I have been having some trouble writing.
The last 4 weeks have been difficult. It started with a call from the hospice 1000 miles away, saying that my Father was "preterminal" and has ended with grief. I had planned to write all about my experience, at the hospice inpatient unit, saying goodbye, helping my grieving mother....and I have tried.
I have really tried. It is just too difficult.
However there are some things that I need to write before I can write of anything else.
My dad and I did not have much in common. The things we did share were always tenuous because of the stubbornness in both our personalities. I was a environmentally minded feminist. He worked for an oil company and valued traditional women's role. I had too many opinions for a girl and was a sensitive child with deep emotions. He did not speak of feelings unless he was yelling. That was most of my teenage years. All this was made worse by my brothers mental illness, which my father refused to see until it was too late to help him. So I spent 10 years angry and unable to forgive my father for what he was...and all that he wasn't.
Many things become clearer and easier to forgive with time, distance....and grandchildren. Perspective from the new parent, of the love that exist in a parents heart, even when the emotions are not expressed. New grandparents seeing their little girl, hold a child of her own, and feeling compassion for the many unseen joys and sorrows that lie ahead. Emotions and ties that bind us to one another in our imperfect family units. Understanding that everything, was done out of love. Love that sometimes gets convoluted by the human imperfections that make us who we are.
......I made it to him before he died. He knew I was there. He couldn't wake up, but he could hear me. I told him we would take care of Mom. I told him for the first time in our lives, that I loved him. I told him we would come back as soon as we could. I didn't know it would be the last words I spoke to him.
More than this I cannot write....
it is just too difficult.