You know, it's funny (and not in the ha ha way).
I've known many a person to pass away (coming from a large extended family). And while grief is grief, and mourning is mourning, "they" say reality doesn't set in until the funeral's over and the out of town company's left.
When you're left alone with a new routine.
Which is what my family is dealing with in my father, post-stroke. Back during that miserable two months (I look at the blog posts and have to laugh, because humor was the only thing that kept me going) and I wish someone would have warned me.
There would be a day when simply seeing a recipe for chicken and dumplings on Pinterest that would make me cry. My father always made the best c'n'd, by hand...and why didn't I sit in the kitchen and watch? Make him write that down?
Why didn't someone tell me about the fact that whenever he is tired and enunciates slowly your body goes on high alert...and you're ready to go to church, but stay home because the two episodes before happened on Sunday mornings and you will not risk a third.
Why didn't someone warn me that all the silly teasing that once drove me crazy is something I would happily give my right arm for now? That his silence denotes that the mind is deteriorating, and the once quick wit is now slowing.
One of my favorite authors broached this subject in a book. She found an essay that sums up everything perfectly: "Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world your return." Mary Jean Irion
(To read the entire essay, go here .)
My family is learning a new routine. One that is gaining more familiarity...but I still miss the old one.
Yesterday we celebrated my father's 73rd birthday. He didn't want much...so we went out to eat at a buffet. I was leaving work, so I met my parents at the restaurant. As we were walking in, Daddy said to Mama, "Tell 'em you've got two seniors, and one who looks like one."
As I pretended to be insulted, my heart was quietly overjoyed...for a quick moment, we had the old routine. And it was good. So very good.