Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Further and Closer

Today while I was cleaning out Ben and Sam's colouring box and going through a big stack of pictures that they've drawn I found this picture: Dad and Ben made it together. I remember.

I remember googling pictures of race cars for them to copy. Red race cars. Of course. I remember Dad helping Ben draw it, and I remember them colouring it together.
I remember the sound of them, just the ordinary sound of the two of them together. I wonder when I will stop finding things like that picture. I'm scared of the day I will stop finding things.

Because every day that goes by without things like that, without Dad... I hate that. I hate knowing that I won't see him tomorrow. That he won't colour with Ben this week or next week or the week after. There won't be any new pictures.


And I today I thought about ten years from now.

I don't know where I'll be ten years from now but I can tell you one thing, in ten years I won't have seen my dad for ten years. Right now I feel like I can't make it that long. But I will. And I hate that a little. I hate every day that goes by, every week, every month, and I know I'll hate every year. Oh, not all of it, of course not all of it, just the part that is ten years further away from him. Just the part that's ten years away from the last time he drew a picture with Ben.


So I'm sobbing, and physically aching inside, and it's hard to catch my breath, and I miss him so much I feel like I could die, and I tell myself the only thing that makes it even a little better... Every minute and day is one minute and day further from Dad, but it's one minute and day closer to him too. Every day, every week, every month and year that I make it through without him, is one day closer to walking into his arms again, to feeling his hand cupping the back of my head again, to hearing him call me Rebekah again. And I'm closer to having all these minutes and days and years mean nothing compared to the minutes and days and years we have ahead of us.


I tell myself that. And sometimes it helps. And sometimes it doesn't.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday

What is it about Mondays that sucks, even if you don't have to get up in the morning and go to a real job? Blah.

All I can think about today is booking a room in a hotel and staying there for a week or so. I'm not in the mood to do the things I usually do. At least if it was nice out I could sit outside in our sun-room and watch Sam play on the swings. That would be different. But I'm done with being stuck in this house. I think I may take on the grocery shopping all by myself (not counting Hannah and Sam, who will have to come with) this afternoon. That would be different...

I wonder if I gave Sam some gravol if he would nap this afternoon and I could lie in bed with a book? I could do that... 'Cause that would definitely be different and super fun.

(Probably drugging the children just so I can nap would be considered bad parenting though hey?)

Don't worry. I'll think of something.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sorry

Dear Dad,

I was looking at some pictures from the year you first got sick and remembering how I felt some of those days, and I'm so sorry.

Some of those days I remember feeling frustrated. Frustrated that you wouldn't come along, or frustrated that we had to go home early because your back hurt... Never really frustrated with you, but sometimes it must have felt like that to you, when I would try to convince you to come, or try to drag things out when it was time to go. Of course it wasn't you I was frustrated at, it was stupid cancer, and how it was changing everything.

I know sometimes I wished you could just somehow be like you used to be, and I'm so sorry if that ever made you feel like I thought you weren't trying hard enough. Because I know you tried.

I think about the day before you died a lot. I think about that night we rushed to the hospital because you were bleeding, and I think about the morning you said you were tired of fighting. And I'm sorry for what I said then. I'm so sorry I asked you to keep trying. I think about the way your voice sounded when you told me, "I'm trying." And I think about you telling us over and over how sorry YOU were. I hate that you felt that you needed to tell us that. I hate the idea that I made you feel like you weren't doing enough, and if I could take back any words I ever said to you it would be those ones.

Because all those days that you fought through the pain and the weakness to go places and do things with us and for us. All those long nights when you couldn't sleep. You fought so hard for so long and never gave up till that one night, and even then you changed your mind and said you would fight. For us. I know it was for us.

I'm a selfish girl who got more than I ever deserved and still wanted more.
You tried for us with everything you had, and I'm sorry that I asked you to try even harder. I hope you know that. I hope you knew it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warm Fuzzy

I'm holding Ben on the couch. He's crying because Sam fell on him, and bumped the sucker in his mouth, and hurt "his neck".

Me: You smell like the fire Benny.
Ben: I do?
Me: Yup. See? Smell my hair. I bet it smells like fire too.
(Ben smells my hair.)
Ben: It doesn't. It just smells like it always smells.
Me: It does? What does my hair smell like?
Ben: Like flowers.

And I melt a little. If he only knew, he could ask me for anything right now, and I'd get it for him. Just to make him as happy as he makes me.

Sing With Me Now...

There are some songs that stick in your mind from your childhood, and when you hear them again, it's like you're right back there. Here's one that's been running (heh heh) through my head all day...

When you're sliding into home,
And your pants are filled with foam.
Diarrhea (pfft pfft), diarrhea (pfft pfft).

Ah, takes me right back to hanging out in the playhouse with Doft and Johnny and Mikey, and we'd try to remember all the verses, but when we couldn't we made up our own.

I've been amusing myself during numerous diaper changes over the last day or so, by making up some new verses:

When you're house smells like a diaper,
Cause your baby's bowels are hyper.
Diarrhea (pfft pfft), diarrhea (pfft pfft).

When you're sitting on the potter,
And it's squirting out like water.
Diarrhea (pfft pfft), diarrhea (pfft pfft).

Which quickly inspired:

When you're duelling Harry Potter,
And you're hit with Ava Poowater.
Diarrhea (pfft pfft), diarrhea (pfft pfft).

Wanna join in? Let's see who can make me spit my drink all over my keyboard. Come on. You know you want to. You know you have one percolating up there in the childish part of your brain and it's clamouring to be let out. Let it out. Because:

You don't want to go again,
But it's better out than in.
Diarrhea (pfft pfft), diarrhea (pfft pfft).

Friday, April 09, 2010

Still

Half a year. Half a year without my dad. Before this happened if I knew someone who lost someone close I would have thought a half a year was a long time in the world of grief. But it's not really. I would have thought by now that a person would be starting, at least starting, to be okay. I didn't realize that this first year is not really about being okay. It's about just making it through. Or at least, it is for a lot of people. I know I'm not the only one.

It's still just about that, just making it through... Just the way it was all those days he was sick and in pain, all those days we were scared, and those days in the hospital in Seattle, and then the days getting home and getting things ready, and the day of his funeral, and all the long days after that. I assume at some point it becomes more than just making it through, but right now, it's mostly still just that.


I try to pretend otherwise, to myself, and to other people. I feel like I'm letting him down, I'm letting everyone down with my inability to "move on", to be able to be thankful for what we had without feeling resentful that it's gone. I feel like if people know how I really am, they'll think I'm wallowing, or trying to get attention, or being a drama queen, but if I'm honest, I haven't made very much progress towards being okay. I'm still just getting by. I'm still a lot of things...

I still can't believe all of this happened. I really can't.
I still think of Dad every hour of every day.
I still have trouble sleeping at night.
I still count all the firsts, and seconds and thirds without him.
I still find little reminders of him when I least expect them, and they still hurt.
I still find myself replaying his last days with us over and over.
I still feel like there must be a way to fix this.
I still picture him in the places he used to be.
I still touch things he touched just to feel closer to him.
I still hurt like we lost him yesterday, sometimes more.

And I still miss him more with every minute that passes without being with him, talking to him, fighting with him, teasing him, laughing with him, hugging him.

I still cry every day.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dear Dad,

Three years ago... All of this was really starting. The start of the end. All of the fear and pain was really taking hold of our lives. And my worst nightmare was that we only had you for a few more years. And that's all we had.

And all I can think about lately is what we were doing last year at this time. I think about all the hope. I think about Hannah still waiting to be born, and you with treatments ahead of you, scary, but hopeful.
I constantly think about you putting Ben's bike together and walking beside him while he rode it for the first time. Every time I look out my front windows I think about that, I can almost see you out there, especially now that the snow is gone. And when I sit on my couch I think about you sitting in the empty spot beside me... Sometimes I think of you sitting here with Hannah asleep on your chest while you hum to her, and sometimes I think of the very last time you sat here... Eating popsicles with Sammy. All of us laughing and so happy. I think about watching you drive away from my house that day. I think about watching your car turn the corner and wondering when the next time would be that you would come, and then telling myself not to be so morbid. You'd be back. You'd be back here for sure.

And then I try really hard not to think of the last day I saw you in Martensville, because I know if I do I will end up thinking about Seattle.

So I end up thinking about what you had planned for this year. What all of us had planned...
I think about you starting to feel better this spring. I think about booking a campsite for us to camp in this summer, and I think about you taking the boys fishing. When I feel sad about that I am so glad for that day at the Forrestry Farm, for that one fish you caught, and for all the "crabs" the boys caught. I think about the Thresherman's show here in Yorkton. I think about that a lot actually. I wonder if I will be able to go there again now that I can't go with you. I think about getting you to take me to where grampa grew up. I wanted to do that this summer with you and now I can't, I lost my chance to go with grampa and now I lost my chance to go with you. I think about you planting your cucumbers on May long weekend. I think about going to garage sales with you and Ben. I think about seeing you this Easter. I think about you taking Hannah's tiny little hands in yours, and putting her tiny little feet on yours, and watching you dance with her and sing "Did You Ever See a Lassie."

I try not to Dad. I do. But every time I stop. Every time. Every time I stop, I start.

I heard a song I used to love today, it used to make me feel so happy. Like everything was right with my world. Like I was surrounded by God's love, and safe, and happy. And today that song made me so sad. Because I can't get there anymore. No matter how hard I try, I can't feel completely happy. Because there is a huge gaping hole where you should be and I don't feel completely anything anymore.

And our family feels so wrong without you. It does.

Last night I dreamed that they found a cure for your cancer. I dreamed they were managed to resuscitate you, and that you were having new treatments that we were hoping would work. I dreamed that I was so happy, because there was still a chance for a miracle. And for the first time in forever I woke up with that hope still lingering. Usually, there's no reason for me to remind myself that you're gone. It's always there. Awake. Asleep. I know. I can't forget, even for a second. But this morning I woke up confused by how real my dream felt, and I had to remind myself. I had to explain everything to myself, about how you got sick, and then sicker, and how you died, and how we had your funeral and buried you, and how it's too late now, no matter what, and oh, it hurt to tell myself those things Dad.

So I've rushed around and stayed busy so I don't stop and then start. But now I have, and I can't seem to stop again.

Stop wishing. Stop replaying. Stop this aching.

Really, I suppose I don't need to say all this, because it all just really means one thing: I miss you so much.