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Author Topic: Can't keep it inside anymore
Nellie Bly
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I've had a bad few weeks... well, more like a bad year and three months. See, one year and three months ago, my father died. It seems I'm still having trouble accepting it as it took me nearly five minutes to type the D word.

Since that time, I feel I've been on auto-pilot. I've felt numb. I couldn't do the things I loved. I even got kicked out of school.

That's not to say everything has been horrible. I got a full time job that pays higher than minimum wage, I'm getting my first apartment, I bought a car, I made new friends, and my relationships with my three brothers have drastically improved.

But none of it really got through the coocoon I wrapped myself up in. Well maybe a few things. My family was great, though it took a while for me to forgive them for a major deception. My frienfs from home were pillar of strength for me. And the three people I was closest too in San Diego; My roomie C and her boyfriend C, and AoD. Especially AoD. She popped into my life like a bubble of energy and weirdness and strangeness, and at first I didn't know what to make of her, but she was exactly what I needed. Her energy is infectious. I now consider her to be one of my closest friends. Thank you for all the things you'll never know you did for me. I thought I should let you know.

Around Thanksgiving, I notived that I was feeling strange. I love the holidays. I am one of those annoying people who sing christmas carols all year long and wear Santa hats through most of December. But I wasn't feeling any of that. I'm not feeling any of that, though I must say, I am doing a remarkable job of faking it.

Instead I find myself thinking about my daddy, and my brothers. I suppose I should tell you the circumstances surrounding my fathers death.

I was away at school in San Diego. All my family was in Illinois. The week before finals I got a phone call from my mom.
"I have some bad news about your dad." She tells me that my dad (who had been living with my aunt and uncle) had been riding his bicycle around the neighborhood as was his daily ritual. (I had been so proud of him that he had been working towards getting healthier.) Some of the neighborhood kids had built a ramp and were playing on it that morning. My dad, being the person that he was, decided that he was going to go over the ramp. This might be a good point to stop and interject that my dad was too cool to wear a helmet.
So he peddled up the little ramp, I was told it was maybe a foot high. And his front wheel went straignt down over the ramp and my dad flipped over the handlebars and, to quote my mother, sort of landed on his neck. He was taken to the hospital and was paralized from the shoulders down. He was put on a respirator, but, again quoting my mother, was communicating well.

Then she let slip that he had been in the hospital for three days, and this was the first anyone bothered to call me and let me know what was going on with my father.

That was all I heard for four days. Then my aunt called and said she was booking me a ticket to come home during break, so I could 'visit with my dad, and maybe go home for a few days and see my friends.'

That was all I heard from my for a week, till the day before I left, when my mom called to let me know that her and my older brother Marty would be picking me up from the airport.

So wile I'm on the airplane I develop a fever, something that i found out happens every time I fly. And then I get picked up at the airpor tby my mom and Marty, and my two other brothers, Dan and Tommy. We're in the car, on the way to the hospital when my mom tells me that they were taking my father off the respirator that evbening and I was going to have to say goodbye. I remeber sitting there crying while my mom told Dan to drive more carefully, and somebody was holding me as I sat there, silently, tears streaming down my cheeks.
I remember being ushered through the hospital and suddenly I was left alone in the ICU with my dad. I'll never forget the look of that ugly purple bruise on his forehead, or the abnormally slick feeling of his skin, or how his hair was too coarse and too greasy. And I'll never forget the way he looked hooked up to all those machines. I remember not knowing what to say, and saying just that, and then I rattled off stupid little things that I was doing at school, and asking if he remembered the games we played when I was little.
Later on, after they had taken the breathing tube out, when I had a few more minutes of alone time, I told him that I understood if he had to leave, and that I would say goodbye, but I had to pray that he would make it.
I was sent home with my uncle and aunt to get some rest. I'd had an 'emotional day,' and I still had a fever. It took forever, but I finally got to sleep, and when I woke up the next morning he was gone. I didn't see the body again, because he was cremated. I still haven't seen the urn. I dont know if Dan has it, or if my uncle has it.

It doesn't seem real to me. I still half expect to pick up the phone and here him say "Hi Baby. How's my girl?" But he wont. Cant.

People say that he was waiting for me to go, and that statement makes me so mad, because I know that, and what if I hadn't made it in time, or if I had been there sooner he wouldnt have had to suffer for so long.

I still have so much hatred and anger because of his death. Towards my family, the entire lot of them, for not telling me sooner about the accident, for not telling me the truth about it all. I understand why they did it, but that just makes me even more angry. And I have anger at God, for taking my dad from me. Doesn't He know I need him, how important he is to me? Why did He take my father away from me? I didn't even have a day to process it. I- I don't even know how to express the..

Amyway, I realized that the reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the holidays is because these holidays are celebrated at home. But my home was with my dad. Even though I hadn't lived with him for more than 10 years, he was home. In his voice, and in his laughter, and in the light in his eyes. And everyone says it: I was the light in his eyes.

I've been keeping so much inside of me for so long that I just need to get it out of me. It was just too much to keep inside anymore.

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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*currently reading*

BTW, finals suck. [Frown]

EDIT: You just reminded me of my grandfather who passed away back in January 30, 2004. My family and I heard that he was sick and in the hospital and we made plans to see him right the next day, since it was a 2hr drive to where he was and it was already night. Well, when we got to the hospital, expecting to visit an old sick man, we find my uncle outside with a horriby sad look on his face. We asked him about my grandfather and he only said, "He's already left us."

Even now, almost three years after, I'm sitting at the student lounge trying to hold back the tears of one of the most traumatic and painful moments of my life. My grandfather and I weren't too close, but it was the first time any of my loved ones had died and that was the most traumatic part of all.
Recently, I'm not sure if I told you, that my brother noticed that my dad, whom I've not seen in a long time, has been showing great signs of Parkinson's Disease and that struck a chord too. I'm not too close with him, as I said I've not seen him in a long time, but it still frightened me. Because even though I have a hard time forgiving his absence as a father, we still share DNA and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Besides, we know that it's genetic because an aunt, two uncles and my grandfather, all on my dad's side, died of the same thing. My dad does not have health insurance, I'm not sure if he is he can legally enter the U.S., and we cannot afford health insurance; in other words, there's absolutely nothing that we can do to help him. He is slowly dying and I don't know how to deal with it. His side of the family is taking care of him, providing room and board free of charge to him, so at least I'm not worried about whether he's got something to eat each day or a place to stay.

All of this I've said because even though I do not know what's it's like to loose a father as loving as the one you remember, I do know what it's like to have someone in your life unexpectedly die.

Even now, I refuse to think about the day that my grandfather died in complete detail because I just cannot handle it.

On a lighter note, I'm glad I've made a difference in someone's life. To tell you the truth, after Flor left to NY, I was left alone again. I had never really had someone I could call a friend before Junior year in high school. I was having a hard time with my former roommates, whom I used to live with before I met you. They didn't react very well to my outlandish ways and I felt ostricised the entire time. Then you came and you made me have something for a while that I will always treasure the memory of: you let me be an adult in a household where the members communicate, joke around, and share the ups and downs of life together, but most important, you gave me security in my own home. I no longer had to dread the thought of going home because I had to put up with people who treat me like a lackey.

It sucks that things have to be this way for the while, but remember that we shall overcome.

One last thing, the song "Beloved" by VNV Nation has some very pretty lyrics that make me imagine the bond you had with your dad. I'm not sure if it would really apply to your relationship, or if it would be your type of music, since you hate "whatyoucalltechnobutreallyisn't", but the lyrics are very poetic.

Another thing...don't you just love me for getting you to this place?

[ December 07, 2006, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Altáriël of Dorthonion ]

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katharina
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Oh sweetie. *hugs* The holidays are very hard after losing a parent. You do whatever you need to do to make it okay, and you don't have to put on a happy face if you don't want to.

My mother died very suddenly after a few weeks in a coma, and the holidays are still kind of weird for me. I'm so glad you have friends and your family is good to you. *hugs*

For the question of why they are taken, I just don't know. I have come to the conclusion that, basically, this life can suck. Things work out overall, but this life doesn't encompass the overall and sometimes really crappy things happen and things would have been better if they didn't but there's nothing we can do about it. Heavenly Father loves us, but he doesn't stop random, bad things from happening because random things - both good and bad - are just part of this mrotal life. I don't know if anyone would come to the same conclusion, but that's what I came to. I'm so sorry.

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Rotar Mode
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I believe this is the proper syntax.
(((((Nellie)))))
Losing my parents was the most traumatic experience of my life. What you just did is the best thing you could have done. Don't hold things in for ten years like I did, and then erupt.
(((Nellie and family)))

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El JT de Spang
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Oh, Nellie, that's awful.

I'm really sorry you and your family had to go through that, and I think you're doing remarkably well, all things considered.

But. . . who are you talking to about your feelings since your dad's passing? A counselor, a minister, your mom and brothers, or your friends? You need to find a healthy way to work through your feelings -- don't keep them bottled up. If you're not in therapy, I think* you should definitely look into it, either through school or through a rec from your doctor.

Holidays are hard -- I hope things improve for you.

*Just in case anyone still doesn't know this about me -- I am not, in fact, a doctor of any shape or form. So, grain of salt and all that.

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Noemon
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Nellie, I'm so sorry that you experinced/are experiencing that. I'm glad that you shared it with us, and I wish that I had something more comforting to say. ((Nellie))
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Kelly
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Wow. I'm sorry you've been going through all this. I hate to think of how you must feel.

You are in my prayers.

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Nellie Bly
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My 'thereapist' is a blank journal. I have five of them now, filled to the brim of the way I feel about my family, and my dads passing, and memories trips and songs.

I talk to my friends when I need to. Though we're all so busy, I havent seen my friends since before Thanksgiving. WE've played Phone tag, and exchanged lovely text messages, but I feel Like All I have right now is work and sleep.

I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

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Storm Saxon
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I hope you feel better Nellie. You're a good person, and you deserve to be happy.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

ditto :'(
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Nellie Bly
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quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

ditto :'(
You and I make quite the pair, don't we friend?
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

ditto :'(
You and I make quite the pair, don't we friend?
Better than gin and tonic, love.
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Nellie Bly
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quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

ditto :'(
You and I make quite the pair, don't we friend?
Better than gin and tonic, love.
Gin and tonic, ech. Vodka and Orange Juice
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twinky
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My father died about a year and a half ago. He was cremated, though I had the opportunity to spend some time alone with his body. A memorial service was held against his wishes, and against my preferences, but I recognized that it was necessary for others. I still wouldn't say that I feel it. I've lived away from home for six of the last seven years, and not seeing him for long periods was normal. In that respect, it took me a long time before I started thinking "you know, I ought to have seen him by now."

I'm very lucky, though. About two weeks before he died, I went home for a weekend to visit him in the hospital. I'd lived at home for part of his four-month hospital stay, but had moved out to start a new job about six weeks prior. He was having a hard time communicating by this point, and was clearly trying to tell me something, but was unable to get the words to form. He shook his head in frustration. I looked him in the eyes, and said "Listen. There's nothing you need to say to me, and there's nothing I need to say to you. You and I, we're square." I hugged him, hard, and then said "I'll see you in a couple of weeks." I left -- I had a plane to catch. That was the last time I saw him alive. When they called me a few weeks later and told me I should come back, I didn't get there in time even though I left almost immediately. He died while I was flying eastward. Like you, I was kept in the dark at various times -- notably, when I called between flights, one of our closest friends told me that he was still alive when that wasn't true. I suspected, though, and while I thought I would be angry when I found out the truth, I really wasn't.

What I told him in that last conversation wasn't just reassurance; it really was true. That knowledge has served me in very good stead since then and I'm confident it will continue to do so in the future.


All of this is just to say that, in some respects, I can sympathize very strongly with your situation. As far as holidays go, Christmas might as well be cancelled in perpetuity for all I care about the season. But, as it's always been since I moved halfway across the country, the time off is a great opportunity to head home and spend some time with family and old friends. I'm looking forward to that. I am not, however, looking forward to the holiday itself.

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BlackBlade
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Nellie I can only imagine that you are angry for the reasons you stated. In memory of your father, how would you suppose he would have preferred his death to affect his family?

I don't pretend to know your relationship with your family, but aren't they exactly what you need to get passed this? They are the only ones who can understand what you are going through as they have incurred the same lose you have. Those in this thread who have lost fathers can certainly relate, but they did not lose YOUR father.

Don't let your father's death create a rift, celebrate the man he was, and do your part to hold the family he helped raise together in his absence.

You have my sincere condolences. I hope you can find the peace and resolution you are seeking.

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romanylass
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I am so sorry Nellie. I don't have any great words of wisdom but I wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. The holidays have a way of bringing losses to the forefront, don't they? (((Nellei)))
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Will B
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Cocoons have a good side -- but so's coming out of them, like you are. Sorry it feels so awful. [Frown]
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Tante Shvester
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(((NellieB)))

Oh honey! My sincere condolences to you. I'm glad that you can turn to us and let it out.

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The White Whale
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(((((Nellie)))))
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Soara
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quote:
People say that he was waiting for me to go, and that statement makes me so mad, because I know that, and what if I hadn't made it in time, or if I had been there sooner he wouldnt have had to suffer for so long.
Don't let that make you angry; he held on because he loves you. He would rather have seen you before he died than spare himself a couple days of suffering. My pop-pop died a couple hours before I got out of school and was going to go visit him and I was always kind of mad about that
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Euripides
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I have no advice, but wishing you and your family the best.
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Icarus
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I'm so sorry. [Frown]

(((Nellie)))

I wish you the best in dealing with this.

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Shan
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(((Nellie))) I'm so sorry. I've lost a lot of family, and it's so very hard at this time of year. My thoughts and prayers are with you. It's okay to cry and laugh. And it's okay to do some of that alone, but it's good to do some of it with folks, too. There's nothing like a friend and a cup of tea and a good cry and a memory laugh. Take care, sweetie.
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Nell Gwyn
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I have no advice either, just lots of well wishes and hugs.

((((Nellie & family))))

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quidscribis
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(((Nellie))), I'm so sorry. Losing a loved one sucks hugely. [Frown]

When I was 22 and my friend was 21, she died. She'd gotten married five months before, was four months pregnant, and had an aneurism. She was my best friend. She loved me unconditionally, she understood me. She... was amazing. And she died.

I had nightmares about losing other friends for the next year or so. I still miss her, but it's a lot easier now. I know, it's not the same as losing a loving parent, but it's the closest I'll ever get. My point being that those of us who've lost someone understand in our own ways. I don't know if that helps or not. [Frown]

It's hard. It sucks. I'm sorry you've been going through this. [Frown]

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Tatiana
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Oh, dear! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Nellie>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I'm so very sorry for your loss!

Take care of yourself, and give yourself permission to grieve. Go easy on yourself for a bit. I hope you find that your understandable anger at your family will soon let go of your heart and allow you to share freely with them in your sorrow at his loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful father. [Frown]

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Troubadour
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((((Nellie))))

Bit teary now, thank you for sharing.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Nellie, what a rough, rough experience to deal with (and keep dealing with). I'm so very sorry. [Frown]
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airmanfour
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I love the moments when I remember something someone said or did that wasn't funny at the time, but now when I think about it in the context of that person in their entirety, it was completely out of the character I was familiar with, and I realize I'm still learning about them even though they're gone. Hugs, Nellie.

I own Futureperfect, and after what AoT wrote I finally just listened to the words to Beloved (I focus too much on Electronaut). It makes me feel wistful and gratefully nostalgic.

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by Nellie Bly:
I think thats part of my frustrations. The fact that I feel cut off from my social world.

ditto :'(
You and I make quite the pair, don't we friend?
Better than gin and tonic, love.
Gin and tonic, ech. Vodka and Orange Juice
Woman, you know I hate vodka. Why don't we go with milk and cookies?
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Nellie Bly
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quote:
Woman, you know I hate vodka. Why don't we go with milk and cookies?
Milk and cookies sounds perfect.

Wow. I just finished reading everyone's replies, and I feel so much lighter at the kindness of you all. THank you so much. Knowing you care makes me want to share a thousand memories wih you about my dad. Being the only girl, I had a special relationship with my dad. I can say with confidence two things about him. He remembered EVERYTHING I said, and he never broke a promise.
He promised he would make it to my high school graduation. I didn't think he could because I was in Illinois, and he was in Ohio, and he didn't have a job then, and his truck wasn't very reliable. I was waiting for him to call and say he couldn't make it, and when he did call, 1 week before graduation, it was to tell me to go outside in exactly 5 minutes. And when I went outside, there he was with his old truck and a smile on his face. I was never happier to see anyone ever. Then he gave me my graduation present (as if he wasn't enough.) It was a toy car. A new VW Beetle. Yellow. my perfect car. And in the back of the little car was a tiny plastic guitar. He gave me two things I really wanted the only way he could afford. I told him when I was twelve that I wanted to play the guitar and he never forgot. I told him when I turned 16 that I wanted a Beetle, and he never forgot. I told him when I was 6 that I thought the snowglobe with the unicorn was pretty, and he got me one every year for Christmas.

My dad wasn't always the most responsible man, but that was only because he thought more with his heart. He was such a gruff looking guy, with a bushy black beard, and a tattoo of the reaper on his arm, that it was surprising to people how kind he was. The residents of the small town where I grew up called him Bear. Gruff as a gizzly, soft as a teddy.

Thats exactly what he was.

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ClaudiaTherese
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[Smile]

That's beautiful, Nellie. I can see him clearly. He loved you so!

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Libbie
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[Frown] I'm sorry, Nellie. But your thoughts and memories of your dad truly are beautiful, and I hope that they are some comfort to you.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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You are a dear gal, Nellie Bly. I wish you the best.
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quidscribis
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Aw, Nellie, that was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. [Smile] I like him already. [Smile]
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cmc
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Hey Nellie Bly... Your Dad sounds like a kick-a$$ kind of guy.

It's awesome that you have so many great memories. Don't let them get clouded by the sadness at the end - your relationship seems to me to be so much stronger than that.

I'm thinking of you! : )

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