Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This is a less organized, more personal post this evening. If you, the reader, aren't interested in the internal, emotional struggle that I am currently enduring, please click the red X at the top right hand corner of this page.
I had a blog where I posted all my inner turmoil but it's now gone. I posted a lot in the recent weeks after my stepdad, Jack, passed away. All of my sorrow and grief, I typed away at the keyboard, late at night when I couldn't sleep. Things I couldn't say outloud. Things I couldn't tell anyone. Things I couldn't bear to let escape outside of my mind.  Things have been a lot better since then. They really have. Tonight though, it's been a rough night. Extremely so.
I suppose I wasn't ready, though I thought otherwise. I watched the movie, My Sister's Keeper. If you haven't seen it, it's a real tear-jerker. If you've recently lost someone to cancer, it's an emotionally outpour of any emotion you had tucked deep inside you. And that is exactly what happened.
Both Jeff and I sat there as the credits rolled with tears streaking our faces and snot pouring from our noses. We sat there in silence for a few minutes, maybe trying to compose ourselves. Jeff came over to sit by me on the couch and tried to hold me close, but I just couldn't.
I couldn't relinquish that release of emotion that I very much need. He told me that throughout our 12 years of marriage that I lectured him consistently on keeping his emotions bottled up inside and that now, at this very time, I was doing the same. And he was right. I could barely mutter the words, "I can't" when he asked me why. I didn't want to tell him why. I didn't want to speak. I wanted to compose myself and move on. I wanted to pass this moment by and know that I'd be okay.
Instead, I swallowed my tears and said that I have to be the strong one. I can't cease to function. I have a family to take care of that depend upon me. I can't just curl up in the fetal position and just stop. It's not an option for me. I have three children and a military husband who is in and out to sea constantly. I don't have the option of wallowing or simmering in my own emotion. I just don't.
He said he thought I needed it and he's most probably correct. And if it were any other emotion other than grief I would have no problem what so ever releasing it on his shoulder. If I were angry instead, I'd yell and scream. If I were hurt, I'd blubber away through my tears. If I were crying happy tears, I'd smile through it. I am just not equipped to deal with this sort of grief.
Instead, I sucked it up and put my slippers on. I walked into the kitchen and started mindlessly cleaning. Anything to keep my hands and my mind busy.
A lot of people may not understand what Jack was to me. He was probably the only other man, other than my husband, who has loved me unconditionally, for me. He was the one adult in my life who didn't want to fix me. He treated me like an adult and he expected me to treat him and my mother with respsect. Respect, something I never knew anything about until he walked into my life. He accepted me as his own daughter without any hesitation.
He taught me a lot about life that, at the time, I may have blown off, but I have kept each one of those wisdom filled conversations tucked away in my mind. He trusted me the way no one ever had. He's the one that taught me that life is way too short for grudges. That things are, just because they are. There may no be no rhyme or reason. He also taught me that I have a voice and to use it. He told me once that words are powerful, so choose them wisely.
He loved my mother all of his heart and soul. He treated her like the queen she is. I am greatful for that. When everyone else in her life, including myself, treated her with anything other than love, here he was. Her knight in shining armor.
He accepted my apologies for my poor teenage behavior without batting an eye. He was there when I needed advice. He never steered me wrong. He accepted my husband and my children as if they were his family for years. There were no steps in this family. We were all his. He made sure to remember my kids' birthdays and he made sure mom bought them adequate Christmas gifts (not that mom had to be reminded, but you know.). Something my own dad doesn't do, ever.
I feel incredibly guilty over my teen years and my poor choices, poor behavior, the things I said, the things I did. I don't think I can ever apologize enough for those years. I feel guilty that I was not there in his last hours, that I never thanked him for being the man he is to me, to my mom, to my husband and to my kids.  I should have been there to help my mom. I should have been there, by his bedside. Instead I was here, at home, pacing the floors, making sure I had everything I needed: numbers to amcross, emails to Jeff's command, three kids packing, making arrangements for our two guinea pigs, two cats and Bo, the pain in the ass doxie.
It's been three months since he passed and it hurts today the same as it did the day he passed. I feel as though my chest is going to implode and my head is simply going to burst off of my shoulders. I have never, in all the things I have been through in my life, felt anything as awful as this. And if, by chance, I let it out physically, I know I'll lose my composure. I'll just lose it. I can't say it outloud. I can't say what I'm feeling outloud because the words just don't come. They are there, on the tip of my tongue. But they can't be spoken. If I speak them, the tears start and my chest hurts and I just want to curl up in a ball. I think my mom said it best when she said, "It feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest." Because my god it does. Exactly so.
And I can't believe he is gone. Just like that. Gone. I'll never be able to ask his advice again. I'll never be able to pick up the phone and call him. My children will never hear his voice tell them a story of his youth. They'll never hear the wise advice he had in his voice. He's gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment