Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Still Miss You...

Dad, it's been ten years now and it still hurts to remember this day. I play through those early morning hours from so many years ago over and over in my head. I remember too much. And it still hurts. It still hurts to remember you're gone. It's sad when I look around and see all you're missing. Your beautiful grandchildren most of all. But they know you. Thanks to Jesus I can finally listen to your music, I can look at your pictures, I can talk about you without going into hysterics... most days. The pain is still there, I am convinced that it will never fully be gone until after the end times and the great Resurrection when I can see you again. God has comforted me and reassures me that it's alright. He's brought me a little peace. It's alright to miss you like I do. But most of all, it's alright to keep your memory alive. And I do.
Draven looks just like you did when you were his age. I wish I knew what you were like back then. The kids know your voice, they know when your songs come on our playlist mix. They wish they could've met you. Me too. I know they would've loved you.
In the spirit of keeping your memory alive, I want to recount the days prior to your passing. You had only been home a few days from the hospital, still wearing the neck brace and bandages from the spinal fusion, and quite out of it because of the new medication the doc gave you. So I'd come to check on you and spend some time with you and Linda. I recall one night in particular...

We were all three sitting in the living room kinda watching TV. Dad had glanced out sliding glass door right next to his chair. And then he looked at me and asked why that truck was still in the jacuzzi. I chuckled and got up to go look out back and in the Florida Room. Obviously, I didn't see what he was seeing. Those were some pretty strong meds!! So I went back over and sat down and said, "You don't remember Dad?"
"Remember what, baby?"
"Last night, the concert, the bands, bringing them all back home?"
He ponders for a moment shaking his head, fiercely searching for the memory.
"Dad, how can you not remember that?? There were 5 bands at that concert. Do you remember the girls?"
He ponders again, "Well... yeah... I guess I kinda remember."
So now I'm holding in my intense urge to laugh. He shouldn't be remember anything, because NONE of this happened. So I continue.
"Daaaaadd!!! You got to actually MEET all the bands. And during the show you had like 8 lap dances from those beautiful girls."
Linda is losing it now, trying so hard to keep a straight face, and failing horribly to hold in her laughter. But Dad doesn't notice. He is desperately looking for a memory, any memory of why he sees this enormous truck crashed into his Florida Room jacuzzi.
"Okay... yeah... I kind of remember some of that. What happened?"
So I, being the loving, supportive daughter that I am, fabricate this enormous memory for my father, who had been continually hallucinating from this new medication since he came home from the hospital.
"Alright Dad, this is what happened. We went to a show last night, you, Linda, Todd, and me. There were tons of people there, five rock bands, a pretty outrageous bar, and gogo dancers. We listened to the bands, ate food, drank a lot, and then got to party with the band members. You even played some music with them! Well, closing time came and we all had to leave, so YOU invited everyone who was still there to come over here to the house to continue the party. The bands brought their instruments to play, and their gogo dancers because you seemed to really enjoy all the lap dances they were giving you. You really don't remember all this??"
Steam was coming off the top of his head, I could see the wheels were turning. I'm sure by now he's seeing in his head what I've described.
"Yeah, that... sounds... right. Lap dances huh?"
"Oh those girls were all over you Dad! I can't believe you wouldn't remember them. They seemed pretty into you. You even got a few phone numbers handed to you."
He looks out the sliding glass door and asks, "So that's why the back yard is wrecked and why that car is flipped over in the grass?"
"Yeah, there were a lot of people here and it got pretty wild."
"That must be why I'm feeling so hungover."
I chuckled, "Yep, probably. Do you remember getting all the bands' autographs?"
"Well... I... kinda remember. Wow!"
"It was great Dad. Nice of you to bring them all home with you."
He's still searching, really hard, for these false memories. I'm cracking up.
"Yeah, I  kinda remember that."
"We should really do it again sometime."

Shortly after that, I went home. I never told him it wasn't true. So one of my very last memories of Dad was laughing with him about this wild party with music, booze, and lap dances that never happened. The next day I came back to sit with him while Linda ran some errands. He saw Indians hiding out in his back yard as if they were about to ambush the house, walked into the kitchen to grab a knife, and then headed for the sliding door because he was going to kill them. But he couldn't figure out how to open the door. I don't recall what other strange things he did that day while I was there. Late that night he fell asleep in his favorite chair, permanently.
The next morning, I refused to walk into that house and allow my father's empty shell to be the last memory I had of him. I couldn't do it. I'm glad that I didn't see, because the last memory I have of him is a great one. Cheering him up and convincing him that he had a wild party with happy people, music, and lap dances. I sure do miss him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Most Days

Most days, I just want to die. Most days, I swear I can feel my life force fading from the weakened grips of my wavering soul. Most days, it just hurts too much to want to breathe. And most days, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.
It seems entirely impossible to describe to someone how it feels when the extreme range of pains and horrid sensations emanate from my skin through my bones, and from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. Literally. I’ve never been more aware of just how many body parts I have until now. There are so many places in my body that it doesn’t even make any sense to hurt. But it hurts nonetheless. There are places I didn’t even know could hurt. And trying to describe it to someone who gets rid of a headache with an Advil is like whispering into the wind. I would swear that the pain is this entirely whole living and breathing entity of its own. And that whenever it decides to change course, it literally points at my body saying, “Eenie, meenie, mynie, MO!”
People think I am weak, too sensitive, and just crazy. I’ve been told it’s all in my head, that I’ve created it, and that I can just think it away, pray it away, and happy-thought the pain to death. Yeah. Like I said, whispers in the wind.
So many times I’ve felt the need to describe to someone why I cannot stand, why I cannot sit, why I cannot walk, lay, stand to be touched, or even speak fluent coherent thoughts. My memory is worn out, I seriously don't remember something that happened 2 hours ago! I’ve tried to brief them only to get that half-crazy, half-sympathetic glance that says everything except what I need to hear.  I can’t understand why I feel the need to make them understand, it’s not like my healing is dependent upon their understanding. I guess in a way, I want them to believe I’m not just another hypochondriac seeking pity. What does pity get me, besides pissed off? And what does a human’s approval get me, besides further from God?
I know God has something planned for me, some greater reason as to why I must go through this. Something grand. I just can't see it. I know I need to put my trust in Him wholeheartedly: all my faith in His basket. But I don’t know how. Can anyone else tell me how? I’m missing a puzzle piece: the very one that connects my pain to Him. Because, God is love right? He is just. Jesus spent His time on this earth curing people who 'heard' Him of plagues and a whole plethora of ailments, didn’t He? So it doesn’t seem so easy to believe that this fantastic and wonderful loving Father is just sitting back watching me and millions of others suffer in our own personal agonies just waiting for us to have that “A-Ha” moment that suddenly tears down the veil and fully opens our hearts to Him and all His glory. It seems nearly impossible. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few will find it.”
Most days, I feel quite certain that I am not one of those few. Most days I find it difficult to try, and impossible to care. Most days I feel so raw, cynical, bruised, and broken that I simply roam from room to room just searching for anything that will make me feel anything else. Anything at all. Most days the very thought of life is just too tiresome to handle. I plead with God daily to just let me go already. I’m certainly not doing anyone any good here, so it seems. I feel like a ghost in my own body. I can’t control it, I can’t stop the pain, and I sure as hell cannot understand it. Each night I lay in bed with the hopes that tomorrow morning I will feel better. And most mornings, I don’t. I have good days, well good moments in days. But they seem too few and far between. And this pain is a literal plague overtaking all of me, every sense we humans possess. And most days, there’s nothing I can do about that.
But there are some days when I wake and feel very little pain. But, I’m afraid to move because it’s probably just a dream that I don’t want to wake from. Some days, I remember what happy is. Some days, I actually laugh, instead of cry. And some days, I can actually look up to Heaven and thank God for my pain, because as bitter as it is, it reminds me that I am alive and have purpose. Those days are a treasure, because they are so very rare.
Most days I forget purpose, I forget why I am here to begin with, and I forget what ‘good’ feels like. Most days I spend having an internal dialogue with God, disputing so many things with Him and just begging for relief. Most days, all I want is to just feel better.


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