I am not really going to post much this week due to a lot of stress and work. Also, this is usually the most difficult week of the year because it contains the anniversary of losing someone very special to me.
My sister and I lost our dad and our best friend 3 years ago this November 16th. I can promise you that loss does not get easier with time. In fact, it's hard to realize that he missed so many important moments of my life: my graduation, my 18th birthday, my acceptance into Carolina, and so much more.
I'm not going to sit here and write a depressing post, because 1) i'm sitting in a library and I don't want to bawl my eyes out in front of all these people and 2) my dad was such a happy person and he'd think that was dumb.
I just wanted to share with you a basic picture of who he was, why I loved him so much, and what losing him has taught me--because I promise you will take something from it.
My dad was Christopher Henry Spivey, a devoted Tarheel and Will Ferrell fan that lived to be a youthful 46 years old. I know he was destined to go to Carolina because his eyes were the prettiest shade of Carolina blue. He loved community politics, detailing cars, Saturday Night Live, making people laugh, and most of all, his two angels: my sister and me. He worked out everyday, had such a beautiful outlook on life, and never failed to cuss at the chicken trucks passing by that resulted in our yard being covered with chicken feathers (we're from a very small town).
He was my best friend and taught me the most important things in life: to always find humor and laughter in everything you do, how to bait a fish hook, that Dale Earnhardt Sr. was the greatest Nascar driver of all time, that taking your foot off the clutch and onto the gas takes time to perfect, that "Duke is Puke, Wake is fake, the team I hate is NC State" and the best team in the world is the Carolina Tarheels, that 70s/80s rock is some of the best music of all time, and that the bond between father and daughter is irreplaceable.
He meant the world to me because I was his world. He never failed to tell me how much he loved me, he always believed in my dreams, and every single person I met at his memorial service told me that he always bragged about how proud he was of my sister and me--that we were his greatest achievements in life.
He constantly ensured me I would change the world and always told me I would go somewhere with my singing voice, promising me that he would take me to American Idol when I was 16.
As unfortunate as it is that we were only short chapters in each other's lives, those moments we shared together will always stay in my heart.
One thing I hope you all will take away from this is to NEVER take your parents for granted, always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, and live life to the fullest. I ignored my dad the last few months of his life because I was consumed with teenage interests and I thought I would have so many more years with him--he promised me he would live to be 200. Don't ever ignore your parents or put them as a low priority. Small things in life such as break-ups, a bad test grade, or a party should never hold more importance than answering your parent's phone call or sitting down and just talking to them for a little while. When you're 70 and looking back on life, you regret losing precious time with your parents more than you'll regret missing that party.
Never fail to tell your mom or dad how much you love them and how much you appreciate what they do for you. They do so much to secure your health and happiness! I know it's hard to love them when all they do is nag or yell at you or make you stay in, but I promise they have a method behind their madness, and most of the time they are doing it out of love.
Lastly, live life to the fullest and don't ever let small things in life get you down. Time is precious and spending it with the ones you love/doing the things you love make life so enjoyable. My dad spent his last night on this earth out with friends and singing karaoke--so typical.
Now to the sad part: I lost my dad to a sudden and unexpected brain hemorrhage on November 16, 2008 and stayed by his side for 3 days before having to say my final goodbyes. Basically, this was the worst week of my life.
The happy ending that comes from his story though is that he was an organ donor and was able to save 5 lives and give 2 people sight. I will never forget how proud I was of him when I found out that he selflessly saved other family's loved ones!
I hope you all have taken something from the post and hopefully been able to understand a little bit about the type of person my dad was! Losing him has made me a better person and more grateful for the amazing mom that I still have in my life. After his death, I always try to learn from my mistakes--because I am definitely not perfect--and make myself a better person. I try to always see the light at the end of the tunnel and try to help others as much as I can. Don't ever become consumed in being popular or rich or bringing others down, because in the end, you'll only have your close family and friends, and none of those things will matter.
I'll leave you all with some of the last advice my dad gave to me. I always find it inspiring and encouraging!
I think of you everyday and miss you with all my heart. I am proud of the beautiful and intelligent little kitty cat that I helped bring into this world and who I know will help change the world that we now live in into a better place for all.
Take those butterflies in your tummy that you will have tomorrow morning and release them for all to see the beauty that you possess inside...stay positive and happy!
I miss you dad, and I hope I'm making you proud at UNC! Love you more than anything.
- Little Tarheel (for Daddy)