Your Dad in spreading joy and love wherever You go.
I now can see, why You decided to wear that Santa hat some posts longer down, nothing else had been so appropriate...
Never actually realized how lucky I actually am, to still have both parents in good health.
To me it seems that strong mothers are followed by strong daughters, which is good and makes sense.
Thank You for Your clear comment about solid things. I agree, in a way;
I had a very close relationship to my moms mother, I spent several years growing up in her neverending love and understanding for me.
When I had the driving license, we went on summer holiday to England, she in her car with the money, I driving and managing the language, a fortnight, bed and breakfasting with my Nan,going to places we both wanted to see, very nice.
The possible one and only person in my family I could do this with, I loved her as much!
When she died, I was 27.
I have always had the feeling, that whenever I needed her, she was in my reach and helped as good as possible.
which gave me a lot of mental support in difficult or unknown situations, going my way and it proved to be right, what she 'd always said to me:
BE YOURSELF !
the same, as "Listen to YOUR heart", they are identical.
Maybe that's why I'm so in favour of this subject.... ;-)

Thank You for bringing up those 22 year old good memories!

Wishing You and Your Mom all the best in these days!

vikingman said...

actually left out an important answer to Your many wonders how Your life would be with him today, if he would be in it today.
If things might be better or worse.
Though the described act of being drawn out of a tub by the hair at the age of 17, was rather humiliating for You ( I suppose, in front of Your friends), You feeling reasonably grown up, he then obviously was at that moment not quite agreeing on this point.
How the outcome of Your life then had been, nobody knows, I like Your comment that most is relative and:

"I think that good things come from all kinds of things - even sad things - even death - and I do not think that you ever stop learning or experiencing your own life - and I am very thankful for that. A life without experience, is a life that is not being lived."

Well said, congrats, nothing more to add.

You are such a wonderful woman,
living her life with all her experiences,

Your parents can be proud of You!

Anonymous said...

Your not the only one who misses your dad. He always loved to see the people around him happy.
He would be very proud of your modeling career. He always did things his way even if it was unpopular. You don't follow the beaten path....he would really like that.
Also,take your Mom to the movie "Seven Pounds". You'll know why when you see it. Merry Christmas London

PD said...

Besides being the season of giving, its the season of remembering. When I was a kid, I had an Uncle that died on Christmas Eve. For my Aunt, & the rest of her family, it made the Holidays harder. But, it brought them & us closer together. He was the kind of Uncle that if you wanted something, he got it for you.
Like you, I like solid things as well. I believe that it is either black, or it is white. You deal in greys, you are asking for agrivation. But, I also believe that there is something better than this after. I believe that my Uncle, & all those that are not around are smiling on us. They want us to keep going, to be happy.
I think your Dad would want the same for you.
Knowing that he gave of himself to someone so that person may live is amazing. The only word I can think of here is Hero. It has to be a comforting thought. If Christmas was his favorite Holiday, then celebrate it to the fullest for him. That way, not only are you smiling, but he is as well.

Merry Christmas, London.
Enjoy every bit of it.
Make it last, because it goes by to fast.
And to the rest of the Gang, Merry Christmas to you all as well.
PD

London Andrews said...

HEY PD, thanks for the Christmas present!! How did you know that I was a junkie for those novels!?

I will finally have something good to read while I am at the gym! That friggin Chuck Klosterman, although he is a fantastic intellectual with ideas that can twist your brain around in circles, hurts my head when I am trying to use the elliptical and digest what he is saying at the same time. There should be a little warning on the bottom right hand side of his books: Do not read while burning calories - your head might explode.

Ha - well that was a rant.

Anyways - thank you. I will send photos sometime soon. Also, we should do lunch or something... I am home until January 7th-8thish... email me. Might have found you a cute Italian girl from Syracuse - not sure how you feel about blind dates but we can talk about it later... Merry Christmas babe.... stay warm... this weather is crazy. My car hates me so much right now.

As for everyone's Christmas cards.... haha... how do you feel about New Years cards? : ) Procrastination is my best idealization!

vikingman said...

New Year cards?

Not quite sure, why You should start with that old tradition of mine?
Well, .... maybe it's because I managed to break with it this Year for the first time ;-))
Yessss, alright!

Sorry to hear about Your car, some feeling here saying, it has to do with corroded electric contacts and plugs, and or around ignition cap occurring when changing from warm to cold and wet weather.And persisting, of course...
Get someone with healing hands to look after it, someone who knows and cares about the effect of small things, such corroded electric contacts..
A warm Father Christmas hat for the entire car might help too,..

London,
have a wonderful Christmas!

PD, thank You for Your words in Your latest comment, I didn't dare to write them in that way ( though I felt like it) , glad You did!!
Like to add here, that those, not longer among us, are so thankful for some loving vibes,thoughts and remembrances from us here !
That is what they need now...

Have a wonderful Christmas All of You



decided to get some Norwegian lights on the web for You:

http://elvestrand.blogspot.com/

obviously need to work a bit more with hyperlinking pictures in comments,html..., which I'd love to be able to, there are some comments on this blog, where others managed.
If one does it right, all is easy ;)

have a nice Christmas everybody!!

Gold Knight said...

Hi London,
I share your thoughts on family. Holidays are truly tough. I didn't have a father at all for my first 7 years. My stepfather was in the other week for a checkup and they found some kind of mass on his kidney, so his and our Merry Christmas this year was a biopsy, and now waiting to see if it is the bad kind. I've been musing and remorsing over how bad I was to him as a teenager and caused him so much grief. As we were not biologically related, our personalities could not have been more different. It wasn't until I was maybe 30 I started to even understand him. Being 600 miles away just makes it worse.

P.S. You are incredibly gorgeous - I love full-figured women, and you are the epitome of that breed.

P.P.S. Your stats - Bust is 36...what? D? There's no way I'm getting a 36-inch tape measure around those! :)

O'Teaspoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey London,

When I read your blog on your dad it made me cry.. I cannot imagine going thru that kind of ordeal. I know it has to make you sad every time you think about those times. My dad just started chemo this week and would not know what to think if he passed.

You seem to be a strong woman. After watching most of your videos on youtube, seeing your personality in the video helps me understand how you have over 22000 friends on your myspace!!! Your personality seems to draw people to you and of course you are not ugly to look at either, ha ha.. What does the song Black Cherry remind you of ? You got me hooked on some of the Goldfrapp songs, lol..

You have stood out of the crowd to me. I don’t know why I have become so interested in you. I am a Christian so this has bothers me a lot. I frequent your blogs and myspace to see what your friends and you have to say. I find it interesting the type of work you do, though I don’t know why I have taken an interest in modeling. Back to the dad blog, I had an overwhelming feeling to keep praying for you and your work etc after reading that blog., that God would help you in all things. I have wondered if it is part of Gods plan for me to find you and pray for you??

I have even had some photo ideas for you. My wife and a buddy from works wife are kinda the same body type as you. I was speaking to him about getting some kind of photo shoot together with all 3 of you. Maybe with hotrods, John Deere tractors, or helicopters etc. I don’t know something classy and cute. I am training to get my helicopter license by the way. I still have a ways to go yet. It is pretty expensive and has been a life long dream of mine. It really amazes me how many different looks you can pull off and look great doing it. You are talented for sure.

Well I really hope you had an Excellent Christmas with your mother and friends. I pray 2009 will be the best year ever for you and your career endeavors. Would love hearing a short something back from ya if you have time or want to.

Sincerely,

P.S. I forgot to mention the video of you talking of kids and the thought making you cry. I was wondering about that. Maybe its because you have not met the right man yet?? Afraid what it would do to your career?

Thanks again

Ono said...

I read your blog some time ago and I was impressed by a quote from it. It's the part where it says:", having that crushing feeling.... that nothing is ever really under control... ever. Anything you love.... is free to leave at any time, without your consent."

I like this quote in part because my father died when I was 17, he was only 43, I couldn't before figure out why stuff like this happens to people and I always kept looking for an answer... since 1989.

I want to say thank you, because you gave me an answer, I would love to thank you some day in person, hopefully, Thanks again.

mendez828