Episode #1: "Shoot! Now I Have to Grow Up!"

January 20, 2019


I finally did this!  I'm so excited to launch my new Podcast, "It's More Than JUST Jewelry."  In the first episode, I explain what gave me the idea to do this - it's a tear-jerker.  Please subscribe on your favorite channel - you can find the list by clicking this image:

It's more than just jewelry


Below is the story of my dad's death 8 years ago...

So, my dad and I were really close and we talked on the phone every day. And I couldn't really do anything without talking to him first…and I was 38 years old.

We were really close. My dad was only 62 and he had had some heart trouble, and I just… I guess I assumed that he was just going to live forever. I just never really… I didn't get it, obviously.

The weekend before he died, I remember that he was hunting on Friday and he didn't feel well, and he ended up taking an ambulance on Saturday to Houston, which is where I lived. And I'll never forget he said that was like the best and quickest drive in town that he's ever had. He loved being in that ambulance.

Anyway, so, it was Saturday night and I canceled a date that I had and had to go bring my dad just some like deodorant and his toothbrush and things like that. And I went up there on Saturday night and spent some time with him. You know, just the two of us. And then I went back the next day on Sunday.

I remember I had just started beading jewelry, and I was so excited. I brought all my beads and all my earrings because I only made earrings at the time, and I brought all that into the ICU.

The first pair of earrings I actually ever sold was to a nurse — my dad's nurse in the ICU. And that's really all I remember about that day. Honestly, I wish I remembered more. I don't remember much and that was the last day I spent with him. I don't remember saying goodbye, I don't remember… I mean, I just don't even remember anything about that day, which kills me now.

But anyway, I had an interview in Omaha, Nebraska on Tuesday, and my dad was just… he encouraged me to go and they were going to do an angiogram or angioplasty that… that thing where they put the catheter in your heart on Tuesday morning.  He was like, “It’s just a test and I'll have the results by the time you get back on Tuesday night”. And I was like, okay cool.

So, I went and flew to Nebraska on Monday. And Tuesday, I was supposed to have 11 interviews (that’s a lot of interviews!), I know I talked to my dad on the phone on Monday. I'm sure I did. I, again, I don't remember talking to him or what I said or anything.

About three or four interviews into my day on Tuesday, my stepsister was texting me and told me that the… it just didn't look good. The results of the test came back and just… they weren't good and that I really needed to get home. And the texts kept coming more frequently and were more urgent.

And so, I left and got a flight home. I remember I had a layover in Denver, and it took me a long time to get home that day. And I just remember freaking out on the airplane, and I remember I put black eye shadow like all around my eyes, so that I would look weird, so no one would come up and talk to me. And I just remember sitting there like an obsessive weird person. Just putting black eye shadow around my eyes; it’s so weird.

Anyway, so I get back, I land at like 11 and as I'm landing, my brother's also coming into town. I flew into one Airport in Houston. He flew into the other Airport. And as we were landing, my dad told my stepmom that he really couldn't wait to tell my brother and I goodbye and that he was sorry and he died right as my brother and I were landing.

I get to the hospital (I had a friend pick me up) and I just remember I was like throwing up in the bathroom, in the lobby because I just knew, I guess. It was just horrible. And then, I got up in the ICU and he had died. That was like the worst moment of my life. I mean for sure.

And I remember thinking like right then “like oh my God. I have to…” I said actually oh shit, I have to grow up. I think I told my stepsister that – like oh shit, I have to grow up. That's like the first thing I thought and it's been so true. I have done so much growing up in the last eight years. It's unbelievable.

What's really weird is that for the last couple of nights, I have been wondering, thinking about this weekend, the events that led up to my dad's death and playing it over and over in my head, and I told my husband, “I'm just so sad that I don't remember the last day I spent with my dad. I don't remember any of it, and I think it's because I just really didn't think that that was my last day with him, you know.

And I'm just sad, that even eight years later, I'm sad that my dad never got to see me as a jewelry designer and he would have loved to have seen me in Glamour magazine, our website…I just think that my life has drastically changed since my dad's death. I don't even know if he would recognize the person I am right now.  I've started my business and I wasn't even a jewelry designer before he died. I've since been remarried to my husband Dan and we've been raising our kids. Our kids are 16 now and just so much has happened.

And I do remember specifically, I remember in the weeks, and even the first couple years following my dad's death, that I only felt comfortable talking to other people that had also lost a parent. I specifically remember this. Luckily, my husband's parents are still alive, and he doesn't know.  And I will say that my husband Dan is so supportive. I mean literally every time I get upset about my dad, which is often, he always stops what he's doing and like really listens to me. He tries so hard and he does such a good job. He's very supportive, but he just doesn't get it. Thank goodness he doesn't get it.

I remember I would meet somebody or talk to somebody that had also lost their dad and I just immediately felt comforted, like finally someone understands because look, I mean, truth being told, losing a parent is the worst possible thing imaginable. At least, it has been for me thus far in my life. That's been my experience. It just sucks and there's nothing else to say about that. It's just been the worst thing ever.

I have always felt compelled to create a space where others can go and share their story or listen to others or feel that same sense of comfort that I did when I talked to somebody that knew what I was going through and that's what I want this podcast to be about.

I hope you join me in the weeks to come. I'll share my many stories, of course, but I want to hear yours too. This is not just about me, it's about you, too - your experience as well as mine. I mean, I do have some pretty crazy stories to tell! If you want to email me or call me or anything and tell me your story, I would love to share it on the podcast and have you on as a guest. I will have some experts on here as well to talk about stages of grief and other helpful topics.

My goal is to create a space where others that have also lost a loved one can come and feel connected. So, if you are interested in sharing your story, my email is jennifer@themodernbazaar.com

And that's it for the first episode of "It's More Than Just Jewelry." I appreciate you listening!  Don't forget to subscribe and please send me an email - xoxoxo


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