Today was a whirlwind. It still is. It is not over. The next few weeks.....months.....years.... they're all going to be difficult. I had one of those life-changing events about 4 hours ago. My dad died tonight.
It was kind of a 3 hour drama that unfolded.
In the past, my mom has texted me that it is "important" or "urgent," and my immediate thought was that someone passed away. But, it may have been that we were out of milk, the phone bill was due, or something that wasn't important or urgent to me.
What happened after I got "that phone call" was a tornado. Every hour, the news got worse and worse. It went from "Your father is in the hospital with stroke symptoms" to "You need to get home as soon as you can. It's not good." Then when I'm 10 minutes into my trip... praying and begging and asking God to please not take him until I get to see him (even if for one second)... I get a phone call from my mom. He's gone. My father is gone. My daddy- the one who used to come home everyday from work smelling like a mixture of sweat and hard work- he is not alive anymore.
Am I angry with God for allowing my father to pass away? The last time I saw my father was not a pleasant experience. I stopped speaking to him, wrote a song that has helped me heal, and just expected that God would help us resolve our issues in His time. I called him in October on his birthday, which was a big step for me.... then we spoke twice in the past month, which I now count a huge blessing.
My dad is dead. He will never get to see me make something of myself. I will never have another chance to make him proud of me. He will not get to meet my husband, or walk me down the isle or meet my grandkids. My father is gone.
I had a secret dream that my parents, who divorced in 2000, would come to their senses and decide to change for the better and get back together so that our family could be complete again. My parents will never get back together. I will never see that happen. I will never see my parents in the same room again.
I have struggled my whole life wonderng if my dad loved me. People say he did. He says he did. But, I have always struggled knowing that it is true. I expected that we would spend time together at some point and I would finally feel it... maybe the way he hugged me or spoke to me or looked at me. I wanted to finally feel it. I will never have that moment. I know he tried. I know he did his best. I know he had a lot of pain in his life that prevented him from being who I needed him to be sometimes. I know we had our quarrels and differences that made that love more and more strained.
Maybe I expected too much out of him. Maybe I was demanding perfection of a man who was like me: flawed, insecure, and unsure of how to show his love to family.
I was praying tonight and asking God, "What am I feeling? Am I sad? Is my heart truly broken? Am I devestated? Am I depressed? Do I feel guilt? Do I feel sorrow? Tell me what I'm feeling- Because I do not know. I have never felt this way before and I can not pinpoint one single word to describe what I am feeling."
Then a phrase came out of my mouth that summed it up: "But... I wasn't done with him...."
That is exactly how I am feeling. I have no regrets. My relationship with my father was what it was. It wasn't perfect. We hadn't spoken in almost a year and a half. But, the fact that we spoke three times in just two months was monumental for us. We were going somewhere.
I had plans for my relationship with my father. I knew things weren't going to be perfect. I knew I would probably still be hurt by him and he by me. But, we were making progress. Maybe next time when I came home, we could get dinner together. Maybe we could sit down and just practice looking at each other. Maybe I would let him hug me and not let it hurt my heart. Maybe next time I dated someone seriously, I would introduce them to my dad. Maybe he would be part of my wedding if and when I got married. Maybe....maybe...maybe...
I had plans.
And what I feel right now (among the sorrow, sadness, and pain) is that feeling when someone interrupts you when you are at a climactic point of a story or when you are down to the last bite of dessert and the waiter takes your plate without asking or when you are taking an exam the the professor tells everyone, "Pencils down, please!" I don't feel regret. I don't feel guilt. But I am just saying to God, "But.... I wasn't done with him yet."