It’s interesting to go back and reread one’s own writing after a lapse of time has…well, elapsed. The previous post was written two days before my Dad was “rescued from cancer” as Jill Kelly recently posted on her Facebook page about a young man they had encountered. What a difference a year and a few months make.
“The first year is the toughest.” “The loss of the first parent is hard.” “The first holidays and occasions without your loved one will be difficult.” These are things I’ve heard before and even said to others. But, until you’ve actually lived it…there’s no comparison.
The hurt does dim a bit and the fond memories come floating back as opposed to flooding back alongside the searing pain of loss. I have felt a bit guilty about how much I miss him because he was 84, lived a full life (in so many senses of the word) and knew this was a possibility before going in for surgery. I kept trying to wrangle my emotions by thinking, “Knock it off, it’s not like he was taken from you in a car crash at 50” or similar thoughts. But, then, I realized, I’m grateful he has been “rescued from cancer” and is at peace without pain, cares or worries. He is resting peacefully, God willing.
His bride, my mother, on the other hand, still breaks down in tears when she speaks of him. But, ironically, dementia, Alzheimer’s, whatever you want to call it, has been a merciful companion for her in that she would be missing him all the more dreadfully and frequently if she didn’t have impaired memory capacity.
This dementia thing is positively remarkable. You think, again, that you understand it, and you do, in theory, but when a close family member gets it whoa, stop the presses…whole.different.story, man.
I find that gallows humor comes in handy in dealing with it. Because, in reality, we’re the ones dealing with it. Because my mom has already gotten mostly past the point of realizing she doesn’t remember, which is a blessing. So, she’ll rewrite some event in our collective history and my sisters and I laugh that she is now a fiction writer in her twilight years.
All this, I’m sure, is God’s way of making me realize the only certainty is Him.
Fitting and proper, I’d say, as Easter is about to dawn. Happy Easter, everyone!