Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Glass is Half-Full

Today marks 2 years since I lost my dad (my Pops). Being that I haven't written here since April, it's hard to catch up on everything when so much has happened. But, in honor of him and how life has gone forward, I wanted to write a little recap and where we go from here.

My Glass is Half-Full

I can't believe the day is here, but Mike, Baris and I are on our way to Florida. In just a few short days I will marry my best friend! After Mike proposed and we were trying to think of the day to tie the knot, September was the first month that came to mind. When thinking of a day in September, the 20th immediately stood out. From the moment we got engaged up to today, I have had a hard time getting in the spirit and really dedicating these planning months to strictly wedding thoughts. Of course I've longed for this day since Mike crossed my path, but I always imagined my wedding day would have had everyone present. 

I'd be lying if I said I'm not having a hard time right now thinking of these next few days and knowing my Pops won't be there. I'd be lying if I said the various weddings I've attended since his passing have hit me like a ton of bricks and reminded me that when my day arrives, I won't have his arm to lean on when walking down the aisle, I won't have his wink when Mike vows to take care of his little girl, and I won't have the dance I've always wanted to have with him. 

Thinking that today officially marks 2 years without him blows my mind. Somehow over 2 years, I've gotten by, gotten engaged, started a new job, adopted the best dog out there, moved into a new place, and planned a wedding. There have been so many moments during these milestones where I know he has shown up when I least expected it. I think after you lose someone, you hold on soooo tightly for their physical self that you are knocked off your feet when they show up in a song, in a sunrise, in a flock of geese, or even when you pick your wedding date. 

September will always be a rough month for me no matter how many years pass by without him. But when selecting our wedding day, I have a really good feeling my Pops wanted this month to bring about something different :) 

When I think about this new chapter of my life, I have the biggest smile, the most overwhelmed heart, and the kind of feeling everyone dreams of having. Mike was the first guy I felt true, deep, Notebook-type-of-LOVE for (if you know me, you know I have a hardcore crush on The Notebook)! He has been the one guy I'd give my car up for just so we could always drive together, the ONLY guy who has opened every door for me, the guy who lets me eat Qdoba 4 nights a week without judging, the one who compliments my dance skills when everyone else laughs (along with my singing voice), the one who I want my kids to call their "Pops," the only guy I ever let meet my dad (who thankfully was the one standing next to me when I had to say goodbye), and Mike is the one person I am so thankful picked me because without a doubt I never thought I would have gotten so lucky picking him. 

As these next few days take place, we're reunited with so many people we love, and we finally get to become Mr. & Mrs.Gioioso, I have to remind myself of who raised me, what he taught me, and the part of this new chapter he'd remind me to remember. My Pops was always, and I mean always, seeing life through a glass half-full type of lens. The glass could have been broken, foggy, or filled with sour milk, but that didn't stop him from seeing and thinking the best about what stood on the other side. 

I am taking this approach as we go through the next few days. This is about to be one of the most memorable weekends I'll get and I know he will be there. This is the day I've wanted for so long ... the day to say "I do" as I take my best friend and vow to be the best to him, God and our life together. This is a weekend where so much love will be pouring from everyone's glasses, and from the looks of it even Mother Nature's glass, that I can't help but think he would be winking and saying, "Sweets ... do you see what I see?"

Pops, I sure do. I see you in me, the places I go and the people who have shown up. I see that life unfolded just the way you wanted for your little girl. She found the man of her dreams, the guy you always rooted for, and the day you told her would be worth waiting for. I see that when the glass does have a crack, looks a little foggy, or holds sour milk, you just keep pouring. Sweets, life is always going to be that way. You'll have a hard day, you'll have to say goodbye to a loved one, and you'll be thrown some sour situations, but remember keep pouring ... because one day you're going to be knocked off your feet by love, you're going to find that your best friend is about to become your husband, and you're going to have so many people to lean upon as you walk down the aisle. Play the song you wanted to play and just think my big feet and awkward dance moves will now save you from embarrassment. And at the end of the night, take Mike by the arm, pour yourself a drink and look around you. You are beyond blessed and you have something that so many people forget to remember, a glass that will always be (more than) half-full. 

Being that my dad was the best darn electrician out there, I found a quote that sums up Mike and the man my Pops wanted for me. "What is a soul? It's like electricity, we don't really know what is it, but it's a force can that can light a room." Mike, thank you for last 6 years and being the force that has lit up my life.
Thank you ALL so much for your love and support over the last 2 years and for being there for us. We've always been so excited to tell our story about how we met, but over these last 6 years it's been a true test to the love and commitment we have to know that our story is only going to get better!

Raise your glass, fill it up, and let's go get married!
_____   _______   _______   _______
In case you're wondering what song I had saved for my Pops and I it's Rod Stewart "Forever Young." We would spend Saturday mornings cleaning the house (Mike get ready for this tradition), and my dad would blast Rod Stewart. The minute I heard "Forever Young" for the first time was the minute I knew that song would be ours :)

"May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam, and may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home. And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true, and do unto others as you'd have done to you. Be courageous and be brave, and in my heart your'll always stay forever young." 

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