Thursday, September 05, 2019

Closure: Part 2

After moving away, I had to grieve the change in not being there. It felt like the South didn't get me and my cozy-loving self when I preferred mountains over beaches, snow over summer and soup over shrimp. I didn't know what grits were or how to fix okra!

These years brought transition and I still got Colorado time in a different way. Once all three of our children were born, we spent 1-2 months a year there creating all sorts of memories together.

November of 2008 changed things again as a cancer diagnosis entered our world and our vocabulary grew to know words like port, infusion, chemo, radiation and eventually hospice and an understanding of end-of-life care.

Ten grueling years later, on a quiet December night - Dad entered his eternal rest able to breathe freely, run joyfully and experience the heavenly beauty of Jesus. I had already crawled into bed that night but I was still awake and reading in the room next door. I remember feeling such incredible peace and lightness and looking back, I am fully convinced that this is the time when Dad when to Heaven though we didn't really know it at the time. Snowflakes began to gently waft through the sky, a reminder of God's goodness as our kids had been desperately hoping for snow and now got what they called their "Pepaw-snow".

Tonight, seven months have passed and six of those I really haven't felt much of anything. Perhaps pressing my emotions down for ten years has made it hard to let them rise and bubble up now. You can't keep saying a final goodbye for years without going numb can you? I couldn't.

Then one sticky, summer, southern night we were invited to a local talent show downtown at the waterfront park. Chairs and blankets littered the grass, a breeze gently lifted across the water and brought a sigh of relief and the sun painted the sky with cotton candy watercolors.

A group of half a dozen teens all dressed in black bravely took their place front and center stage. Their music started and they began to use sign language to interpret the words in the song. Tears flowed and then faster as I remember how my Dad loved to sign to songs too. Something shifted that night and the numbness started to thaw. For the first time in months, no years maybe, I began to feel. And once the tears came, they never wanted to stop.

To be continued ...

1 comment:

Mom said...

Dear sweet daughter, these posts on closure have brought tears to my eyes more than once - the memories, the emotions, the grief. I'm looking forward to our time together here in a few weeks. (The jar of "Pepaw-snow" is still in the freezer.) Love you!!