Its been almost a year and a half since I traveled home to say goodbye to my dad. Not a day goes past where I don’t think about him or I’m not reminded of him. It can be something as simple as a song (yesterday it was ‘Uptown Girl’ by Billy Joel – my Dad used to listed to 1080 AM constantly when he was working in the garage :-)) or just a random memory that explodes into my head. I am still to this day in a constant state of flux, being terribly sad that he is no longer a phone call/plane ride away and often comforted when I know he is still around.
Before my dad passed away, he was busy at work restoring a World War 1 Model T Ford.
My dad was working on the T all the time, even when he wasn’t physically working on the car he was thinking about the car, posting about the car (HMVF Forums) or dreaming about the car. I’m sure he drove my mum insane at times 🙂
The T was completed by the Wednesday boys, a group of bloody good blokes who, along with my dad, got together every Wednesday to work on one project or another. For the most part it was the T that they worked on. After my dad passed away, they promised to keep working every Wednesday to finish up the T in honor of my father. Seven months later the project was complete..
This ANZAC day (April 25th, 2015) marks the 100 year anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli and once again the Model T will take part. As always, I also know that Poppy Jack will be along for the ride.
I’ve been having a few of them lately. I think i just need a break. Or more alcohol. Perhaps both.
Today’s fun times included one of the other managers mentioning an aroma in the office that I thought was just my odd sense of smell. We narrowed it down to one corner of the room and started pulling boxes out from under the desk in order to examine the area. I pulled one last box out and all of a sudden I see
I heard, probably entirely too loudly for a retail location aaaaaand I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me that just yelled that. I peek my head back in to take another look at the monster, to try and assess the situation and decide on a plan of action that may or may not include fire bombing an entire suburban shopping complex.
Oh. Right. It’s just a teddy bear hamster that managed to escape its enclosure and has made a home out of a cardboard box and packing material. No biggie.
I captured mr tubby and put him back with his friends. Luckily this is a pretty rare occurrence. My heart and our shoppers delicate ears could probably do without more of this 😉
So its been a long time.
After my father passed away at the end of last year, I figured out pretty quickly that 2013 wasn’t quite done with handing out the digs. Shortly after I returned back to the states from my fathers funeral, I was faced with the news that my job was about to be no longer.
To be honest, I went a little nuts and sent out about 65 applications within the space of 3-5 days. Some of which I knew I could do, but would just be a job…and others that I really had my heart set on, as I knew they would be that one step further – a job that I would be passionate about. A place where I could grow as member of a team and truly contribute something to a company.
I had it narrowed down to three prospects and interviewed for all three. After hearing back from two of the companies with an offer (the third got back to me about 3 weeks ago – thanks for the sense of urgency on that one ;)) I decided to go with my heart and take a paycut for a position that felt right, rather than one that paid more. I am now an assistant manager at a Pet Store – a FANTASTIC pet store, one that is still fairly new to the market and really speaks to me with its stand on pet food, animals and store teams. I can truly see myself with this company for a long time to come and there are plenty of opportunities for me to grow here.
After I accepted the job, I was sent off to Rhode Island for three weeks of training! I had never actually been to RI before and it was beautiful. I was lucky to be training/working in a fantastic store with managers and team members who were so supportive and helpful. I was also lucky enough to be paired with the store manager Tom, who introduced me to such delights as the Hot Weiner (weiner – hee). You have to take it all the way, or you’re just messing around. Seriously.
Two hot weiners all the way
Life has changed a lot around the Strewth house. Since my change of job, there has been less stress, less anger and a lot less anxiety. There have also been a lot of new treats and toys for some naughty boys and girls. Apparently working in a pet store with easy access to the wants of the fluffies + an employee discount = much less take home pay 😉
These two aren’t complaining..
So the moral of this story? Sometimes things really do happen for a reason.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here…not because I haven’t had anything to say, mainly because i’ve had too much to say and no idea how to say it. So i guess I’ll just cut to the end and work my way backwards.
My Dad died.
There’s no other way to put it. My heart is completely broken and I am now without one of my most cherished people in the entire world. My mum called me around the beginning of September to let me know that my father had been admitted to hospital after he suffered a heart attack and she asked me if there was any way I could come home. It was touch and go for a few days after Poppy Jack was rushed into surgery and afterwards placed in ICU in a medically induced coma. He was making teeny tiny improvements before I managed to hop on a plane.
Devastatingly, I found that when I had arrived home he had already passed away. My super hero, the man that convinced me I could fly, left me before I could say goodbye.
When I finally got off the plane (that’s a story for another day, thanks so much JetBlue) my mum, brother, niece and aunt were all at the airport to meet me. A gigantic family sandwich to stave off some of the pain that I felt as I walked into their arms. The days following my arrival home were a blur of family, photos, phone calls and a little bit of laughter. We spent our days working through the list of to-do’s and our evenings laughing about memories of Poppy Jack.
For those that never had the opportunity to meet my father, he was larger than life both in stature and personality. He would tell you what you needed to hear, not what you wanted to hear. He had a killer sense of humour and an armory of jokes to back it up. He was a tough teacher, but was always ready to celebrate victories. He loved quietly, but he always loved big. He was a military man through and through, but when no-one was looking he would share his morning tea with the cat.
He was my dad and I love him.
G’night Poppy Jack – I’ll see you again sometime soon.
Here you’ll find a very rare picture of three different species of Fuzzbutts in very close contact.