13 years ago this weekend . . .
“Are you driving?” Sherry asked.
What an odd question?
“No, I just pulled into Hy-Vee to get some groceries. What’s up?”
And I knew.
“Please, don’t tell me!”
I just wanted to hang up the phone.
I didn’t want to hear it.
NO, NO, NO!
And the tears streamed down my face as I learned that Dad had passed.
Without undue suffering
Suddenly and Unexpectedly!
To this day, I remember where I was parked at North Hy-Vee that afternoon.
It’s a section I have never parked in since.
Not tempting fate.
The sun was shining.
It was a relatively nice day.
Done with work.
Planning to buy a few groceries before heading home.
Immediately shifting gears . . .
A dying phone battery.
Phone calls to make.
Returning to work.
Using a land line and a cell phone.
Asking, “Are you driving?” when using cell numbers.
Barely able to say the words.
Numb. Shocked. Confirmed.
Yet short on details!
Making lists of more phone calls.
Where do I need to be? When? What’s next?
I’m in limbo.
Half-way between my family farm home and my family home.
Is someone with Mom?
Which direction to go?
Plans to make. Plans A, B, and C.
No longer an option
A hurricane is headed for Southern Florida
So Sherry is not yet on her way.
I want to return to the childhood days,
My treasured days,
As the best gift to my dad on Father’s Day!
The easy days of childhood.
Fast Forward to the present . . .
2017: What a year! And it’s not over . . .
If I could turn back the hands of time?
I would definitely rewrite March and April. Those days when I wanted to huddle under the quilt and cry for all the changes in our family. Too many losses, way too fast!
I often come back to this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Moving forward may seem to be at a turtle’s pace but forward motion is ALL that is required. Some days it’s not necessary to measure the miniscule change.
Does it ever get easier?
Saturday I stopped by the family cemetary (after a neighbor’s funeral – age 91). A few minutes of conversation with Joey, Grandma, brother Joe and Dad . . . and aunts, and uncles and so many more!
Was it missing the opportunity to say an Earthly “Good-bye”?
Was it not knowing how or what to say?
Was it the shock of the “suddenness”?
Taking comfort in our memories,
And remembering the JOY, the LOVE, and the many celebrations.
Never taking a single moment for granted.
Precious life! Precious time! Precious family!
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