Many things have happened in my life and my response is generally optimistic and hopeful, figuring out what to do, getting things done, charging ahead, always full throttle. My pulse has slowed of late and there is a different drum beat to dance to. I have this new thing in my life called sadness. I am not sure if it is from my daddy’s downward spiral with dementia, fading away or family life and changes or something I ate or some new hormones taking over my body, but I am not liking this new talent I have to cry at the drop of a hat. Never been a cryer really. However of late, I am some sort of master at it. I am changed in this regard. It is foreign territory to me. I, who can always find the funny, search out the stupid, love the enjoyable, invent it good am now in the position where I see the hurt in people’s eyes. I see their pain they are hiding behind the laugh. I feel their sorrow in their encouragement. And I experience it with them. And it hurts. Of course, my eyes are very clean these days, which is a plus. They probably needed that. However, they are clean now so this can stop anytime. An additional side effect is a stronger desire to hold my children, hug them, laugh with them, really focus on them. So maybe even sadness can have its productive uses. Nonetheless, I am understanding more the crippling pain a lot of my friends contend with of depression. It would probably be very much like what I have been going through only stuck there longer term, emotions just doing their thing and you’re left to figure it all out or be a victim of it. I’ve no intention of being stuck here because I feel there would be this hopelessness that would seep in and steal away joy and peace. So, here is what I will try. And I will see it if helps. I will focus on the hope. The great hope of God and heaven and so on AND little hopes of happy days in the sun, cool drinks, warm friends and will drive, even if the terrain has changed. It is still my boat and I will own it and make use of it. Have to.
Normally very happy because it is my choice to be so, it is strange to most that I too have sad days once in a while. I do nonetheless, and I want to explore and share it because you might need to pour out or understand some sad days too and you are not alone in that. Everyone, even perpetually happy people have moments of sadness or days or weeks or months even. For me, if I feel it for a day and have a good eye downpour, it passes by the next morning but that is just my experience. Most of the time my sad days center around my daddy, whose dementia is worsening by the day and I am watching slowly drift off to oblivion. That is my sad spot. We have good days and bad days but even his bad days he is not himself any longer, not fully. There is a point he has crossed where he will never be fully himself ever again. His body, always strong and will even stronger keep on even in their weekened state, but his mind is losing the battle. And missing him is not mourning him because some form still remains and I remember. So the pain is acute and long term. I miss my dad but still have him to visit and care for. And today that hit me hard because his mind wandered many paths during my visit, during our attempt at conversation. The second part of my sadness was my son having a cold but going to his dad’s house for the weekend where I can not take care of him and nurse him back to health, and when I asked how he was I received no response. That frustrates and saddens me because I care about the health of my boy. So these two factors and one other I cannot discuss had led me to the point yesterday where my eyes received a good cleaning and my mind dwelt on the sadness far too long. Sometimes you have to feel it. You have to just be sad. In fact, during said times, I try to be as sad as possible, making it far sadder with my imagination, picturing everyone I meet with hidden sadness and tears about to emerge. Then I can cry harder, more painfully, more heartfealt. What purpose does this serve? It cleans my eyes, for one. Secondly, it gets it over faster so I can move on to the rainbow after the flood. Thirdly, if I do this hard enough, I become ridiculous to myself and will turn it over into laughter. Maybe that is a little crazy, but a little crazy never hurt anyone and by the way do not judge me. lol. If I can convert the energy of the tears into a greater more positive energy of laughter, it helps everything and lifts my spirits, cheering me up afterwards. It is not that I negate or dishonor the sadness but that I pay it homage and respect it but then draw the line at it ruling my life. The sadness must never be the goal, must never rule the show. It is a means to an end, which is to remember that God gives joy and peace and comforts us when we mourn. That is the end of the story, you see, my friend. It is a happy ending. It is an ending worth pushing through to get to.
I always thought I needed Daddy most when I was young. Once I moved out of the house at a young age and was supporting myself pretty well considering, I actually was foolish enough to think I didn’t need him much. But when I did, he was always there for me. Even if not physically present, he had me. He was my person, my support, the one who loved me and would die to get or do anything I needed or asked. He always thought I was capable of amazing things, never doubted that I could do anything but always laughed when I chose the hard way. But now that dementia is stealing my Daddy and strokes and heart attacks have weakened him to the point of being bound to a bed in a nursing home and I am grown up and 42 with kids of my own to care for, I realize something. I need him now more than I ever did. I am not ready to be without my person. I thought I was ready for him to go be in Heaven all happy with God, singing again with his angelic voice. But I am not. There are mean people here. There are people who don’t grow up despite their age. There are people who are evil and destroy because they are miserable and can’t stand when others are happy. There is ugliness around all over. There are circumstances in which you must do things you don’t want to against everything your heart is screaming you need, you want. There are people that would just as soon rip out your heart as to risk hurting their own. There are challenges I never dreamed I would meet. 42 is scarier than any other age I have been. And here I am needing my strong bulldog daddy and he is descending. My time is spent trying to get him to remember anything and laugh as much as possible when what I need is him telling me again that he will kill anyone who harms me, he’s got me no matter what. I was never bad in his eyes, never wrong, never anything but beautiful and loved and accepted as I was and made to feel the most comfortable in the world. I could be me with Daddy. Now I would give anything for another round of advice I was good at trying to avoid. I would love to hear more stories he rarely offered. I wouldn’t even mind one of his rants about what is wrong with greedy politicians. And I wish I still had his Sweet 16 Rifle which about threw out your shoulder to fire or his 12 gage he taught me to fire so well. I wish I had more time. Yes, I can visit him but he is seldom home now. There are rare moments and those I cherish, but my fighter Daddy, my intense but relaxed hard working but soft hearted Daddy, who wanted to march down to school and tear apart any teachers who were mean to me even if they had every right to be. My Daddy, who would protect me from anything in the world or outside of it and really really could, He I miss. My safe zone, my protector, my provider whenever I needed anything, him I miss. I am on my own in a scary world and I feel like a helpless child standing alone in the rain without an umbrella, crying out for one of his enormous bear hugs quick before the ravenous wolves attack me. And there it is. Well meaning people remind me God is always there with me and I respectfully acknowledge that is true and I agree. But there is something magical in a great big bear hug that defies rational thought and overcomes the feelings of insecurity in this world that nothing else can do yet. And Daddy could give them and I miss that most, of all things. It was my ultimate sign of security, my understanding of love and protection. There is a crazy world with psycho people hell bent on harming me and those I love because they are miserable and sick and my bear is hybernating, bedding down for a long sleep. He descends and I am left to fight. He taught me but I still feel unsteady. I grieve for the loss of my fighting warrior. I am proud of who he was and who he is now I love and spend time with. But I still grieve for he cannot fulfill the roll of my champion right now when I need one. I need a champion warrior whose love for me goes beyond his comfort for himself. I grieve for this. I cry. Sometimes I laugh, especially with him. But I cry more now than I ever have. As he descends, I descend too. My heart hurts.
People say you can’t die of a broken heart. Sure you can. Most of the time it is not a physical death but it is a death of a part of your heart and soul. It creates a void when something was in there deep and now is fading to vapor, changed to a point unrecognizable or dead and gone completely. What you knew should be there, what has always been there as a part of you is not in a tangible way. Life is forever changed, the void is there. People say God fills that void. That seems to me to be very naive said by someone who mea s well but obviously never felt such deep loss. God doesn’t fill the void. Sometimes we need to feel it. Sometimes we need the pain to remind us how deep we can still feel. Sometimes we need to break open our hearts to be sure blood still flows there, softens us to build empathy and feel again. What God does is hold us through it. He is with us through it. That is no small task because while this ripping apart of the soul happens, we are not always ourselves, sometimes the roller coaster takes us to crazy thought patterns, irratic behavior, clinginess to those we think care or should care, crazy mood swings, crying one minute, laughing the next. It js far too great a burden for a person to bear, even though we sometimes forget that and try to get another person to help us i stead of God who is the only One big or qualified enough to do so. But the void remains. It will continue to remain. It ks like the new constant friend that you really hate. It is never filled. Some beautiful people can help distract you but when left alone again the void remains. And in memory of the love you shared with that person, you want that void, their spot, left there for them. You fight to remember. The scariest thing about loss is forgetting. It hurts like hell but would hurt more to forget the good of it, to forget why you feel such loss and pain right now. It is worth remembering. It is worth the pain to remember. I want to feel this. I want to cry. It pays homage to what once filled the now void. I was once complete. I was once loved by this person and happy. I was loved. I was important. I was precious. I will cry. I will feel it. I will live in that memory and honor. I will laugh when I can. I will remember forever. I will always always love.
I am too sad to write. Sometimes you just have to feel it. So stoked it is best for that to happen. Sometimes you need to appreciate the disappointments and regrets and faults and imperfections of life. Sometimes it is okay to cry and just be sad. Just don’t live there. Visit for it makes you human. Don’t live there.