Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just One More Day

I don't want to make anyone feel sorry for me, I just want to share a little of my heart here. I'm not gonna lie...Father's Day was pretty hard for me. I didn't want to diminish it for my husband, because he deserves to be celebrated, but I was thankful that he understood when my mind drifted elsewhere.

I cried, reminisced, and cried some more.

I remembered the day Dad took off my training wheels and held on to my bike as I rolled down the street...until I looked back over my shoulder and saw that he was nowhere near me.

I remembered how huge my father was to my four-year-old eyes. He seemed like a towering mountain, and when he lifted me into the air, it was like flying.

I remembered the way he rocked me and sang the same song every night. "Honey, come back, I just can't stand it. Seems like a million years ago..."

I cried, and found myself thinking the same thing anyone that's lost a loved one thinks a thousand times over.

I'd give almost anything to have just one more day...

But the truth is, I didn't get that day. I got many of them.

In the months leading up to my father's death, I traveled over 5,000 miles going back and forth between Kansas City and home. I never felt more torn in my life, wanting to be with both parts of my family at the same time. I fretted and worried constantly if I was doing the right thing. Would my children understand and forgive me for leaving them? Would my husband resent how much it was costing us? Would I be a help to my sister, or just be in her way?

Would it really matter, in the long run, whether I was there or not?

Yes. It mattered. Being there to share even a small part of the burden with my sister mattered. Just being there, sitting by his bedside, holding his hand and letting him know he wasn't alone, that mattered. I realize now in a way that I did not, could not before, how precious that time was.

I could've stayed home, pushed through my days as wife, teacher and mom, and kept in touch by phone. I could've insisted that we couldn't afford it, that we need to put our family's future first, and put the money into buying the cow we still don't have. I could've waited until the very end, showed up for his last days, attended the funeral, and no one would've thought the less of me.

But then I would've spent the rest of my life wishing for just one more day.


New Southern Pantry said...

I cried when I started reading your post, it touched a place inside of me that I don't go often. I saw my Dad at 8:30 one morning, dropped him at work & never saw him again until they called us to the hospital. He had become ill at work taken to the hospital & given the wrong medication. The smile I saw on his face while he lay there was complete peace & wonder. He had seen Jesus & that glory radiated all over his body that was growing cold. Fathers Day is the hardest day of the year for me. I so understand the dilemia of your desire to make it good for your husband when your heart is breaking. God only knows...

Q said...

No pity, but certainly sympathy. You have a loss, an ache, and it needs to be worked through.

A cow would be nice, but goodness, your time and money instead went towards a human being, your father.

What a wonderful investment!

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Sheila. It's hard enough when you know it's coming, but to have no time to prepare is a tragedy. It is comforting to know that our fathers are with Jesus, but it still hurts to be here without them. (((HUGS)))

Q, you're right of course, and that was the conclusion I finally came to now that I've had time to think about it without being caught up in the middle of such a trying time. Investing in the well-being and care of my family would've been a wonderful thing (you wouldn't believe how much milk my kids go through in a day! or maybe you would...) All the conflicting emotions at the time kept me from seeing that those things can be done another time, saying goodbye to Dad will never happen again. Now that it's over and done, I'm very thankful I had that chance, and thankful my husband completely supported and encouraged those decisions.

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