The knowledge has weighed heavy on me all day that the day before Thanksgiving last year is the day my Mamaw passed unexpectedly. It hadn’t been a full two years since dad passed, and here we were again, mourning.
My uncle followed shortly after, also unexpected in February, and my Papaw in March, just after the two year anniversary of my dad’s passing.
It’s been one person after another, and as the cold months set in, and the holidays upon us, I can’t help but fear the worst, and be a little sad. Our family is scattered this year, with no real landing spot to all get together. I think all of us kind of fear getting together too; there’s a lot of empty chairs.
Combined with my anxiousness and sadness, I was met with complications in my search for a vehicle today. I was given false hope yesterday. I can get financed, but not at the monthly payment I want. I’m an eternal optimist; rose colored glasses and all that. After being saddled for two years with this unreliable bitch, something has to go in my favor, right? I have a couple loose ends out there that are supposed to bring in results Friday. I’m also extremely impatient, and the uncertainty has me at a loss. I’m not giving up though. I will have a new to me vehicle this weekend, come hell or high water.
In the meantime, I’ve started prepping for dinner tomorrow. My kids will have a Thanksgiving. There’s an oreo pie, and jello because the kids require it for holiday meals. Vegetables are cut for the veggie tray, and I’m trying my hand at homemade stuffing this year. Not to mention the bird. The last time I cooked a turkey, dad guided me over the phone.
My cousin posted today about all the mourning, as well as my aunt. Unexpectedly I came across my father’s name on my Facebook feed and it jolted me. I stared at my phone a moment, shocked that after almost three years the pain can be just as sharp and cause my breath to catch just as painfully in my throat. I’ll never get used to the idea that he isn’t just a phone call away. In my mind he is eternally watching the news in his recliner. Ready to pick up the phone when I call and greet me in his slow joking way. I’ve known the greatest happiness in the world, holding my children for the first time. And I’ve known the greatest sadness in the world, having to soothe my brother and tell my Mamaw and Papaw that their son, my father, was dead. To pick up my phone to call him and reality slap me in the face that he isn’t there. I know that if I were to lose one of my kids that the pain of that would exceed this. But right now, there is nothing that compares to watching my Mamaw’s face crumble, hear the shock in my Papaw’s voice when he asked me to repeat myself because he was sure he heard wrong. Nothing that can compare to holding my older brother and calming his fears. Nothing that can compare to knowing that the only person who has ever fully understood me is physically gone from this earth.
I apologize for the bleak, sad picture I just painted. My mind is heavy with loss and uncertainty right now.
To turn it around, let me count a blessing or two.
I have amazing friends. While I don’t have my father, I have many people who have stepped up to help me make it through life without him. Namely Dorothy and Sophia and Grandma, doing little things to cheer me up and ease my burdens. There are many others, and you all have my thanks for the small kindnesses and the laughter you bring. A cup of over priced coffee, a ride to or from work, a shopping trip or lunch date, a borrowed book, or taking one or both of my hooligans so I can work or do something fun. Listening to me vent for many of your precious minutes because my life is often a shitshow and I gotta share it with someone or go crazy. I’ve known great sadness and a whole fuckton of loss. But I’ve also been blessed with a fuckton of great people along the way.
Count your blessings and not your losses. Too soon, your blessings could be your losses.