Last Sunday evening brings both horrible sadness, horror, grief, and in the slimmest sense, relief. Just as my mother and I arrive home and the family readies for dinner; my father, who despite everyone's best efforts in watching for problems from what appeared to be a minor case of the flu, coughs, and begins to fade away. His new heart, the miracle that was nearly beyond hope nearly 13 months ago, has stopped. Despite my sister and mother's best efforts, the EMT and what had to be half of the emergency response of our little city, and the tireless work of the hospital staff, his new heart would not restart.
It's only hitting now, the fact that I will not get to do all those small little insignificant things with him anymore. Talking about the newest episode of some useless TV show, banter about the kind of people who walked into our... my store. Watch him and mom worry, and flirt, and help one another like it hadn't been 40 years since they first met. I'm not going to get to sit down and eat with him, I'm not going to bug him about something that annoyed him anymore. All those things are gone. It's so hard to think that in the span of seconds someone who only a year before could barely speak, who needed help to the bathroom for months after, and had clawed from deaths door to be as healthy and vibrant as a man half his age could be not a week prior be ripped from our arms in seconds.
For days I have wondered if I was an unfeeling bastard, ungrateful and emotionless as my mother and sister pour their eyes out as I held them, my eyes dry for the most part, my form unburdened by any sort of reaction. I know that some numbness is normal. That the shock can last a while, but I felt it though my eyes refused to release a drop. I tried to rationalize. The words spoken to me shortly before they announced my father's passing were the very same they told me a year ago. Perhaps my lack of feeling sprouted from the fact that I had prepared for this eventuality a year ago? Maybe I truly was a horrible son that I feel I was. I had failed him by not moving out, becoming successful, marrying and having those kids my mom hints at with the finesse of a frying pan to the face. Had I because of the inability to push myself to try and do those things that perhaps I didn't deserve to feel the grief I KNEW I was suppose to feel?
I drive a long drive to work everyday. Tuesday, after my normal day off was filled with paperwork and barely if at all restrained tears from all those around me, I started my trek to work. As the long drive rolls on my brain begins to wander as it often does on such a journey. It flashes to the moment we reached my father's side, seeing him gasping and fading away as his body tries to breath to fill blood no longer moving with oxygen. How terrified my mother sounded as we watched him slip away. The feelings of that moment begin to catch up to me, despite the speed in which I am going. Try as I did I could not escape the fear, the pain, and it blindsides me far worse than any of the people on the road could have if they so wanted to. Every utterance my mother has issued forth on what could have been done that could have possibly saved him now comes forth from my lips, My eyes sting with days of pent up tears. I struggle but I reach my shop.
I was alone. There is no one here, no one to try and be strong for. No one apparently to see me break. I'm holding on, but I know I need to tell those that deal with the shop what has happened. I not only owed them for their year of always asking about my father, but I owed it to my father. He deserved to have people who actually knew him, know and grieve. One of his worst fears, I remembered from many years ago was the fact that once my sister and I were born he and my mother's life had been closed to anyone but family and co-workers. That people would not remember him, or worse still, care. It's hard to forget, because in many ways we were alike. I have the same fear. I barely make it through talking with the building owner, he was one of the last few who had seen my father alive outside of family. I collapse and to my utter horror I begin sobbing like I have not in nearly fifteen years. Not since my grandfather had died. Many family members have passed on since, and I have cared greatly for them, and have shed tears for, but my grandfather had been the first I had truly known and lost. The pain was still new then. This was just as painful, but just as equally as new. For an untold amount of time I laid there unable to withhold my grief. Somewhere I managed to call my friend and employee, who thankfully took it in stride and came to help me get it together to finish my calls. However my interest in the store for that day, coupled with the horrible permeating smell of floor paint from the new next door neighbors has put a damper on continuing the day. The release has helped put some pressure off, and once home I became the rock my mother needed again. Today I have to thank all my friends, some who haven't seen me in nearly two years with their and my schedules, or my own hermit nature, but quite a few showed up for his memorial. The memorial we had proved to me that my dad was proven wrong and there were many who still remembered him.
There never is enough time in the world. You can know it's coming but you'll never have enough time. All I can say is we had my father an extra year, and that in the end he was surrounded by his love ones. it is with the most morbid sense of relief that he went when he did. Had me and my mother been five minutes slower we would not have been with him, and as much as my mom hurts now, she was with him, and had she not been she would blame herself for the rest of her life. I should beg for one more day with him, but I had plans that would have put me away from the house most if not all day. He could have died alone with the animals. As it was he KNEW we were all with him, that we were safe. In a way I think that is why he went so quick. It's irrational to assume, but I hope it was as quick as I think, and that he did not suffer.
What comes next frightens me. I no longer have a man I loved to walk behind. From now on I have to walk without him and while perhaps I should have done so before, I cannot help but feel that I was not ready. That I'm still not ready.
There is just never enough time...
Listening to: The AC hum
Watching: SAO II