Monday, May 22, 2006

Moonlight Serenade

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary (a word that seems entirely inappropriate) of my father's passing.

Though I think about my dad and feel his loss every single day, it was difficult not to dwell on the events of a year ago. Fortunately, my mother, sister, and I were able to be together, and we got through the day as a family. I'm just grateful that neither of us had to deal with it alone, because I don't think I could have.

It's hard to believe it's already been one year. I can still feel the memories from that week so vividly. My father telling me he was having trouble breathing. Standing at the foot of the driveway, watching the paramedics take him away. The last time I saw him smile, as he was sitting up in his bed to watch the news. The call from the hospital, telling us we needed to get back to the hospital immediately.

And I remember being escorted to another room, where I saw my mother, whose face was completely sunken as she said to me, "He's gone."

I can still hear my sister screaming when I told her what happened. That awful, awful phone call - one I hope I never have to make again. Her crying is the most terrible sound I've ever heard.

Then there was the call, hours later, to my friend Mis Hooz. I thought I was strong enough to talk, but as soon as I tried to say the words, I knew I wasn't. But she stayed with me as I pulled myself together. It wasn't until that point that I realized how much I'd been trying to stay strong for my mother and sister. I could finally let my guard down.

Dad - we love you, miss you, and feel you with us every day.

Over the past year, I've asked myself dozens of times, "Is this where you want to be?" I've tried to figure out exactly what I want to do, and where I want to go. Because it really can change fast. But when I see how my mother has found the strength to move on, I know that this is where I'm supposed to be right now.

One side effect, however, is that I've become much less compassionate, and less tolerant of anything I perceive as "bullshit." Because I don't want to waste any more time dealing with it. And that's cost me some relationships and friendships - likely for good. I'm not sure I like that about myself, and my dad would likely have something to say about it. But I'm also not sure it's going to change. Maybe someday.

I'm going to step away for a week and spend some time with my family. It feels like the appropriate thing to do. As noted above, my sister is in town, and we've planned a busy week for ourselves. So I doubt she and my mother would have much patience for me spending time with the blog while they're sorting and cleaning.

Thanks to all of you for stopping by to read, and I will see you after Memorial Day. Please take care, and enjoy your holiday.