One week and two days ago, I lost my daddy. I spoke to him on the phone early on a Friday morning and 30 minutes later, he was gone. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, poof. Just like my mom almost exactly 3 years ago. And poof, just like that, my life, and that of my three brothers, has been changed forever. How to move forward is the struggle I am dealing with now. My daddy and I were always very close, but after the death of my mom, we became even closer. He understood the pain in my heart from losing my mom, and I in return, understood the complete emptiness that he felt in his entire being, from losing the woman he had spent 58 years of his life beside. I told him all the time, I did not know how he got up every morning and continued to move through his life and be productive. But he did, day in and day out.
Some days, all he did was walk over to his workshop, turn on his Bose Radio that he was so proud of, listen to country music and sit in a chair. No woodworking would be done, just reminiscing of a better time, a better life. Other days, he would be very productive, working for tedious hours on his clocks that he had become famous for. Beautiful, wooden clocks that he made with love for friends, family and no one in particular. They were a huge source of frustration for him, but also a huge source of diversion. With his mind fully engaged on the building of the clocks, he had little room for thoughts of a love lost. Though I am sure, she was always there, waiting in the wings for a moment to slip into a thought or two. Perhaps there was a gentle nagging from her that he shouldn't be in the shop working with power tools all alone. Or perhaps she reminded him that he hadn't stopped to eat lunch and that it was getting late.
I called my daddy everyday, twice a day and on occasion, a few extra times in between. I go to the phone to call him even now or realize I haven't called him and know he is going to be worried. Then it hits me like the sting of freezing cold water when you plunge into an ice bath, he isn't there. There is no one to call. I call his phone anyway, just to let the answering machine or voicemail answer so I can hear his voice. His voice that tells me he can't get to the phone right now, but if I leave him a message, he will get back to me when he can. It isn't true, but I listen anyway and then I weep.
There is a lot to be done still. Things that didn't need to be done when my mom died. There is an estate to handle and close up. There are items to be divided and given away. Soon, the only home I ever knew growing up, will be sold to a total stranger and I will never have that home to go back to. The home my parents loved and cherished will never be the same. No one could possibly love that home as my parents did or take care of it as well. It will be sad to someday drive by and see that it is in need of work or that the lawn has grown full of weeds and in need of mowing.
I don't know how I will work through all of the emotions I am going through right now. I imagine I will turn to this blog to write thoughts that no one really wants to read, but that I need to get out of my head. I will probably create art, that no one will really want to see but that will help me express some of the ugly, depressing thoughts that are racing through my mind. I will cry more tears which I didn't think was possible and I will spend time alone because it is better than having to be in a crowd. I signed up for a year long art class on line today with Juliette Crane, called Serendipity 2. Her art speaks to me through her whimsical creatures and girls. Their faces speak to me with their thoughtful eyes and I am drawn to them. I figure it will be a great way for me to express some of what is inside of me, without having to tire everyone with listening to me.
Tomorrow I will return to my job, not by choice, but by necessity. My allotted time of "bereavement" is up. How someone is able to put a number on the amount of days it takes to grieve the loss of a loved one, is beyond me. Little children who have no idea what death is or the painful ache it leaves in your soul, will embrace me with their tiny arms, call out my name and pounce on my lap. And in their best attempts to make me forget the reality of my life, they will make me smile and laugh, if only for a moment. Tiny, small steps are all I can take right now. And usually there is a long pause between steps. It's all I can do. I am in unchartered waters and know not of what is right or wrong.