Have you ever had those moments where you feel ALL alone in the world? It may not be reality, but you definitely feel it so strongly that you can hardly catch your breath. I wonder if this is part of grief.
I came home sick from work tonight. Since I woke up this morning I have felt horrid. It got worse as the day wore on and no medicine I took had any affect. I almost fell asleep while driving today (in daylight) and was only able to work for 3 hours before abandoning my fellow barista to a Saturday night shift all on her own.
I came home (to my roommate who has been bedridden all day with a cold) and collapsed. Over the last few hours I have tried to rest, but my mind has been racing and I have struggled and wrestled with myself to calm down.
I just spent an hour staring at my wall, unable to rest, and half in panic mode. Then I began to panic about panicking-that something must be really wrong with me…then I started to worry about that. Then I called about 4 friends (all of whom I could not get in touch with) and finally my friendly abandoned barista friend called me back and we chatted for a sec,”you just need to take some deep breaths, say a little prayer, and get some good rest tonight.” She reassured me that I was not crazy and that yes, she too, (as we all do), have these moments where it feels as if our minds implode. So, then I felt better.
And then, upon hanging up, I stopped and listened to this song, wept, and regrouped…and now I compose this blog.
So, here’s the thing…tomorrow is the day. Dad died a year ago tomorrow. He slipped away. The cancer might have ravaged his body, but it was the calm, kind spirit of his Heavenly Father, that ushered him on. Dad had such peace. No one and nothing can touch that.
But, a year…the BIG anniversary. And I wonder, “Is that why my body felt as if it was dying today?” I seriously felt the flu coming on…it was that type of ache and pain and heaviness in my joints and bones and chest and eyes and neck that makes you think it’s the flu. Could it all have just been my body’s response to something my sweet little occupied mind and heart have been avoiding…the anniversary is here…the anniversary is here…it was a year ago tomorrow that the man who helped bring me into this world left mine forever.
I’ve said it before: Death is the most unnatural natural part of this experience we call life on earth.
The death of a parent is strange and unnerving. Solitary and soundless-quiet and alarming all at once. Like being underwater and watching things happen in a slow-motion haze. Gravity is changed, colors leak out, what is this strange place…this place without my Dad.
This place without his laughter and his Old Spice/cigar presence.
I wasn’t finished. I wasn’t finished telling him who I would be and how my life would unfold…I wasn’t done showing him who I was and who I was meant to be. He didn’t see me fully as a woman…the woman who would love her spouse and adore her children and hold her family out to greet him-Invite him in to taste the splendor of a legacy he helped create…he didn’t see it. I wasn’t finished showing him all of who I would become.
I wasn’t finished softening out his sharp edges-I wasn’t finished proving to him that LOVE was stronger than any failure on his part as a parent, as a father, as a man. I wanted to be a part of his reconciliation-his reconciliation with himself.
I wasn’t done singing to him. I had songs just for him that he had not heard.
I wasn’t finished writing to him. Pages and pages of thoughtfully crafted words and expressions all for him…celebrating the memories he made for me…the good ones, the sweet ones between a daughter and her Daddy.
I wasn’t finished telling him that all the ways in which he reached to be the father that I needed far outweighed his shortcomings. His heart was always willing to be the best he could be. That made him perfect.
Come back for a day, Dad. Come back and let me tell you about how I graduated with three different honors in December. I had to overcome so much to see that day…the day when I would receive my Bachelors…and Dad, I graduated with Honors. You wanted to be there so badly. I made it, Dad. I walked and received my diploma. It was a good day, Dad.
I wasn’t finished hugging you, holding your hand, laughing at your jokes. I wasn’t finished hearing you tell me how proud you were, how everything was going to be ok, how not to be discouraged when people were mean and dishonest. I wasn’t finished seeing you at Christmas. I wasn’t finished getting a call on my birthday.
I wasn’t finished having you here.
Maybe you were finished, but I wasn’t.
Won’t you come back and let’s build just one more sandcastle, Daddy. Just one more…
Come back for just an hour even. Come watch your grandson grow. Come watch your daughters thrive. Come see the world change.
I miss you, Dad. Your absence is deafening. It rolls in with the tide and back out with those fickle waves-the waves that only stayed long enough to tickle my feet. Those waves were never friends of mine. They always washed our sandcastles away.
I miss you, Dad. The shore isn’t quite the same.