Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Just the other day I was listening to the radio driving along in my car and the song "Say What You Need to Say"  by Jon Mayer came on.  Now I am not a Jon Mayer fan but this song speaks to me.  Although I haven't yet seen the movie "Bucket List"  I know what the premise is and this song is so very fitting.  

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.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

What a brilliant post. a virtual hug to you.