In a picture...
I HATE MY @^%^*$#&^ JOB!!!!
Now, normally I like my job. For the most part. I like being a nurse, I like my coworkers, I like my patients, I like my job. But my job just caused me to miss my baby girl's first steps.
Her FIRST STEPS!!!
Of course part of me is super excited that she has reached this milestone, part of me is sad because it really means she is growing up and part of me wants to quit my job right this instant because I don't ever want to miss another milestone or memory. Being a working mom is tough, your heart gets beaten and bruised every time you have to drop your baby off at daycare... but being a working mom on days like today is just plain awful. I often wonder if it's worth it. No paycheck can replace missed milestones. I can't buy back her first steps.
I am crushed that I missed seeing her walk for the very first time.
So... as if the day couldn't get any crappier, I received a phone call from my mom saying that my grandfather was not doing well at all. His health has been failing over the last few years, but I thought he had hit a plateau and was holding strong. Notsomuch. They didn't expect him to make it through the day.
I immediately flashed back to my wedding day. I have thought about this day often and one part of the day has always weighed heavy on my heart. When it was time for the father/daughter dance, the DJ announced the dance and I looked around for my dad. He was MIA (embarrassingly for him, in the bathroom, ha!)... my grandfather offered to dance with me and I politely declined saying that we would just play another song until my dad was ready. I promised to dance with him later in the evening.
I never did.
The evening was such a blur and I was so caught up in... well... everything... that time just got away from me. Before I knew it, he had to leave. We never had our dance.
I have thought of this often and with much guilt. One dance. Just one dance. Just one dance.
It probably would have meant the world to him... and now, it would have meant the world to me. I wish I could go back and dance with him.
I had planned to ask him to dance at my cousin's wedding next summer, but that won't be possible. It's too late.
Shortly after my mom called to let me know that he wasn't doing well, I called my aunt who was at the hospital with him. She told me he had already passed. I was too late again. I didn't get to say goodbye.
My grandfather was a wonderful man. A Navy veteran, a survivor of the USS Forrestal disaster, a lung cancer survivor, and more importantly a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was very loved and will be dearly missed.
In January, Kennedy and I flew down to Florida and he got to meet her for the first time. They were both all smiles around each other. These are my last memories of him and they are precious memories that will stay with me forever. My mom caught this picture from the very first time they met. It is just perfect and exactly how I will remember him.
Rest in peace, Pop Pop.
Harvey "Chief" Smith
5/31/1933 - 5/23/2013