This date will be forever engraved in my heart. I should be sat here recounting to you the tales of my interview and the minor panic attack that I was sure would keep me from ever gaining a place to study, laughing of the experience and letting you know that it will be OK as I have been invited to two other interviews in early March. I should be talking about the week I spent at my mum’s…
The 19th of February could have been a day of celebration, rejoicing and a confirmation of the fact that I am putting my life back together. I should have been bouncing off the walls with excitement as soon as I opened the envelope. I don’t know if the interviewers saw some spark of passion in my eyes, despite the panic. I have no clue, but that morning the postman dropped a letter onto the floor of our hall way. “We are pleased to make you a conditional offer”… I’m going to be a student midwife. I DID IT… but there will be no celebration.
In fact I haven’t even finished reading the contents of that letter. It’s been shoved in a drawer some place and ignored. Instead of writing my joyful post, I’ve spent the afternoon crying my eyes out as I try to figure out how best to express the jumble of emotions I feel about my father; how to sum up the life of a complicated man in less than 4 minutes. I’ve never written a eulogy, truth be told. When I took up the task, I had to consult Google before I knew what one really was. Heck I’ve never been to a funeral before…
My dad passed away at around 8.30 am on the morning of the 19th from Pneumonia. He had been frail and not really himself for several years after suffering a series of strokes, but I’d only found out he was in hospital the night before and was planning to visit this weekend. I guess he couldn’t wait for me.
We hadn’t seen each other for several years and the relationship had not been good for a long time. I was filled with anger and resentment perhaps even hatred and not without my reasons, but now I just feel numb… and so weary. Today, for the first time in what seems like forever, I miss my dad. Not the man he became, but the one he was before he lost his way: the image of him that’s been in my head for the last three days… where he’s smiling… his blue green eyes sparkling… no longer clouded by grief, anger and the drunken haze.. I have no idea where this picture came from, but he’s happy and thinking clearly… it seems so real like I could almost touch him… I’d give anything to talk to the man in that picture. I’d have him critique my speech.
Yes, whatever has passed between us, I feel little regret. If he truly is free from his afflictions now, I know he understands why I was absent. I also know he would want to take it all away from me the burden of what happened… the fear, the hurt and the tears. He would want to make me whole again because deep deep down under it all, I feel … he always loved me.
My head has been in a mess since Thursday. The phone has been ringing off the hook and I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I’m getting so sick of the phrase “are you ok?”
All I can tell you is that I’m tired… oh so tired. My body is aching all over and I have a splitting headache that does not seem to want to leave. Sleeping is hard and even when I get some it doesn’t make the blind bit of difference. I’m stuck in the eye of a storm and I have no idea when it’s going to end. I’m running on empty. I haven’t really thought about whether I’m OK despite the fact that I keep telling everyone I’m alright.
All I can focus on is what I have to do: how I can find the strength… how I can compose myself and ignore all those who question my actions or judge me or seem to know how I should feel even thought they haven’t spoken to me in ages. I’m holding on tight to the fact that at the end of the day what everyone else thinks does not matter at all. This is between me and my dad. Call it “stepping up to the plate”… being the bigger person… taking the moral high ground. Whatever, forgiveness is the final gift I can try to give him.
I’m determined to make sure the final words said about him do him justice and I will lead by example and not get caught up in petty fighting or casting blame because it does not make one bit of difference now, does it ?
I’m still his daughter… and I will be with him as he makes this final journey. I’m hoping that from somewhere he will send me some of his determination and strength as I try to give him every reason to be proud of the person I have become.
I’ll worry about if I’m OK afterwards.