As I listened to the words I practically knew by heart I couldn't help but tear up. I am pretty weepy these days. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Some believe that tears show our emotion and are better to get out than to stuff in. I spent most of my life stuffing them in which I do believe in part had a huge effect on my health (that is a topic for another blog).
With each word the tears streamed down my cheeks as I pulled up to a stop light hoping that they wouldn't cloud my vision. I thought about what I didn't have the chance to say to Paul. I didn't get to say "I love you" before he left that day. Had I known that it was the last time I would see him it would have been a no brainer. But I didn't. What we did say was stupid shit about who would take out the garbage. I lived for so many years after he died with anger at myself that I didn't say what I wish I had. That I didn't say what I wanted. I didn't say what was most important.
Now that I am faced with loss yet again I wonder if I have said all I need to say. This time with my dad. Pancreatic cancer is taking away his time here and although we don't know how much time is left I hope I have said what is important. The last time I saw him was on April 4th for his 60th birthday. I hesitated going and I hate admitting that to anyone, mostly myself. I have struggled so much and spent many years on the couch to deal with our relationship or lack there of. Having an alcoholic for a father was not in the plan but we don't get to choose. I have come to realize though through his illness, through my loss, and my own bout with cancer that which is most important. So I went for that birthday visit. It was difficult, sad, disturbing but I was able to say what I needed to say and so did he. I don't think either of us had planned it that way but I for one am glad for that at least. Things that we never said, things we never did.
He said "Next time around I will be a better dad"
I said "You did the best you could"
He said "No I didn't, I did what was best for me"
I don't really remember what happened directly after that. All I remember was thinking how much I will miss him. At that moment all the crap between us didn't matter. What did matter was making amends. (so 12 step of me to say. Too much al-anon)
I don't remember who hugged first, I think it was me.
He said "I love my little girl"
I said "I love you too"
As I hugged him, it felt foreign and comforting at the same time. A place it took us my whole life to get to I thought to myself as the tears began again, tears I could barely stop. I saw them in his eyes too, a place they never were....at least not in front of me.
I hate that these days I am waiting for "the call". The one I will get from his wife. The one I will never be ready to answer. The one I dread. But at least I know that we said it all.....and that will be of some comfort to me.