you know, I seldom look back at what I have written. Sure, I read the comments, but I usually don't look back. Partly because it hurts to much, partly because this is how I heal, and partly because well, I get to busy. Don't we all? Lots has happened since I blogged last. Some of it great. Some of it heart breaking. Some of it, well I will just tuck it away and look at it another day.
Mom and dad came down to see our renovation/house addition this summer August I should think. We were not sure dad would be strong enough to make the 2 hour trip here, but he made it. he even climbed the stairs to see what the contractor did. He has always liked our town, and our place. It was cool last year showing him the plans for the addition. he liked seeing what we were planning on doing. After touring the place and playing with the new pup( who LOVED sitting on his foot) he said (and I quote) " you know, when this is all done, it's going to be one HELL of a shack." Probably the highest compliment our builder has ever been paid. That made me probably the happiest was hearing that. Part of me was sad that say too, because I knew he probably would not be coming down again to see our home. He was getting thinner, the cancer was winning, although he was still giving it hell, his body was getting weaker. Part of me thinks that he was just making sure that we were going to be settled in and OK if he went. Makes me sad to think about it.
Last year at this time, we were making holiday plans. My niece had flown in the month before to have a thanksgiving with us. Dad ended up in the hosp last Christmas. So we did what we do best. We all rallied around him in his hospital room.we took pictures of us with him, him with my mother and my Aunt bless her heart turned one of the photos of dad and I into a pencil drawing. I will cherish it always. I baked him the butter cookies he loves and several others that i knew he always liked. I didn't make him gingerbread, which I have done for the past 9 or so years. I ran out of time, and unfortunately he was running out as well. Sigh. We went back to moms and made as merry as we could, to help mom, to help ourselves have some type of semblance of normal even though the one who loved seeing us all together was sorely missed. his chair that was vacant reminded me of Tiny Tim's spot at the table. broke my heart, but hey with enough cocktails you push through it and laugh along with everyone else. I think deep down I knew this would be our last Christmas with him. I had talked to my sister and wanted to do New year's eve with my parents like we used to when we were kids, but that didn't happen either. I think we had gotten a storm that day, but again another regret to add to my ever growing list. I called mom every other day to check on her, tried to sooth her as she cried the whole time being numb from the reality that I knew was going to happen to us sooner or later.
We broke ground on our addition in May, and the summer was a whirl wind or business and planning. I swear if I never go into a home improvement store to look at things again it will be too soon. but that is a blog post for a whole 'nother day.
We got the call at 2 a.m., September 11th, saying he was gone. He was no longer with us. I laid in bed for about 20 minutes letting it sink in. I couldn't wrap my head around it. I did laundry, I packed. I waited for 7a.m. for the kids to wake so we could load the car and leave. it's a blur really. I remember moving through the day in a slow motion/lightening fast speed kind of pace. Ever have that? it's weird, that's for sure.
I went to the funeral home, to drop off some papers they needed while mom waited in the car, and when I went in, on the floor in a purple bag in front of the coffin was my dad. He has just come back from the crematorium. and I went to the bad and sat of the floor and held it in my lap as the tears slid. Here was my dad. all 6'4" of him reduced to nothing more than a small package, it was more than my heart could take. I know it was never meant for me to see that, but the funeral director had been called away suddenly and the care taker did not want to put him inside the coffin. I will never, ever forget feeling as lost as I did that moment. Who am I now with out him? Sure mom is still here and she is everything to me, but I felt as though my conviction was there in that purple bag.
I will spare you reading about the pain I felt the day of the funeral. Like I said somethings are just to hard to look back on. I tried to be stoic. I tried to be strong. I broke. I couldn't breathe. I don't think I have ever held some one's hand ad hard as I held my mothers. willing her to be OK. willing myself to fill my lungs with air.
days slid into one another. he was gone, the funeral was over, now it was time to start to heal. September gave was to October, and then to November, and now, well, it's December and I am finding myself at odds these days. I am trying to go through all the motions, and for the most part, it is working. My kids are beyond excited. I WANT to be excited, but I feel, blah. This was the time of year he liked a lot. he loved seeing the kids, and loved eating the cookies, and the food. Loved watching my kids run through the house and swipe small chocolates off the hutch that mom had placed out on dishes along with about 1,000 different cookies. The thought makes me smile.
I find that more and more I miss him. I can;t pick up the phone and go "hey pops!" and hear back "Hey, whatcha' doin'?" or "Talk to your mudder" when he didn't feel like being social. Just once more. I can hear him in my head so that will have to do. Mom, well she's getting by as well. I think she's OK, but I also think there is alot she is shielding from me. It's hard to be married for 53 years and then alone.
for the 3 of you that still read my blog- thanks for letting me vent.
I will make ginger bread this year, for pops. they will get stale and go uneaten, but they will be for him., and for the soul I am trying so desperately hard to sooth.
My first Christmas without him. it stings a bit. Hit me when I went shopping the other day. I was in a store that had all kinds of country stuff in it. Americana cutesy stuff in it. in the corner was a sign in blue (his favorite color) that said nothing more than "Amazing Grace" (his fav song) all twinkly and shiny and clearly, out of place. I saw it and it stopped me dead in my tracks and once again tears flowed down my cheeks. He as out there, and just needed to let me know that. I love you Pops. Always. forever.xoxoxo