The hardest thing of my life, harder than failed relationships, harder than natural childbirth, harder than my miscarriage, harder than dealing long term with difficult people, harder than toxic people that force themselves into work or relational spheres, harder than the death of my beloved pets, harder than recovering from rape, harder than years of criticism, harder than all that. The hardest thing of my life has been hands down the ugly, long drawn out wasting away through dementia of my daddy. His body is still with me in bedridden wounded and lesser form, his words are hard to come by and labored, his mind comes and goes in dream or present states, he recognizes me but sometimes knows why and sometimes wonders why. The waiting is painful, like a torture for me, daddy’s girl. He has always been my rock, my hero, my strength, my constant supporter, unconditionally loving me, showing me that a man can indeed be faithful to a woman, my mom, against all odds, that a man can put much more emphasis on giving than getting, that eternal things matter much much more than temporal things, that strength of will and stealth of mind matter more than what people ever think anyone is or should be capable of, to fight for those things we hold dear, to believe this country is the absolute best country in the world. This man of such high moral value and such incredible strength of character and body is my daddy. The shell of him wasting away in the nursing home sometimes resembles this man and sometimes resembles a knife being thrust right into my heart. Pain was never so real to me that my whole body aches as what I feel with this waiting game. Visiting as much as I can for those moments where a conversation makes some sense, longing to share my world with him and knowing it is a shadow to him, somewhere in a haze. And it makes me wonder why God is waiting to take him home to heaven. Is there something else I need to do for him? Is there something he hasn’t worked out that I need to help with? Is his will stronger than his body is allowing and he doesn’t want to leave us unprotected? Questions stroll in to try to make sense in my mind of what is killing me to see. It is a mental torture to see someone you love so much in a trailing off, descending state. Physical torture would be easier to bear. That I could overcome with my mind. But this mental torture involves my mind which is too distracted to help much of the time. So I wait. I visit. I take the kids to visit. I sneak in his favorite treats. I love this man that reminds me of my daddy. I celebrate good days. I cry bad days, like today was. It hits me hard every time, a reminder of what is gone forever but still hanging on somewhere on the way out. I smile for people so they don’t worry about me. I laugh. I don’t want other people to hurt over my pain. But writing it here expresses it so it doesn’t keep eating me. Maybe someone else needs to cry. I will cry with you. I am crying with you. I am waiting ugly with you. You are not alone. I have to remember I am not alone. Feels like it though. God helps those who mourn. I attest to that. It’s true. So I am not alone. Neither are you.
I have had a good friend whose Mother just left this planet for a better home, her body yielded up to the forces always at play around us. Fresh mourning for my sweet friend. Another good friend’s Grandmother is following closely behind, bless their dear hearts. And my own dear Father, my Daddy, I believe will not be that far behind. Many friends are going through chemo for cancers. The fragility of life is undeniable. The temporariness of it perplexes me, though the will can at times be such a powerful force. Our spirits and souls are eternal but this shell we live in exists so briefly and then withers away to release back the soul and spirit back to glory. And each new occurrance, especially my own experiences, humbles me and makes me not despondent or frustrated but extremely thankful, grateful for each moment of health, each moment of my kids’ health, each moment with the man I love, and life has taken on this immense sense of meaning and purpose and desire to live every moment as fully as I can. I want to travel with my best friend. I want to plant flowers and plants that will continue for years. I want to prepare my kids for a good life the best I can. I want to have fun with my children. I want to experience all aspects of love as often as possible. I want to give my daddy as many laughs as possible, even when he doesn’t know who I am. I want to help anyone who comes across my path that needs help. I want to play music and put music together to pass down. I want to paint and draw and write for my art to continue and encourage others to do or try to do so or borrow my art. I want passion in life to match the renewed passion I feel, new breath in my lungs, new skip in my step. I will not wither quietly. I will honor those I love, the living and the passed, by living as fully as I can. It is for those of us who remain to tend to the living and we ourslves live. We mourn, yes. We will miss these extraordinary people, supporters, friends, confidants, it will hurt to not have them to share life with. But. We will honor their memory best by carrying on their memory to another generation, by sharing their story and mostly by living a full rich life they would be honored by.