Twenty days; yes the countdown to THAT day in my life is on, and it’s coming like a slow moving storm in the distance that you know that you can’t avoid no matter what direction you go . It’s a day that I would give anything to just be out on the beach at Kalaloch all day; just to be in the place where you loved to go and we released you to your final resting place. Where I could sit and listen to the ocean beat the shore with its calming heartbeat as the wind blows around me. But that day I will be the responsible adult that you taught me to be at work.
Ten years and it’s hard for me to fathom that it’s been this long since that day that started the massive tsunami of change that has overtaken my life. Little did I know that the change would come at the cost of one of my biggest losses and heartbreaks of my life. I knew you were sick, it was why I chose to stay in this small town and why we didn’t move across country, but I thought i had more time than we did. What I thought could be years turned into only a year and a few months.
That day is still burned forever in my memories, most of the time I can block it out but this year little clips of it keep popping into my head like little flashes of a broken film with no sound. With each little fragment of a memory it catches my breath and I have to fight back the urge to allow the whole nightmare of a day and the following weeks to play out in my mind. Followed by the overwhelming questioning; did I tell you how much I loved you and give you one more hug before I left the house after picking up your granddaughter? Did you know that you were my favorite person to have coffee with and my best adviser? How much I have missed you in the last ten years and would give to have one more talk?
I hope that you are proud of the woman your daughter has become dad. I have struggled, I have fallen to my knees, and been broken and battle worn.Your passing pushed me to fight for my self worth and my daughter’s right to have her parents not end up hating each other. I have handled my divorce with grace and my head held high,showed as much respect as possible, taken care of mom like you would want me to (even if at times we drive each other crazy, but hey, we are mother and daughter and that’s normal and we love each other dearly), I am raising my own daughter to be strong and yet kind with just a touch of sass, and I have survived a round or two of emotional and mental abuse. Through it all I fought hard to keep my heart kind,but with the fire and grit of a warrior.
While I know your passing was the hardest on mom, it still lingers for her in ways that can only be expressed by her, but for me as your child even though I was not yours by blood you were my daddy. You raised me and loved me like your own. It’s an ache only someone who has lost a parent can understand. I have learned that grief comes in so many forms and we all have our own ways of coming to terms with this unimaginable loss.
For me I choose to remember the day you left not only because it marks a sad moment in my life but because in the long run it marks a turning point in my life. It marks the moment I started to become the woman that my family always knew I could be and the woman my family needed me to be. It marks the moment I started crawling out of the darkness of pain and depression I was in. I became a warrior that day for my family and above all for my own life. Death changes people. Yours showed me that I need to become a stronger woman. I miss you so much Dad.