I wasn't really sure what kind of post I wanted to do today. I guess I feel like I did my sad, sappy post last year when he died. But I couldn't just not post anything, I feel like I need to acknowledge the day. Over the last year I know I've done a lot of posts about the loss of both my parents. Some sad, some funny. So this one is kind of both.
When my Dad died it was so much different than losing my Mom. I had guilt that wasn't there when my Mom died. And I know that a lot of that had to do with the way we left things the last time I saw him. Because the last time I saw him was when I was home while my mom was on hospice care and then passed away. My Dad was in a very selfish place then and relying heavily on alcohol and pity. I was six months pregnant and had just lost my mother and was in no emotional state to deal with so much. We had fights. Bad fights. One was the day of my Mother's funeral. A day, that I felt, should have been focused on her and not on ourselves. It was her day and every bit of anger I had felt toward my Dad and his selfishness came out. Without getting into much detail, I will say that things did not improve much from there. I'd like to say I'm over it and all is forgiven. I'm working on it. And I'm in a better place.
Another source of my guilt was because of my last conversation with my Dad - of course, not knowing at the time that it would be the last time I talked to him. Let me set it up for you:
It's a Sunday (Superbowl Sunday, actually) and that morning Husband had left to go out of town for a week on a business trip. Grant is 5 1/2 months old and this is only the second time Husband has been out of town for so long since Grant has been born. And even though I know I can handle it and we'll be fine, it's a little stressful. At some point that day I took Grant to the park for a walk. Later on, while I'm feeding Grant a container of baby food, I'm on the phone with my Dad (I think he called me). Here's what I remember of our last conversation:
Dad: Hey, how's it going?
Me: I'm ok. A little stressed, but ok.
Dad: Why? What's going on?
Me: Well, Nate left this morning on a business trip so I'll be single-moming it for a week. I'm just a little nervous about it but I know we'll be ok. Grant's been a little fussy today too but now he's eating so he's happier. What are you doing? (Ok, he was in the hospital awaiting a liver transplant. Not sure why I asked what he was doing - but I did.)
Dad: Oh, just sitting here watching the Superbowl with your Uncle Kevin (my Dad's brother).
Me: Oh, I'm sorry. Do you need me to let you go? I can call tomorrow.
Dad: No, it's halftime. The...uh...peas are singing. The black-eyed ones. (He said it just like that. I still laugh when I think about it.)
Me: Oh, ok then. Well, how was your day?
Dad: Well...I shit myself.
Me: DAD! OH MY GOD!
Dad: *obviously unaware of my shock and disgust* Yup. It's this medicine they have me on. I just can't make it to the bathroom in time.
That's really all I can recall of that conversation. THAT is what we talked about. I'm ok with it now. I can laugh about it. But a year ago all I could think was "I can't believe that was really the last conversation I'll ever have with my Dad". My Uncle, who was in the room the whole time, couldn't believe he was telling me that. But hey, you can't say it wasn't memorable.
Back to the serious stuff. I think the loss of a parent is something you never really get over. No matter how old you are when it happens. It just gets a little easier to deal with every day. Some days I can tell stories about my parents and I get laughing so hard I can't breathe. And some days I'll be sitting at my computer and a picture of my Dad comes up on my screen saver and when I look at it, it feels like someone punched me in the stomach. I miss my parents every day. But I try not to focus on them being gone and what I should feel like they're missing. I'm grateful for what we had and, for the most part, that keeps me positive.