I can go out for drinks. Great distraction. I can get a workout in. Keeps me busy. I can play with my kids. Necessary escape.
Writing is my way of unpacking. It’s my way of healing and dealing with things. If I wrote about my father’s death, it would be real. I wasn’t ready for that. This thing that came quick and took away someone with such a huge presence…it would be real.
A friend said he was looking forward to seeing what I could creatively birth from this pain. I’ve played with novel ideas and posted some poems on Instagram. I just truly feel like I’m in someone else’s body most times. My Daddy was diagnosed with lung cancer and he was gone two months later. Some days I still almost text him, then I realize he’s gone. It was surreal for everyone. We don’t even talk about it amongst ourselves. My paternal side faithfully does zoom calls and I can’t even sign in because I know his face won’t be one of the boxes on the screen. My skin hurts. I’ve learned to just walk around with a part of me hurting. To say I miss him would be a gross understatement. I even miss our arguments.
Today I rose before the sun. Prayed FIRST. I kissed all my kids and got going! I did two loads of laundry including blankets.
I took my two year old for a walk. I’ve been productive at work. I made it to my meeting on Teams on time. I ate my turkey egg and cheese on whole wheat. My bed is made. I cleared voicemails and paid some bills. I filled in my brows and put lip gloss on just to take my kids to school. I’m tackling potty training with my toddler again. I listened to a podcast on minimalism. I’m trying.
If I’m not giving up…then whether this was great writing or not, it still had to be posted. I have to write just to live. Just to get through this. I have to start somewhere. I’m going to miss my dad’s comments on my posts. He even printed a few and kept them in a folder near his desk. I’m going to miss that feeling of making him proud. Sleep. Xoxo
Our love went on like an unwatered plant. Without the sustenance needed to survive. I mourn the conversations we postponed, texts that should have been phone calls, the drinks we should have had laughs over. I miss the adolescent I knew and I pray for the woman I watched grow. I hold in my heart the spirit that could never die in any realm.
“Hey Daddy! What’s going on?” I couldn’t hide the excitement in my voice. I love hearing from my dad. “Pop’s gone to be with Jesus,” he said matter of factly.
He never was one for small talk.
All I could think to myself was, “Jesus who? Like…THE Jesus? ! Wait-are you trying to romantically say he’s. ..”
I cried. Snot dripped out of my nose. Broke down right there in the passenger seat of my car. My partner was at the wheel silent. He knew what happened from the one sided context clues. When I ended the conversation with my dad, he softly said ,”Babe, I’m so sorry.” I was too.
I was so sorry.
He was 92. Great life. Proud man. Accomplished. Veteran. Disciplined. I wasted so much time. I procrastinated so much. There were so many things I wanted him to be proud of. When someone lives that long you have this false sense of mortality. You forget who is truly in charge. You forget your days are numbered.
He was tall, handsome and he only spoke if he had something profound to say. He would always talk about his “good looking family.” He taught us to take care of one another. He absolutely adored his wife! It was deeper than love. It was what musicians sing about and what artists try to paint. It was what philosophers die trying to define.
I will miss trying to impress you and prove to you that I am as tough as my male cousins. I will miss trying to help with the family business. I will miss your sweet smile…it was so genuine. I know I couldn’t keep you here forever. I know I took you for granted.
I am so sorry. ..
…I didn’t get to say goodbye. I love you Papa Ben.
I am currently reading a business plan guide. In one of the chapters, the author asks, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I struggled with the answer. The arrogant side of me doesn’t think I’d fail at anything I genuinely attempted. In reality I can admit I’ve always wanted to write and FINISH a book. So why haven’t I done it? There’s so many things to consider. There are so many doubts I have never admitted I had. Who will read it? What will I write about? Depending on the subject matter, what qualifications do I need to prove that I am knowledgeable? How will I publish it? When will I have the time to write it? If I die, my readers will pick apart my words. They’ll construct invalid theories. They’ll think they have ascertained a base of who I am. They’ll be wrong.
Its hard to admit when you are afraid.
A week ago I lost a crucial segment of my circle of trust. My significant other lost his brother suddenly. This man was kind, friendly, humble, reliable, God-fearing, well read, and family oriented. He was one of the warmest people I have ever met. He was also one of the most complex people I have ever known. He would often ask me just one or two questions and then just sit back and listen to my tirade. I think that was his way of counseling. Like a therapist he would bait you with a question and the next thing you know, you’re on the couch delivering a monologue. There you are exerting brilliance that you rarely tap into. There you are grateful for a captive audience. I feel as though we were both always so grateful to converse with someone who truly wanted to hear what we had to say. What a privilege it is to be listened to. To feel important.
Tonight I drove through a neighborhood and looked at the houses. I looked at the white picket fences. I looked at the dog houses in the back yards. I looked at the family automobiles parked in the driveways. I looked at the lights flickering from the televisions that were probably arbitrarily entertaining a sleeping couple. I hope they fell asleep after telling one another about their day. I hope they fell asleep after making love.
People often say ” I want to spend my life with you.” Then we wait for some plan. Then we wait for a vision. I have missed out on a lot in my life because I was afraid. I didn’t commit to boxing because I was afraid of a severe injury or people saying I wasn’t good enough. I was afraid to travel because I didn’t want to be away from my loved ones. What are you afraid of? Trusting? Yes he could be cheating on you right now. He may also be thinking of you and conjuring up new ways to make you happy. What are you afraid of? Quitting a job and starting over? Yes Its a recession. Yes you may fail. You’re in good company! There’s thousands of people exactly where you are. They’re scraping their knees and getting up again. They’re trying. They’re fighting. They’re doing their best because life is happening right now.
I’m in good health…*knock on wood*
God forbid … but if anything should ever happen to me know this:
I LOVE being a mother. It is the most exhausting but rewarding feeling in the entire world! I LOVE love. God put Adam on this planet and he knew he couldn’t enjoy Eden without companionship. The man I want to spend my life with is unique and passionate. He is deeper than the core of the earth. I love writing. It clears all the cobwebs. It pours out of me. It is my drug. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am dissatisfied with my life in its current state but I will continue clawing my way to the existence I see fit for myself. I fear the dark. I have very few secrets. I get anxious when I am preparing to give a gift. I don’t want to be compared to another woman but it has probably already happened and it will happen again in the future. I want to feel indisputably beautiful…Every day. I am proud of my sister. She is the adolescent I never had the courage to be. I knew she would be special since the day she was born. I HATE working for other people. Yet, I have held every job imaginable (except for food services.) My father blessed me with an amazing childhood. My mother is the strongest woman I have ever met. My grandmother is the most selfless person I have ever met. I strive to be a conglomerate of the two. I cry a lot…and I don’t think its a sign of weakness. Its emptying out the sh*t of the day. Its regulation. That way you have room for tomorrow’s challenges.
That’s all I’ve got for now. That’s enough. That way…God forbid. ..you won’t have to come up with anything profound. That’s me in a nutshell minus favorite color or song. That’s me. Typing this on my phone with my kid sleeping on my lap. Typing with my night light on. Holding on to hope. Admittedly afraid.