Two years ago today you departed from us, and I was broken and shattered…
I can remember mom’s voice waking me – her screaming sorrows that jolted me up and said you were gone. I can remember feeling my heavy footsteps as I went to your bedside – anticipating the sight I would see. I can remember seeing your pale discolored face, and feeling your firm cold skin, and collapsing underneath my own screaming tears and sorrow. Dad? DAD?!?! NOOOOOOO!!!! Waiting for those two hours for your body to be picked up were the longest two hours of my life. I kept looking up from my knelt position hoping and bargaining that this was all a dream; just the worst nightmare ever. The kind of nightmare you have as a child of your mom or dad dying; and after waking up, you run and hug that parent. But this wasn't a dream, and I couldn't wake up from the nightmare. I remember when they took your body at 6am that morning. I sat on the other end of the living room from where the two men handled your body from your deathbed to the stretcher; I watched them lay that white cloth over your body; and I remember the form and shape of your body as I watched you, and as you lay under that cloth. I remember as they loaded you in before driving to the mortuary losing it again. Tears! As I arched my head to the heavens I remember the most beautiful of sunrises, and in a moment I felt your presence trying to comfort me.
Two years ago today, I remember making those phone calls and receiving those phone calls. I remember saying the same thing over and over, and over; a dagger stabbing me over and over and over - a pain that was strangely comforting. I can remember being in the mortuary with mom and everyone hours later – everything was a muffled blur. Barbara...Barbara...BARBARA! Oh what? Sorry. I was just a robot on autopilot. I remember being invited to see your body again in the room they laid you in. Standing as close as I possibly could to you; stroking your face; studying your expression; and not wanting to leave your side. I couldn’t leave you Dad! Don’t make me leave you dad! Dad, please don’t leave me!!! Please - is all I could scream in my mind.
Two years ago today I remember the very thought of you brought me to tears. The night before as nurses told us it was nearing the end; listening to you heave and cough. Being powerless to stop it – it haunted me. Two years ago the very thought of you as you lost your ability to stand, sit, walk and even talk – DAD say something – ripped my insides! Why couldn’t I save you – was the question I kept repeating in my mind. I failed you – was the statement I told myself. Even fond moments that replayed in my head was a cruel tease – a reminder, an ominous reminder that I would never be okay.
And now two years later I can think of you fondly, and it not feel like torture. Two years later I can talk about the dad you were to family and strangers you never met and feel stable about it. Two years later I can relive the day you left and the sting has lost its bite. Two years later and I can go to sleep at night without the fear that came with it. Two years later I can listen to songs that remind me of you without the rain of tears pouring down my face. Two years later and I know you are still with me. Two years later the clouds have broken and the sun has shown its light and warmth on me again. Two years later I can honestly say – I am happy again – truly. And I know you are happy with me as you continue to guide me and comfort me.
Dad, you know that I love you, and I know that you love me. I know you’ll come around every now and then, as you like to do, know that I treasure those moments like precious stones. With every step I’ve taken forward since your death I’ve thought of you – I hope you know that. I hope you can be proud of me and the woman I am and continuing to become.