Saturday, November 27, 2010

Resurfacing... I think

I am back in Rochester. Where I live. On the one hand, it feels so good to be home. On the other, coming home means heading into a full-fledged MN winter and coping with the reality of having no parents living.

Dad passed away at about 1:30 am on November 17. I couldn't help but notice, when I was holding Dad's hand at the Hospice Unit in the hospital and watching closely as he breathed, that it felt eerily similar to a previous night. Mom died in the middle of the night on the 16th (of June). I held her hand too.

The days that followed Dad's death and the funeral/visitation were all smooth events. The service itself was an authentic celebration of my Dad and all of his gifts to the lives of people around him. As I look back, I think he would be pleased and honored. Nancye, Dad's wife, and her family were involved, as well as loved ones from Dad's more extended history. It was a balanced representation of him. Nancye and I operate well together. Given her recent addition to my (and Dad's) life, being forced to make heavy and important and sometimes sensitive decisions in a unified way could had gone all shades of bad. But it didn't. This, among many other things, can be counted as an appreciated miracle.

And now we're back. And I've verbally expressed to everyone around me how much I look forward to re-engaging in all the day-to-day things I had been pulling back from: Getting back involved in orangizations I am apart of, actually responding to the preschool newletter about ways to volunteer, accepting invitations to do fun, social things with girlfriends, supporting the people I love, signing Sullivan and Jackson up for swim/soccer/gymnastic lessons, cleaning my house (oh, wait, I don't do that normally :), etc, etc.

The grief I anticipate experiencing in coming days/weeks/months will come in a package. I know this about myself, because I've been feeling it for 3 months, since I first learned of Dad's pancreatic cancer diagnosis. This season of life for me will be about grieving my Dad as an individual, for sure. But I know it will be coupled with the reality of moving forward on this planet with no living parents... of no grandparents for my kids on my side... doing what parents and grandparents do: sending anniversary cards, giving advice, checking in on us, giving thoughtful gifts, remembering special events, encouraging me, celebrating me, supporting me. Parents are one's number one fans. And now I must rely on the cheerleaders around me (read: SCOTT! and many others) for this kind of support. Thank that wonderful, always-present God for supplying me with some pretty kick-butt cheerleaders in my life. I've been left in good hands.

Thanks to all those who have expressed their love in recent weeks: flowers, cards, memorial donations, phone calls, emails, facebook comments, and the like. I know I will never be able to get all the thank you notes out... but let my thanks be sent out into cyber space at the very least in this format!