Today is the first anniversary of Dad's passing away. We didn't speak of
it at home; I didn't want to put it in Mom's mind, then leave her alone
while I worked all day. However, though I wasn't exactly sad, I did think
of it off and on throughout the day. My heart was heavy, but my
thoughts were mostly content, feeling like he was approving, and proud of
how we are doing.
It took awhile, but Mom has mostly come out of her depression, the
missing of her 65 year companion. Yeah, he died the day after their
anniversary. There were times that I didn't want to leave mom; us girls
had to make Mom promise not to take the easy way out; we are not ready
to lose her, too. However, she could pull herself out of the sorrow to
enjoy when family came over; I wish there could have been more of that.
I am sadly lacking as a companion. Grief makes me uncomfortable in
other people. So the past year has seen me sitting on my computer when
I am not working; or teaching myself how to paint. Quiet for the most
part while Mom watched tv or read her book or even sat at her own
We have had to convince Mom that since she is sticking around, she
needed a new wheel chair. She could also use a hearing aid. If you come
and see her, you will find she laughs in all of the appropriate places,
smiles and nods her head, but if she attempts to join the conversation she
is sometimes hilariously out of sinque. Movies are watched with closed
captioning. But I have noticed she is enjoying watching the birds, playing
with her great-grandchildren; she will even take a turn at doing the dishes.
Time plays tricks on us; is seems that it was no more than 3 months ago
that he died. So much has happened to our family in that time: weddings,
babies, engagements, separations and growth. All of us grow. We suck it
up and do the next thing; we stretch and like (mostly) the way we have
For example, Anna has created a world in which she can take a photo and
make someone very excited with what she can do with it. She has even
begun to see an income in this creativity. Darcie is another one who has
been able to take an idea and run with it; the recipients of her efforts
are enthusiastic. The thought that both of these girls can generate an
income from something they love doing is wonderful. Or, look at Becki
going back to school to learn how to do better at the thing she loves most
outside her family. Watching her develop (pun, in case you didn't catch it)
has been awesome.
Grandpa would be proud. He would have opened his arms to Nick's new
daughter, and Darcie's new son. He always found joy in his family. But
he wouldn't have pulled punches in telling each of us when he thought we
could do better.
So on that note, I am going to look at myself and see what it is that I can
do better. I am going to acknowledge to myself when I am 'a good boy';
I am going to give myself permission to start living outside the box. There
are things that I want to do and places I want to see. The same effort I
encourage in others also needs to be directed to myself. I need to stop
sitting back and watching the rest of my family live and begin to take
part, take action. The choices I have made have turned into
commitments, but that doesn't mean I cannot make this commitment to
myself. The only chains around me are the ones I have in love placed
there myself. Dad never would have wanted me to not love my life, would
have encouraged me to be happy; find that something that gives me joy.
What would he have asked of you?