Saturday, July 23, 2022

Three Minute Resurrection

     Almost at the two-year mark for when my dad suddenly became seriously ill. I’m not sure what I expected at this point. I suppose I hoped to be less surprised, less shocked, and less disappointed by the turn of events, and then by how everything unraveled in such a devastating fashion.

    As I see memories come up in my feed, from just over two years ago, just before the bottom dropped out of everything, I am so grateful that I had no idea what was coming. I am slowly sorting it out and beginning to accept that nothing could have changed the outcome. Maybe it could have been slowed, or prolonged, but the outcome would have ended the same. This is progress. I still don’t always believe these truths, though. Someday I hope to embrace this completely.

    There are still plenty of days where I hope for a shift of time and space. Some days I still secretly hope that the outcomes I wanted will suddenly transpire. That has always been one of my main coping mechanisms, spending a good portion of my days residing in fantasy-land.

    Happily, my dad has one cousin that is still alive. She is named after their grandfather the same as my dad. She recently turned 89. I was messaging her and her husband, sending birthday greetings and wishes to her. I asked her if she would write down memories from her childhood, whether just her own or ones that involved my dad as well.

    She answered me right away, telling the story of when their own grandmother had died. She was fourteen, my dad’s brother was ten, and my dad was seven at the time. As was the tradition at that time, the wake and the funeral took place in their grandparents’ house. The three children were tasked with walking to the front, where their grandmother’s body was in her open casket, and they had a corsage that they were to put on her, the oldest cousin, Wilma, being the one to pin it on their grandmother’s lapel.

    As the three children solemnly walked to the front, my dad, the sweet seven year old, leaned over and whispered to his older cousin to be sure to be careful and not stick grandma with the pin.

    This made me laugh out loud. My dad always had that sweet nature, not wanting anyone to be hurt. It also reminded me of my own struggles at age seven in trying to understand what death meant, what it meant to be dead. I had a little friend that died in an accident when I was five, and at age seven I still would wake up in the night and call for my mother, asking questions about why my friend died, and what it really means to be dead.

    In  hearing this new to me story, for a few brief minutes my dad was alive again.