Monthly Archives: September 2012

“two weeks, two days” by my mom.

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Please excuse me if the entry title is not correct. These last few weeks have flown by and also seemed like a lifetime. They have been like walking through jello, being in an altered state, dazed, like what you see in movies when people are intoxicated or drugged. There have been times of precise alertness and times of confusion and memory lag. I go to the freezer to get something from the pantry. I go from the front of the house to the office in the back and wonder what I am there for. It takes me easily three times as long to accomplish any task.

There is an incredible amount of paper work and telephone calls after someone dies. Although we had prepared as best we knew how, there are still many, many loose ends to tie up. And I’m doing this on two or less cylinders. Thankfully, I have very good friends in place who are walking with me, talking me through all of this and reminding me of conversations with bankers, employers, lawyers, etc. They also are making sure I eat and check up on my sleep schedule. What do people do when they have to face this without dear friends and Jesus? I can’t imagine!

Lily is a comfort even as she grieves. She is mirroring all of the feelings I’m experiencing. Joy: She exultantly greets Papa in the morning on the patio, as she looks at the clouds. “Hi Papa! Good morning!” Sorrow: she mimics me as I sob or gasp for breath. After a few mimics, it becomes comic relief and I have to laugh. She expresses anger, “I don’t like Papa!” When I ask why, she says, “He is happy and we are sad!” She has her own grief. After watching the video from the service: the first time she laughed and pointed out everyone: “there’s Papa when he was young! There’s Papa when he was a baby! There’s me! There’s Paige, etc.” Second time through, same response. She wanted to watch a third time and when I said no, because she needed to eat breakfast, she cried inconsolably. I relented and let her watch a third time and she sat silently and cried silently. Afterward I hugged her for a long time.

This is a continuation of the journey Wayne and I started when he was first diagnosed. Only this leg of the trip, I’m travelling without my life partner. People use the term surreal. I’m going to have to look that word up.

One thing I am happy about: I dearly wanted to travel with Wayne right up to the door that separates earth and eternity. God granted me that desire. I can rest in knowing we fulfilled our vows, “till death do us part.” Thanks be to God.

two weeks ago, at this moment in time

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Daddy, it’s been two weeks since you went home to heaven. It’s been two weeks of my being stunned, sad and missing you so much. Last night was hard, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I fell asleep in Scott’s arms. I told you I was going to be okay. I told you I would make him take care of me. He is dad, he is.

This morning I was up and about but was slammed with tiredness and sadness. Again I lay in Scott’s arms, sobbing, and then quietly sleeping. I had the strangest dream. I saw you in that dream. You were driving me and a few others into a city where I would need my I.D. in order to be accepted. You knew the way.

I know dreams are weird, but I also know this dream meant something. You have gone before me. You know the way. You have shown me the way. I do need a “pass” of sorts, in that I need my name in the Lambs Book of Life in order to go into that city. We all need someone to show us the way. We all have a God shaped hole in our hearts but we also all need someone to tell us, to show us and to LOVE us even in our icky sticky sin.

You were that for me dad. Thank you for loving me, thank you for being my friend AND my father. Thank you for praying for me and for praying for Scott, praying that he would take care of me.    He is.

Two weeks ago, I held your head in my hands, I dropped big fat tears on your face and chest. I pulled your oxygen  mask off with my hair (on accident) I searched and searched for your heart beat, for your pulse, for your breath. There was none. You were gone.

 

I’ve seen movies where the actress/actor kiss the “dead” and thought “why do that, don’t they know they are gone? It’s just a shell!”

But I kissed you. I kissed you and stroked your hair and told you how beautiful you are. I did that for an hour or more after the real you was long gone.  I fixed your hair and washed your body before you were wrapped up for the funeral home. Later I fixed your hair and did your make up. I know YOU weren’t there, but it was still the body that I loved. The daddy that I loved and that loved me for 39 years.

This is why I am somber, why today was hard. I knew, that just two weeks ago as Lauren was cleaning the room, and as the hospice nurse came for the last time, that THAT was my last day with you. Even though you didn’t wake up. Even though you only made noise when we cleaned you. I know now that that day, two weeks ago was my last day on earth with you. I know now that exactly two weeks ago this minute, mom said “tell me what time it is, I need to know when he passed” was the time we marked as your passing over into eternity. Oh dad I am so glad for YOU and so sad for us. So sad that we are all left with pieces and parts and quotes and memories and now we’ve got to put this puzzle back  together to honor you and more importantly honor our heavenly Father. I miss you dad. I miss you bad. But I will see you again. Not yet, not right this minute, but I will see you again.  We aren’t held by “till death do us part” like married folk are, like Scott and me. Daddies and their little girls and boys can be their little girls and boys even after this earth has passed away.

Until then, always your girl.

Paige

A week since you went home

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Dad,

It’s been a week since you left. What a busy week it was! It was busy with funeral plans and attending the viewing and funeral and burial. Three separate days of events. Sunday we could rest, in theory, but even Sunday was busy. Let me back up.

After the viewing we arrived home to find your little toy Poodle, Gibbs, quite disoriented. Something wasn’t quite right. Momma decided she and her sister Susan would go to the vet and get Gibbs checked out. They didn’t get back home until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Saturday was your funeral.

Your service was beautiful, the video momma made for you was just lovely. Everybody cried. You had about 270 folks at your funeral, give or take another 100. Everybody cried at one point or another. Lakia and Allison sang the song you wanted them to sing, and they did a great job. Gary, Darryl (all the way from Colorado) Bruce, Carole, Denise and Felton all shared what you meant to them, or read scriptures.

Once we were back home momma laid down and slept for a few hours. After being at the vet, and then emotionally drained from the funeral, she was exhausted. We thought Sunday would be a day of rest but that turned out a bit crazy too. You see some drunk driver came barreling down our street and slammed right upside Aunt Susan’s car, then proceeded to swerve up into the driveway. It seems they broke their axle and their front wheel came off into the yard. Dennis, your neighbor, saw it all happen (he was up early! ) and followed the drunk all the way out to Princess Anne, where the police caught up with him and arrested him. Susan had to get a rental and the tow truck came for their car. But the best part was that YOU had the foresight to install security cameras so we got to watch the crash over and over, from three different angles. What a welcome distraction to an otherwise very sad day!

Monday it was time to see you off to your  final resting place. We rode in the limos you ordered all the way out to your cemetery. The service was quick but very well done. You were buried with full military honors. Complete with a bugler and a gun salute. Your friend Chaplain Moore did your service, he did a great job and to your satisfaction did share the good news of Jesus with the small crowd in attendance.

 

After we arrived from your burial, your best friends stayed here and had lunch with Momma and us kids. They laughed and shared stories of you, shared of your desire to have relationships with your co-workers and not just be their supervisor. Mom said one fella had told her “Wayne was the only boss I had who wanted to go see a movie with me, just to be with me.” They all marveled at your desire to be friends to all these different people from all walks of life.

Over the weekend I heard a few people say after the funeral “wow, I really didn’t know him!” The National Guard guys didn’t know you were so involved in ministry, and the ministry folks didn’t know you were so involved in National Guard. Mom says that’s because you gave 100% to every single thing you did. I also think it’s because when you were with someone, it was all about THEM, not about you or your accomplishments or what you’ve been busy doing, but really about the one you were with at that exact moment.  Wow, what a person, to give their honest and full attention to hundreds of different people throughout your life, making each one feel loved and special.

I want to be like you when I grow up. Lots of people want to be like you when they grow up.

I love you daddy and miss you. I told you I was going to miss you but that I’d be okay. So far that’s been true. Even after you’ve gone you’re still showing me things and teaching me truths, slowly and in love. What a gift you are and how incredibly lucky I am to have had you for my earthly father.

Always your daughter,

Paige