It’s been five years. Five years since I faced the hardest week of my life. That September week was spent sitting by my dads hospice bed, writing his obituary, holding my sisters hand and comforting each other. The week had been long and tiring. The two years leading up to that week was spent taking notes in the doctor’s offices and scheduling chemo and radiation. We had been fighting in every way we could for him to have a longer life with us on this earth.
He was weak and so sick, yet he was still letting us know that he was fighting with an occasional half wink or tap on the hand.
The time came, I knew it was time to tell him that he could go. I kissed his cold cheek and whispered into his ear. My tear drops fell onto his face but I didn’t want him to know. I was strong. I was strong for him. I was strong for my sister.
My throat still knots up frequently and I’ve fought anger more than I’d like to admit.
Cancer is ugly.
More than anything, I wish I had more time with my daddy. I’m lucky, oh so lucky – blessed, rather to have the memories but I didn’t want them to end. I, selfishly, wanted more of them with his grandchildren.
Although the years that have gone by are adding up, the grieving is still there.
I’ve learned to build myself around it and most of all, to find meaning in the living.
Who I am, resorts back to losing my dad in so many ways. Positive mostly.
The reason I forgive so easily.
The reason I intentionally slow down and make my time with my family.
The way that I compassionately give my love.
My love for inspirational quotes and cheesy jokes.
The list goes on.
I am able to smile through the memories with an occasional tear or two now. I take lots of pictures, because in the end, that and a memory is all you have left once someone is taken from your life. I teach my kids what he taught me and what I think he would say if I were to ask him today about something.
I commemorate him by boiling peanuts, drinking a coke cola now and again, listening to John Boy and Billy on the radio, and talking about how funny he always was. I can just sit and laugh for hours. That is what I miss so much. I don’t have that anymore but I am, again, thankful that each of my kids have special memories of him that we can talk about. I am thankful for a husband that will spurt out those corny jokes or hand gestures that make us laugh. I am thankful for a mom that is the rock to me more than she could even know. And I am thankful that my sister and I have each other – always. To share the grief with. To share the memories with. To pull strength from. That is something else that so many others can’t say they have and I count my blessings with her.
I am most thankful through this hardship, for the strength I gained through Christ Jesus. Oh how I could really be in a dark place if I didn’t have Jesus as my comforter. There were many days that I lived in a fog and truth be told, even got on anxiety medicine. Going from mom of two under 5, to employee, to wife, to caretaker each day was not something I had been taught how to do.
My sister and I were too young to lose a parent. We were not ready to be exposed to cancer and its realities. We took on the role of caretaker much too soon. God revealed in the most trying time of our lives who He was and Whose we were.
“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” C.S. Lewis
Some days there is beauty in such sadness and then there are some days you’re hit with reality you forgot to admit to. I try to remember during this hard week, that there is so much joy to be recognized. I am so thankful for that joy and the comfort it brings me.
Find more here: https://lovejoybalance.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/finding-joy/