I’ve been avoiding typing this for some time. Partly because I don’t want this blog to be all serious and sad, but mostly because I haven’t truly faced most of these feelings. I’ve sat down several times since my last post to write different things, and this is what tried to come out. And I wasn’t ready. Maybe I’m still not ready, but it’s time.
On January 28th, 2017 at around 11 pm, my Daddy passed away. I had been in the living room binge-watching Wayward Pines when I got hungry. I threw some bacon in the microwave, went outside for a cigarette, and when I came back in, my whole life changed.
I heard my mom screaming for me, and I initially felt annoyed. Dad had been in poor health for some time, and we were exhausted from taking care of him. Sleep had become a thing of the past, and the ability to relax and watch TV was sacred. This feeling of annoyance is still a source of guilt for me, because it didn’t cross my mind in those few seconds it took me to get to their bedroom that I would find that he was gone.
I knew it the second I saw him. I won’t try to describe what I felt, because I myself am unsure. I laid with him for awhile and cried and held his hand while mom made some phone calls. I called my brothers. I laid with him some more. I was terrified to let go of his hand. I knew at some point in the night, someone would come and take him away, and I could’t face that fact.
I am the youngest child of 5 children and the only girl. They say that most girls are Daddy’s girls, but what he and I had was so special. I always knew that eventually I would have to say goodbye, but I don’t think you’re ever quite ready for something like that.
Only one of my brothers lives in the state, so he and his wife came up immediately. My sister-in-law sat with me in my room while they took him out and kept my spirits up. If it wouldn’t have been for her and my oldest brother (who came in the next day), I wouldn’t have made it through the arrangements and all the things that go with the death of a loved one.
Looking back, I can say now that I cannot be more grateful for how peacefully he passed. He had lung cancer, and he spent his last months in a constant struggle for a decent breath. He didn’t sleep ever, because he was terrified of not breathing if he slept. He was always miserable, always in pain. When he passed, he was so at peace. He had fallen asleep in the position he always slept in. He looked like he was finally resting. All I had prayed for when he had taken a turn was that he died in his sleep, and he did. He didn’t look like the man who had suffered for so long.
It’s been almost 5 months, and I’ve wallowed in his memory in this house. Afraid to change a thing because I couldn’t face it not being how he liked it. In the last few weeks, I’ve started to clean things out, move things around. I’ve started to look at paint colors and ideas to rearrange furniture. Options for how to redecorate and remodel. I didn’t realize I was doing it, really, until this morning when it hit me. I’m moving forward.
I’ve applied for school. He wanted me to take my life back. He knew how much I’d sacrificed to be here for him (which I would never ever change, not one second), and he wanted me to take any opportunity I could and have a better life for myself. He did everything he could to make sure I had a good life, now it’s time to make a good life for myself.
I’ll continue to miss him every single day, every moment. But I know now that I am moving forward, and that’s exactly what he wanted for me.
PS- We found the bacon in the microwave 3 days later. Completely forgotten.