andybarwick
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journal

my journey and observations about life

Posts tagged love
Secret Treasure
Bracelet

It is amazing how you continue to find how
wonderful a father’s love is even after death. 
We keep things hidden just for us to enjoy and
remember. When we pass, they are love
letters to our children. 
• Andy Barwick 

 

One wonderful Father’s Day, my oldest daughter Reese made me a bracelet. That particular year was my first year being a single father. My youngest overwhelmed me with wonderful drawings and a beautiful candy jar she made just for me with her mother’s help. Reese seemed disappointed in what she gave me. I couldn’t wear it because it was too small and she was upset. She held it in but I could tell she wanted to express more and didn’t know how. I hugged her and kissed her so tightly. I was so thankful for her being her and taking time to give something creative from within to me. And then I saw that smile that I live for. 

I keep this bracelet still in my secret top drawer. I have little things hidden here and there that remind me of how much my girls love me and special moments they represent. They may be gifts, drawings or little things that meant a lot to them growing up and remind me of who they are in spirit. But the real reason I keep them hidden is because it reminds me of such a precious and pure love that only a father can have for a daughter. No other man can ever replace a father’s unconditional love. And as a future mother, she will pass that unconditional love to her children as only she can. Keeping the little creations also reminds me that someone loves me for me and treasures my love for them. 

One day when my days have passed and my children go through my hiding places, they will find these special things. They will know how much the gifts and trinkets really meant to me. They will know that I put them in a special place that only I would be able to see them everyday. And they will always know that my love for them will never end. 

Doubting Hope
Sunsetab

There isn't much comfort in words when you go through these things. I shared this with a friend desperately helping Lexi Crawford survive Rhabdomyosarcoma. Words first off that don't bring any comfort or solace, but do reflect the reality of feeling numb when overwhelmed by the meeting of exhaustion and faith. 

Even when you know that there may be thousands of people praying for you, you can feel isolated and alone in your struggle. You feel abandoned and hopeless.  I have been there so many times. 

What I'll share is just my experience. Hope isn't an outcome. Hope is something that sustains us when all else seems to be lost.  Whatever the outcome, never lose hope. There is joy in hope. There is pain in hope. There is abundance in hope. There is suffering in hope. Just know that your hope not only sustains you but it sustains millions that will follow your legacy to come. 

So hope is never hopeless or worthless. Hope and love are our greatest gifts. Never lose hope. © 

I'll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors Yann Martel: 

Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when He seemed indifferent to my suffering, He was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, He gave me rest and gave me a sign to continue my journey... - Yann Martel

 

Please read Lexi's story

A Seven Year Marathon
unbroken

 

In an amber run year of my life, I am reminded that one of my greatest wishes was to run a full marathon one day. I realized today that I have been running for seven years now. Sometimes running with denial, anger, bargaining and depression. In 2014, my marathon touched acceptance with what I thought would be the final stage. The stage of after having a bad day or accepting what you've been dealt, redefining what was a good day. And in 2014, a new and heavier diagnosis made everything else seem so much smaller.

In the stillness of the past year, I have been reflecting on what's next. I am not a fan of physical mirrors. I am a constant internal reflectionist. So with a year of not writing in my blog, I have to come into reality. Back to where acceptance doesn't really co-exist with inner chaos. Always carrying a cheerful disposition regardless of what rumbles within. I don't trust many with the truth of what I am fighting that is new and awful. I feel like shit today. Not crap, shit. There is an exponential difference. There I said it. Where I usually have given seven years of inspiration, I have given the blatant truth. 

In the past year, I have rediscovered my passion of writing and have many projects in the mix. In my spare moments, I write poetry and prose on Instagram. I've written poetry and prose my whole life but have been reluctant to admit it for some reason. I guess I felt that it made me look soft when I tried to portray a warrior spirit. But I have found peace in being both whether or not people connect with it. 

The good to take away from this is as always, I share for understanding not pity. When you say you hate Mondays, I can relate, just in a different way. So I don't scoff or belittle what you go through. Everyone has some level of pain and suffering. If you don't then good for you. Enjoy these days and use the good to help those stuck in the bad. Don't try to "fix them", just listen and be there for them and for God's sake laugh with them. That is what makes us feel alive and normal even in small doses. It is tough adding that into your life I know. Twelve years ago, I was a good listener but terrible at keeping in touch with those in real pain. So I understand that life changes and you adapt as either becoming a person more in tune with the world or someone living an oblivious life. I have lived both. I just have a life now that moves in a way that I have the time to examine the ills of the world without glazing over them and requiring getting back to making a living instead of a life. 

I'll try writing more. It's been busy as a single father living alone in the city. But more friends are near and it has been nice to slowly reconnect with the community that I had to leave when I moved before my life saving spinal surgery in 2011. My life was spared, my marriage was not, a casualty of the vows we make but don't truly understand when things don't fit the fairytale. I have found the joys of being more present as a father and actually taking care of two beautiful young girls instead of them living in constant fear of losing their dad. They don't see my struggle and my relentless fight to just breathe some days. I hide it well and they need stability for as long as I can provide it for them. They are my life and have been my only reason for living and not giving up over the past three years. And for that, I am eternally grateful to them. One day, I'll share my story with them. For now, I just tell them everyday that I love them and let them focus on acting their age and living in the wonder years of life. Wouldn't it be so wonderful to be able to have those years all the days of our lives. 

The ignorance of youth isn't a bad thing. If they knew the horrors and reality of this world, it would give them a hopeless perspective of why bother with striving for more in a broken world. But I do want them to still strive for their dreams with ignorance of my reality. And that makes me smile to hear their pure childhood dreams and laughter. Never forget that. You can find happiness even after the real world sets you into unfiltered reality. If you can't find happiness, then change your world...and help others find that happiness as well.