That Time of the Year

fb_img_1439078176605With the holiday season, Thanksgiving just passing and Christmas being right around the corner, it is hard not to think back to the holidays spent with those who are no longer here. I miss so much about spending these holidays with my father; falling asleep on his big ol’ belly after eating way too much turkey, or surprising him on Christmas with that watch that he was talking about months ago. It is hard to cope with the fact that they aren’t any longer able to cherish these moments with us. I miss decorating the tree together and just spending quality family time. I am so thankful that throughout this journey of loss, through the ups and downs, that I have such a loving family who can still come together on each holiday and spread nothing but love.

Related Links:

Help with Grieving a Lost One

Grieving During the Holidays

 

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Face of Despair

DSC_0529.JPGThe worst part of having to tell people that somebody close to you has passed, is the face of sympathy and despair that they give you when you tell them. When I would go out shortly after my father’s death, many people had already known he had passed through word of mouth, and they would give the deepest of apologies.
It’s the face you get when you tell somebody that didn’t know that’s what’s really frightening. They look at you like they just saw a ghost, or like you have a knife stuck in your forehead.
I remember serving at I.C. Sharks on Gandy Boulevard when my father passed; it was about four days after his death and I probably shouldn’t have even been working. A man at one of my tables who was with his family asked about my tattoo of my parents, saying “how nice,” and followed by the common question, “are they still with us?”
When I said that my father had passed away a few days ago, the man looked at me in shock, nearly spitting his food out. I felt almost, by his intense action, offended over the fact that I was trying to be fine and working, attempting to keep my life moving. I also think that I was still in a bit of shock, so these reactions seemed sort of bizarre to me. The truth is, everybody handles tragedy differently.

Related Links:

Breaking News of Death to Relatives

Telling Others About a Death

 

USF Student Services

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WE WENT TO EXPLORE THE USF STUDENT SERVICES BUILDING TO SEE WHAT KINDS OF SERVICES THEY OFFER TO THE STUDENTS. FIRST WE HIT ADMISSIONS TO SPEAK WITH MEAGAN EASTMAN, THE SENIOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CAMPUS VISITS AND EVENTS.

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(EDITOR NOTE: DSC_0046.MOV EASTMAN INTERVIEW)
<00:12-00:22 MEAGAN EASTMAN – SENIOR ASSISTAND DIRECTOR “So within the admissions office we recruit, review applications and make decisions on those applications and help enroll students at the university.”>
TRT: 00:10

WE THEN WENT TO THE OFFICE OF REGISTRATION TO SPEAK WITH REGINA GAY AT THE FRONT DESK.

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(EDITOR NOTE: DSC_0082.MOV GAY INTERVIEW)
<00:05-00:14 REGINA GAY – REGISTRATION FRONT DESK WOMAN “Some of my duties are transcripts on demand, which takes only about five to ten minutes to process.”>
TRT: 00:09

NEXT, WE TALKED TO MICHEL FERRELL, THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER, TO SEE WHAT HE COULD DO FOR THE STUDENTS.

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(EDITOR NOTE: DSC_0122.MOV FERRELL INTERVIEW)
<00:09-00:16 MICHEL FERRELL – HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER “Basically we help students find jobs on campus and make sure that when they’re employed, they get paid properly.”>
TRT: 00:07

AND THEN WE SPOKE WITH TAYLOR IN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SERVICES.

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(EDITOR NOTE: DSC_0087.MOV MIHOCIK INTERVIEW)
<00:21-00:31 TAYLOR MIHOCIK – STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SERVICES DESK WOMAN “So, we provide testing accommodations like reduced distraction testing, extended time, etcetera. We also set up systems like note-taking.”>
TRT: 00:10

IT TURNS OUT THAT STUDENT SERVICES IS THE STOP FOR ALL STUDENT NEEDS.

In Loving Memory… but Not

I remember when I first got this tattoo, a little over two years ago. When people would see it, they were in awe with the beauty and reality of the photograph on my leg. “Are they still with us?” Many would ask. I’d chuckle and say “of course.” People couldnt believe that I had gotten my parents faces tattoo’d onto me with them still living. I thought it made it that much more special, the fact that they were still living; I wanted them to have a glimpse of how much I really loved them. I still remember the moment I stepped out of my car and showed my father; his face dropped. He was shocked, but never angry with the fact that his 19 year old daughter was getting inked up. He smiled and said “it’s an honor.” I will never forget that. Now that my father has passed, it’s sort of a different vibe when people ask about my tattoo. When they ask if my parents are still with us, I tell them that my father has passed, but that he did get to see it with his own eyes. It is not a memorial piece, but a daily reminder of my love for my family.

 

Similar Blog Posts:

Why We Get Tattoos

Remembering Loved Ones

Losing a Parent in your 20’s

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When you lose a parent in your twenties, it gives you a lot to think about and you begin to ask yourself, and God – if you believe, many questions. Who’s going to be at my wedding? Who’s going to guide me through life? Show me how to raise my children one day?

When the person who created you is no longer on this planet, it can become a dark and scary place; a very lonely place. It is up to us, those who are left behind, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have to know that they are still with us, just in another form.

I used to be terrified of time passing, life still going on without my father. Every time that I got into a car by myself, it was a guarantee that I’d eventually look to the sky, get a thought of him, and ball my eyes out while blindly and dangerously still trying to drive.

Now, I look at the sky each and every day with a smile on my face, knowing that he is gone from this earth, but not gone from my heart nor my life. It is truly a blessing to have such a dear angel watching over me, someone that I know cares so much about me; I couldn’t feel more safe and protected.

Related Blog Posts:

Grieving my Dad in my 20’s

What No One Tells You About Losing a Parent in Your 20’s

The Truth About Losing Your Parents in Your 20’s

Emily Bodybuilding

[EMILY BODYBUILDING]

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AT JUST AGE NINETEEN, EMILY IS TRAINING FOR HER FIRST BIKINI FITNESS SHOW, THE WINTER CLASSIC, TAKING PLACE IN FORT LAUDERDALE DECEMBER THIRD.

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Emily Baumgartner, Bodybuilder

“This competition has motivated me by forcing, not forcing myself, but making myself more dedicated to coming to the gym. Because I have a set deadline, I know that I have to wake up in the morning, I know that I have to come have a good shoulder workout because the competition depends on it.”

FROM GETTING SIZED FOR HER COMPETITION BIKINI, TO LEARNING HOW TO PROPERLY STRIKE A POSE, EMILY IS DOING ALL OF THE NECESSARY PREPARATION TO TAKE THE STAGE.

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DURATION:00:19]

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“When I signed up for the gym, I never thought it would be what it is today. When I come to the gym, I feel so comfortable; nobodies watching me, nobody cares what I’m doing. At the gym, nothing else matters.”

BODYBUILDING IS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE, A BIG PART OF EMILY’S LIFE.

WEB STORY

TAMPA, FL – At just age nineteen, Emily Baumgartner is training for her first bikini fitness show, The Winter Classic, taking place in Fort Lauderdale December 3rd.

“This competition has motivated me by forcing, not forcing myself, but making myself more dedicated to coming to the gym. Because I have a set deadline, I know that I have to wake up in the morning, I know that I have to come have a good shoulder workout because the competition depends on it,” says Baumgartner.

From getting sized for her competition bikini, to learning how to properly strike a pose, Emily is doing all of the necessary preparation to take the stage.

“When I signed up for the gym, I never thought it would be what it is today. When I come to the gym, I feel so comfortable; nobodies watching me, nobody cares what I’m doing. At the gym, nothing else matters,” says Baumgartner.

Bodybuilding is, and will continue to be, a big part of Emily’

The Roller Coaster

13445818_1194390290584814_1073913749834886596_nRichard Tindall; An angel in the flesh. Tindall was the officer who arrived at the scene the night my father passed. He gave me some of the best advice, and words of wisdom, that have helped me every day since that tragic evening. “It’s going to be a roller coaster,” he said. As I sat there with a stale face, I had no clue what he was talking about. I felt fine, but I was really just in complete, numbing shock.
I liked the fact that his name was Richard, because that was my father’s name, too. He was kind, and continued to explain to me this ‘roller coaster ride.’ He could see that I was feeling nothing; it was as if he were afraid for me and what was to come. I swear, I didn’t shed much of a tear that night, at least not there. Everybody kept telling me how strong I was, but when I became alone, I couldn’t stop the tears.
That night, Tindall went over everything that would need to be done in regards to my father’s death. It was just me and my uncle Tommy there, but I quickly and gladly assumed responsibility for everything and anything that needed to be done. My father was my best friend, I did and still would do anything for him; I wanted to be true to him until no deed was left undone. It was never that I didn’t want anyone else to be involved, my brother, sister or mother, it was just that I knew putting pressure and stress onto them wouldn’t take any of it off of my shoulders; they needed time to mourn, time that I never gave myself. The truth is, I love them just as much as I love my father, and I didn’t want them to stress and hurt; I would protect them from anything in my power. This is where my roller coaster ride truly began.

 

Related Links:

The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief

How Can the Death of a Loved One Affect Me?