Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Lost Hopes

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I went back and forth with a slew of different directions for this thing the last couple of days. I’ve had some outlines and some plans, but none of them came to fruition.

Then a plan came together. That’s kind of the whole idea right now. Becky and I had tons of plans, and none of them can come to fruition. Since this week is filled with wonderful opportunities to remember Doria in various ways, why not just make a quick list of some of those plans? So, in the spirit of Remembrance Week, some of the plans from the mind of this schemer:

1. Reading with Doria. I’m a history guy and a theology guy. We read a lot. It’s like breathing for us. If we aren’t reading, something’s gone completely wrong. (That said, I look forward to being a productive reader again someday!)   At Becky’s baby shower, people gave us a wonderful collection of books for Doria. I read all of them before dinner, and again later that night, planning out gestures, how to read with a tiny person, stuff like that. They look cute in their little box on my bookshelf, but I won’t be reading them to her now.

2. Sports. We had Doria’s outfit planned out for Opening Day 2013. The plan was that she would hang out, probably sleeping, decked out in really cute Cubs gear, ready for the season that we finally break through! One of those can still happen, but there would be real problems with making both happen.    (Sorry—those jokes sound funnier when you’re living this story.) Of course, she was going to be a March Madness junkie. Some things are mandatory in this home!

3. Meeting some poor guy she brought home. I always planned to meet this loser, I mean, fine young gentleman, at the door, grab my coat and say, “Where are we going tonight?”

If he answered with something like, “Oh, sir, I don’t know if it’s your kind of place,” I looked forward to saying “Then why do you think my daughter needs to be there? Let’s rethink this plan. I have questions.”  Then the fun begins.  If I had a gun to clean, it was going to be better. 🙂

4. Talking to some guy that wanted to marry her. I planned to sit there, smiling, while I quietly stared at this poor guy stammering over his words. I already know the answer, it’s just fun to watch people squirm. I intended to help out as need with nice comments such as “I thought you wanted to talk…….”  Maybe some raised eyebrows, squints, fun facial expressions for good measure. Whatever it would take to make that young man uncomfortable and anxious over an easy question.   Of course, looking forward to the actual wedding would lead to a whole other set of questions and problems.

5.Teaching her to drive. It struck me one day that my wife and I would celebrate our 25th anniversary just before Doria’s 14th birthday. I’ve helped some Chinese friends with driving, and I honestly found it fun. It’s a little different when it’s your own daughter and your own car, but I looked forward to it. With that age in mind, I looked forward to that a lot more than attending her high school graduation only to hear her teachers say “Oh, it’s so nice that your grandfather could make it. You must have a wonderfully close family.”   Thanks, I look old. I get it. 

Those are some. Of course, there are a million more. The last few days, it’s really sinking in that none of those things can ever happen with Doria now. There’s a huge mountain of hopes and dreams that are simply impossible now, and that’s really heartbreaking. I’m glad for all of these chances to remember her. I just wish that I didn’t have to remember her, and could live with her instead. That’s the harsh reality of things after Doria’s death. Doria is really dead, and that part of life, that part with expectations and hopes of things to do with her, is really over. I really, really miss that more than anything.

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