The days when it hits me fresh, as though I’ve been sleeping and just woke up to discover he is gone.
And gone forever.
I wonder at times if I’m crazy. How can it possibly, still – after five long years – still knock me to my knees when I realize for the gazillionth time, it’s forever. Gone forever.
He’s not golfing. He’s not at work. He’s not on vacation or visiting friends out of state. He won’t be home in an hour, later tonight, in a week or 100 years.
He won’t be blowing my phone up later. he won’t be taking me to lunch tomorrow.
He. Is. Gone. Forever.
Just like my daughters, except my daughters live…live to be gone from me.
I didn’t just learn this and I’m not stupid. He wasn’t my husband or my child or a dear childhood friend. He was my father. People lose parents! For God’s sake, that’s just a normal part of life. How can it still sting and ache and tear to suddenly think, oh my God, he is really never, ever coming back…? How? What the hell is wrong with me? How in the fuck does it still seem so, so so very impossible? That, it can’t fucking possibly be forever?
I’m not in absolute denial. My mind does know and understands. I imagine on some deeply subconscious level, I’m constantly telling myself that, as for all my life, he’ll be home any minute now. He will walk through that door, smelling of fresh air and golf greens, grinning that beaming whole-face smile, and tell me how his golf game was.
Any minute now, right? Because only so many unacceptable things can happen to one person, right??
Any god damned minute now…
Darlene (mother) made his funeral a big fucking joke! I can’t let myself be angry. Senseless to burn with fury over that now, just like it’s senseless to rant and rave about what my “family” did to me during and since. Wasted energy to wish so hard that I’d been less in a dazed state of shock and been more aware of what they were all doing.
My dad was fucking dead for Christ’s sake! DEAD!!!!
I waited after the “Darlene show” of a funeral to have a few last minutes alone with him. I wanted a last few minutes alone my DAD, my best friend, my only parent, my only cheerleader, my only compassionate, helpful encouraging soul. Waiting til the people had cleared out, I went to him – peaceful in his casket – looking so much like him, yet somehow not at all like my dad…
I touched his face. I kissed his cool, firm, rubbery-like embalmed cheek. I placed my hand gently on top of his and remembered only a few weeks ago we’d sat in his car and I’d touched that same warm, loving, age-spotted right hand as it rested on his gear shift and said, Daddy, your hands look so dry! They need lotion. And I silently wished I hadn’t taken the trial sized lotion out of my handbag the week earlier. Looking at them, so old and so dry – almost (dare I say?) frail like?
NO. They could not be frail! Not my dad’s hands. Not my superhero. Not the only person in the world who really did only hurt me when he wanted to help or better guide me. Not this strong, can-do anything, never stopping, ceaselessly giving and doing man with the invisible superhero cape I’d always pictured on him as a child. NOT. FRAIL! Not he! Not those hands! Nuh uh!
I just wanted to put lotion on his hands for him, this amazing man who’d done more for my life, my spirit, my kids, and my heart than anyone one human being deserves… God, how I wanted to put lotion on those hands that day! I have a thing about hands… How had I not noticed before today that his hands had somehow become dry, older, so different from MY dad’s hands? HOW HAD I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE TODAY?
…and WHY HAD I TAKEN MY LOTION OUT OF MY PURSE? WHY??
…so I wanted those last precious moments with him after the people cleared out of the funeral room. After all, it had been just he and I for most of the past 20 years. Seemed fitting the last final moments with him should be shared quietly between he and I, alone… on our own, like Darlene had expressly seen to it both our lives were?
I touched that hand again, thinking of that conversation and REALLY wishing more than ever I’d had that damned lotion in my bag that day so that the last time we had together I’d done something special and thoughtful just for him – just because I loved and cherished and appreciated him.
I put my head on his chest and I let the tears come out. Not shrieking and wailing tears for show like Darlene had done in the middle of the funeral, just quiet tears. I held in the sobs and shrieks I actually felt welling inside me. I lay my head there, imagining the countless times I’d put my head there all my life. My safe haven – right there. My comfort when I was scared. The place my tears often fell as a child and adult alike.
Within moments, my egg donor, Darlene, comes back in to, of course, pull me away. GOD FUCKING KNOWS SHE HAD TO INTERRUPT EVEN THIS LAST FUCKING MOMENT ALONE WITH MY DAD.
I should have told her to fuck off. I should have said, This is my last time with my dad, could you please just step away? COULD I JUST HAVE THIS? JUST THIS???!?
Get your fake fucking hand off my shoulder and shut your filling-my-kids-heads-with- ridiculous-bullshit-while-we’re-grieving-our-loss filthy, evil, lying mouth! No, I will NOT do as you tell me today… NOT TODAY!
Being the dutiful child she trained me to be(and swears to the world I wasn’t), of course I did not. I just did what she told me.
…And let her interrupt and steal EVEN THAT.
I can’t be angry. Anger wastes my spirit and there’s just not much left of that to throw away on narcissistic vile evil pigs like she.
Anger would be so wasteful. My dad never wasted time angry.
And I am my father’s daughter.