Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thomas Micheal Callihan RIP

In a few days it will be the 19th anniversary of my fathers death.  It's actually hard to believe it's been that long, because at times it feels like just yesterday.  He was 45 years old when he passed.  He had been diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 1992, and he went home to heaven only 8 short months later.  He had never been sick prior to this.  He was so healthy, strong, and just plain beautiful.  He had over a years worth of sick time saved up at his job.

Over the years I've had a lot of time to think about how I feel about him dying.  When it first happened I was only 18 years old.  So immature, and so ignorant.  I just had no idea what the world was like.  We had such a lovely, sheltered home life.  Dinner was always promptly at 5pm.  My mother would make amazing dinners.  We would all sit down together, and at that table, we shared some of the most wonderful moments of my life.  One thing we could all do with each other was laugh.  Laugh, and laugh at each other, over silly jokes, it was just wonderful.  I wouldn't mind if we could go back for a night, just so I could sit and have one of those family dinners.  To see my Father again, would be so completely amazing.  That's what is so crappy about losing someone.  I don't feel like I appreciated my time with him enough.  Don't get me wrong, we were so extremely close.  I was Daddy's little girl by every sense possible.  He was my warrior.  There was nothing that he could not do in my eyes.  He just wasn't supposed to die. 

I miss him more now as an adult, and mother I think than when I did in my early 20's.  I look at my children and my heart aches over it.  He would have been so wonderful with them.  He would have taken them fishing, and taught them all kinds of wonderful things.  He would have sang to them.  Put them on his lap and sang with his guitar, just as he did with me.  They would have loved him so much.  It breaks my heart that they were cheated out of that.  I know he would have been one of the most amazing grandfathers there ever was. 

Everything my Dad did, he did well.  He came from a very poor, broken home, and because of that was determined to make the most of his life.  He started out with nothing, and ended with everything.  Just as he was dying all of the things he had worked so hard for started to happen for him.  He was the superintendent of his job, he became the fire chief, he was featured in field and stream magazine.  He was an avid conservationist.  He was amazing at all things nature.   Fly fishing was one of his favorite things to do.  Singing too.  He could play the guitar solely by ear.  He was not able to read music, but it didn't matter.  He didn't need too.  He was able to just play the guitar, and sing with the most wonderful voice.  He was a wedding singer, and very popular too.  He was well known in our town.  When he died there were hundreds of people at his funeral.  The police and fire department stood outside of the church and saluted my mother and I when we came out.  The firemen marched behind his casket, that they had put in his favorite old fire engine all the way to his grave.  I often thought if he was watching, he had to be so incredibly proud. 

I wish people didn't forget about special people like my Dad though.  I'd like to talk about him.  Share memories, and funny stories.  My husband knew of him, but did not know him.  He wasn't here to walk me down the aisle.  That broke my heart, and took away my desire to have a big wedding.  My husband and I actually ended up eloping, much to the dismay of my mother.  For me though, it was good to do it that way.  Not having my Dad there, to sing for me, and walk me down the aisle, just took it all away for me.  It just didn't feel necessary without him. 

He was the type of person that you just loved when you knew him.  He was handsome, smart, and charismatic.  He loved wholeheartedly, and gave everything his 100%.  The world was a better place when he was in it.  I believe that he was so special, God needed him to do bigger things.  I absolutely believe he's off doing great, fantastic things somewhere in heaven.  Building a beautiful home for my Mother and him.  I picture him fly fishing in the most beautiful stream that ever was, while humming a beautiful tune.  I see the sun shining on his face, and the beautiful sparkle in his eye.  The best part is I see him without breast cancer.  I see him whole, all the beautiful curls perfectly intact atop his head, his olive skin is smooth and shiny, he's glowing.  Glowing in perfect health, and grand stature.  That's the most wonderful part about him being gone.  There is no pain where he is, there is no cancer, and there is no sadness. 

If there is anything that I could tell him, it would be that I love him, and miss him, and I hope so much that he is proud of me.  I want so much for him to be proud of who I've become. 

It's very important for people to know that men can get breast cancer too.  It's worse for men because they do not have the fatty tissue that women have in their breasts, and it can spread very, very quickly.  When my Father found his lump it had already spread.  Please make the men in your life aware that they too should do self checks, and their doctors should check them as well during physicals.  It's really very important for all of us. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your kind words on my blog!!! I always love getting comments, they make my day! Good luck with your new blog- it seems you are off to a great start (and it is so beautiful by the way!)