Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Q is for Questions

I have been trying to process my father's death over these last several weeks. I feel like I have been coming to terms with it, slowly but surely. I don't cry on a daily basis, but things will come out of the blue to make me melt into a puddle. That will vary from day to day, but it still happens. A couple of days ago, it was simply passing a hearse on the road. It was my second hearse in two days. Another day it was watching the movie "Oh God," because I remember watching that series with my family. Today it was the announcement on Facebook of my preschool best friend finally having her first baby. Dad was following her story so closely on Facebook since we found each other again. We saw each other at his visitation and bawled on each other's shoulders. It was the first time we had seen each other in almost 20 years.

Every time I have one of these random episodes I randomly start asking all kinds of questions. They are of that evil "What If" nature. I always feel like a fool, because I can't change the past. Nevertheless, they force their way into my brain. "What if I would have actually made it home that week when he fell?" "What if I would have braved the ice and snow and taken care of the paperwork for Mom myself?" "What if he would have just listened to me and gone to the doctor in the first place?" "What if I would have pushed harder for the surgery?"

Consciously I am fully aware that these questions are moot at this point. I cannot go back and change what happened. It was completely out of my hands. I do accept this on most levels, but I just can't help myself at times.

I have always been a dreamer. I like to imagine how scenarios could have been different. Part of that is also being a writer. And can you blame me for wishing that my father was still here with me? I have always been a Daddy's girl, from the moment I came into this world. I was the one with him when he left this world. We talked about everything. For the first time in my life I am having to make decisions without his counsel. I cannot call my mother, either, because she is in such a weird state with her Alzheimer's.

As I face life's decisions on my own, I am faced with new questions. "Am I doing what is right for me?" "Have I surrounded myself with the right people?" "What is next?"

These are normal questions that anyone may face. But when you are faced with answering them by yourself for the first time, they seem more pronounced.

I know I am going to be okay. Those questions will be answered in time, just like always. I *am* fine, relatively speaking. It just feels so different now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GBE2 Week #12: The Wedding Rings

I haven't felt much like blogging for the past several weeks. When I posted the story of Dad's peaceful passing, I felt purged, yet my voice was stifled. It has been quite an adjustment to get used to him not being around. We talked on the phone several times a week. I was just getting used to not talking to Mom, as she has been in the nursing home since February.

I belong to a blogging group known as the Group Blogging Experience #2 (GBE2). We have a weekly prompt and then need to tailor a post around it. This week it is a picture of two wedding rings.

I keep looking at this picture thinking that there is no way I can write about it. I am not married. I have no immediate plans to marry. What good will it do for a 30-something year-old to write about her dreams of marriage? That's so cliche.

I took my dog on a walk to clear my head. We both needed to get out of the house and the relentless rainfall had finally cleared a little. On the way we ran into a neighbor I haven't seen in almost a year. She wanted to know how my summer was going. I told her about Dad.

A couple of hours earlier, another neighbor was walking past with her dog when I got home from running errands. Same story.

I hopped back on Facebook and was confronted again with the picture. This time, I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

I may not have my own wedding ring as a symbol of love from a significant other, but I have been collecting rings over the past year. My grandmother, Dad's mom, passed away in September of 2010. As we were going through the last of her jewelry, we came across her wedding band. It had been cut off of her prior to her hip surgery some years ago and she never got around to fixing it. With the cut, though, it perfectly fits my pinkie finger. (Grandma was a tiny woman.)

When Dad went into the hospital, he purposely left behind his wedding ring and a cameo ring. I wore them a lot when I was home and he was in the ICU. After he died, I brought them both home with me. Sometimes, when I feel that I need his help in something, I put them on again.

Mom still has hers and I wouldn't dream of taking it away from her. I am sure that some day I will also inherit that one.

Having the rings of my loved ones makes me feel slightly connected to them, even though they are no longer here.