Thursday, December 15, 2011

An answer for ya :P

For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Manon Halashyn and I am the youngest daughter of Michael Halashyn. I have been trying to figure out what to write for the last few days.

Sunday Dec 11, 2011 was just like any other day, I spent a lot of time playing with my daughter Danika and trying to figure out what the hell i'm doing with my life. At around 7pm I decided to phone my father. He’s always been my rock when I get confused. He had a way of putting my mind at ease. I phoned and we spoke for about an hour. He made me laugh about the situation I was in which to me seemed so terrible at first but after speaking to him seemed unbelievably simple and he re assured me that I am doing the right thing. We talked about how excited he was to come spend Christmas with us, how excited he was to see Danika and Timothy (his grandkids). Like I said we had some laughs and then we said goodnight. I feel asleep that night quickly so did Danika. I was woken up at around 230 am to my phone ringing, it was my sister. I picked up the phone and the first thing out of her mouth was "are you okay?" I informed her that I had no idea what she was talking about then she said "Dad Died." It hit me like a freight train. To say I had a rational thought after hearing this news would be a lie. My brain went blank and all I could think of was the pain in my chest like I’d just taken a shot gun blast to the chest at point blank range.

I want to tell you about my father. A man you all know as someone with MS but he was, as so many of you with a disease are, so much more than that. I have very few memories of my Dad before he got sick. I remember playing football with him in our back yard at night in the snow. I remember really wanting a new backpack for school (maybe grade 1) and my mother saying I didn’t need one then lone behold when my father came home from work he had picked me up a new one on the way home from work ,he spoiled me. I remember him working on things in the basement making wood sculptures of ducks and birds. He always wore a red and black plaid jacket and the basement would smell like cherry pipe tobacco (I still love that smell). I remember he worked all the time...But mostly I remember him after the MS squeezed its way into our lives.

He needed a cane, he use to drag his leg behind him when he walked with that cane. I’ll never forget the sound it made on our floors. But he was always making my family laugh. If you didn’t already know this, My Dad was a regular comedian; he found a way of making everything he was going through funny. Even though it only kept getting worse. The cane gave way to a walker and the walker gave way to a wheelchair and eventually he was in a motorised wheelchair and barley moved. As you can probably imagine we grew apart a little, living a minimum of 8 hours apart at the best of times. But I still tried to talk to him at least once a week. He gave me advice I’ll never forget on life and love. Speaking of love, you haven’t seen it till you have seen my parents. My mom never missed a beat; she’s an inspiration, a true angel. You’re probably thinking I’m saying that cause she’s my mom but ask anyone that knew them and they will tell you the same. This woman re wrote the meaning of love. She took care of my dad every day. A lot more work then it sounds.

My mother is a pillar of strength. I am beyond proud....I am honoured to say she’s my Mom.

I could write this blog for hours and have pages upon pages funny and sad stories about my father. I could tell you what made him happy and the stories he would tell us about fishing trips and friends. But there is one thing that sticks out in my mind more than anything. And I feel this is what I need to share.

I was sitting with my Dad awhile back talking about his MS. And he said to me that before he got sick he wouldn’t look twice a person in a wheelchair, he wouldn’t think twice about anyone with a disability. And he would have never thought of striking up a conversation with that kid on the bus with Down syndrome. So he was thankful, that because of MS his eyes were opened to a different world. Now all he thought of was how to make the world a better place for people with disabilities, he made friends with that kid on the bus and saw a true light in people that at one point in his life he shunned. He told me this story about people he’s met and friends he’s made and then stopped looked at me and said "it just goes to show ya, people look at me and just see the MS." A moment in time I’ll never forget. My father was, is and will always be more than a disease.

When you deal with death especially the death of someone who was ill you hear people say "I want to remember him the way he was before he got sick" a lot..but ill just say this. My Dad was a lot of things and went through a lot of things. Challenges most of us would not have made it through and he did....and he did it smiling. so you can remember him as a business man, a man who judged others by their appearance a man who worked long hours and barley saw his family but could run a track for a few hours... the way he was before he got sick... I choose to remember him in a wheelchair, barley moving, struggling to hold coffee mugs, bitching about the ignorance in the world but able to ask for help, seeing people beyond the physical, knowing that family and friends are more important than work, spending time with me and my sister, loving his grand babies, loving my mother but more than that telling her every chance he had, laughing most of all I’ll remember him laughing.

" A hero is and ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." - Christopher Reeves

I'll be seeing you Dad.
I love you.


Judy said...

Your father was a special man whose loving spirit somehow made itself evident across the unwarm and fuzzy medium of the internet. Your loss is a great one. I know, having lost my own father some years back. Here's what I can share with you about my own path of recovery after my father died in case it is helpful to you. My dad's death changed my life, and I still think of him everyday. I talk to him, too. Does he hear me? I don't know but it makes me feel better to imagine that he does. It makes me feel better to believe that he is still my champion and dispenser of good wisdom. Your path will be unique to you, and I hope you find solace and comfort along the way. Indeed, peace be with you.

Muffie said...

As Judy mentioned, I, too, have conversations with my Dad, who's also in heaven. The relationship between a Dad and daughter is a special one, and somehow we always remain "Daddy's Little Girl." You are in my prayers -- your Dad was special, and you're feeling his loss intently. We'll all miss Mike here in cyberworld, and I'm so sorry we won't hear from him again. May you find solace in your memories, and may you experience peace as you grieve.

Matt said...

Mike was one of my favorite MS bloggers because he was honest and informative. He wasn't ashamed, if bad stuff happened, he would tell us.

This was especially informative for me having been diagnosed for about a year and a half. Mike blogged about what life was really like for him, warts and all, and not many people do that. It's a true gift because many of us don't really know about the different situations that might come our way.

I feel better prepared if things get worse and for that I am so thankful. I will also feel not so alone if and when I'm in the same situations.

Even though he would say it like it is, he never came off negative or bitter. I mean, sure he would be upset if bad stuff would happen, but he would brush it off and move on.

I would always look forward to a new post from him and he will be missed. I get emotional, though, because I think about what he might be doing now: running around and jumping up and down and it makes me so happy.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you, Mike. You are missed in the MS Discuss forum. I'm sorry I haven't visited this site often & just discovered your untimely passing. I am so sorry.

I recently lost my dear dear Father in 2008 from Bone Cancer. I feel your pain and loss, Mike's family. God loves you and so do I.
- kimmi

Studio Jo said...

I miss you, Dad.

Studio Jo said...

And I still miss you.

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