The precious drive home from the cabin weekend, once again. We do this friend thing that is priceless - full of good listening with just the right amount of gasps, your-kidding-me’s, I hear you’s, pauses and laughs. There is nothing like feeling heard and cared for with whatever is rising at the time for each of us.
I have this almost tummy ache feeling with what I am needing (though not wanting) to process out loud. The girls know about this topic and for today it is the first thing that rises when I take a look at the landscape of my life. I want to ignore it, deny it, stuff it, joke about it, or even take the car on a detour. But it is all too real and on my mind and heart – and it is ahead. And part of it is now. And it is scary.
My dad. The reality is he is sick. And that sucks. He is still here and I hope that remains the case for awhile, but last winter we had a scare and there are no guarantees’. The both and to this – I like the guy. I like my dad. You would too if you met him. He is fully himself. He has spunk. He sucks down a mocha latte with a straw. And he has emphysema. And he is still here.
The reality that at some point I will have to just do life without him – I say out loud: that is stupid. The word stupid seems to fit. Likely my lifetime will be longer without him than with him. That’s dumb. Then the tears. I notice my grip tightening on the steering wheel – some satisfaction for my body – this part I can control. As I continue on with this saying part, the crying continues. As that is happening the stupid dumb thing turns into a hard, sad and lonely thing. This is what I was trying to avoid.
An arrow of panic rises. There are some things I don’t know about him. When did he get a bike when he was little? Did he ever? I hear, and you can ask him that when you see him next. Yes, I can. That’s what I can do for now. See him the next time and the next time. And when peeking my head up at the big picture of my life, I can look out for any signs of grief to do along the way here. Hopefully pause and feel what is there to feel. Or trust that it will show up again down the road.
Maybe I rode a wave that I’ve heard so much about. Which is terrifying and comforting – both.
Enjoy him and be in reality that he is sick – both. Sacred, yes. Still stupid.
adapted photo by Ian Britton FreeFoto.com