I have started this post 100 times. Maybe I have even started it a thousand times if you count the times I have started it in my mind: I just can’t seem to get the words down.
This…….is taking me so long.
It has been 8 days now since my father passed away. Passed away…..That sounds so strange to say….8 days almost seems like a 8 hundred years and then again it seems like 8 seconds …I just can’t believe he is gone. I can’t believe I won’t talk to him again or see his smiling face. Losing him is such a great loss for all of us. I just don’t know how we are going to move forward…..But we will…Because we have too.
That is the way it is done.
There are so many things I want to tell you about him but I just can’t get my thoughts together enough to write them out:
Everyone should have known my father…….He left an impact on the world. He actually left it a better place. He was kind…..tough and loving. He was an incredible man.
He was an incredible father. I know, not many people have that……but we did.
And I…. am very GRATEFUL
The one thing I don’t ever want to forget is my father’s strong spirit.
He was our teacher right to the end.
As my father’s body grew weaker daily, his spirit grew stronger daily. As the changes came to his body: He never grow to like them…..He grew to accept them with Grace and dignity.
He was Gracious and Loving right to the end.
I had the chance to see my father everyday and these past months help with his care: Every day I would ask him how he was…….. Even on his weakest days he would say; “I’m good dear, very good. I really feel very good…… How are you?” I would tell him I was good. I was very good and in return he would say……Good Dear…that’s good.
Last Tuesday, I had the privilege of sitting with him alone and as I held his hand I asked him how he was. He whispered “Good…I am very Good.”
Then he said in a louder, stronger voice: “Alright, Alright I am coming……He looked at me and said, “I have to go Dear” ……..I told him I knew. I told him I loved him and then he settled down for a short while and then struggled to get up again.
Later that same day he said “Bye, Bye Dear” to my sister. He died early the next morning with his wife of 56 years and her devoted sister by his side.
My heart is so heavy. But, strangely enough it does not feel like it will explode out of my chest anymore…..The loss is greater then I could have ever imagined and the tears come unexpectedly and freely. I really don’t think that will change as we move forward and try this new life without him by our side. I am not sure how we are going to do this thing but I know we will.
And I know It will be Good…..It will be very Good because he his given us the strength, courage and so many gifts along the way to make it good; To make it very good….
The day started with much anticipation. I knew there was no work for Mark. I knew school had to be done. I knew that even though Mark had taken and passed a plumbing test for his license, it was the wrong test. We were not sure what to do about it, or what we should do next. We were not even sure if he could use the harder test he passed, to get the lesser license. But, the thing that weighed on me the most was that: I knew an old friend was coming by today and I was nerves.
This friend and I use to have the greatest of friendships. We could discuss anything. We would share stories, hold each others children, and cry on each others shoulders. We shared birthdays, and always shared the Christmas season.
We use to…………….
Then something happened……….. The friendship ended as quickly as it had began.
A year went by and we talked very little. She prayed for my father and for Joe. I prayed for her, her sister, her mother, and other family members as each one of them went through some trial of life that I knew about. Even though we are neighbors, we really did not speak, wave, or see each other. I did not call it a friendship. I didn’t call it anything……..
I missed what was…….
As another year went by, and life moved on. We both became pregnant again at the same time. This time it was me that miscarried and she had the beautiful baby. This time I understood her pain of losing a child better then I wanted too. The loneliness of the miscarriage was strong for me. During her pregnancy, for some reason, this old friend would send me ultra sound pictures of the child she was carrying. I would look at them, and as I did it was all very healing for me. As I looked at the pictures I prayed for the beautiful child.……I prayed for the health of the baby and I prayed for the health of this old friend. The baby arrived and as far as I knew everyone was healthy.
Then Christmas came and I recieved a picture card, and a seasonal Christmas letter. I thought it was all a mistake, but read it anyway. It was nice to see the kids and know that everything seemed to be okay.
Then, invitations to a blog came, agian I thought maybe it was still a mistake but then maybe it wasn’t. Maybe, I should just take a look and say hello…………..
I’m so glad I did.
As I end my day today, I can go to bed with a smile on my face and a little more at peace……Even though the phone did not ring and there are no jobs for tomorrow. Today I know, Mark is a great test taker and taking the wrong test has turned out to be a good thing for us.
………….The old friend came and brought new friends……………….
Our two year old daughters played together for the first time. Her little boy played again with my very big boys. And, I enjoyed it all very much.
Best of all………
I got to hold Leah……………and the old friend felt like she never left.