I just miss you.
I don’t have much else to say.
If you want to stop reading now, please know only that I miss you. (I know down deep you think all this grieving is emo and tedious.)
When I listen to a new band or see a new country or hear a new joke , I want you to be there to experience it.
And to see the girls, I always want you to see your girls.
No, it doesn’t matter anymore that I’m devastated that you’re gone. I can bear that. I just want you to feel it and experience more life – see things change. You deserved that. And you didn’t get it.
2005 at BCDC. Image supplied.
It’s been three years today since you flat-lined, your bed encircled by your mom and sisters and daughters, as I held your small hand. (You had such small hands and feet. ) Those last days and hours were precious, but you were long gone by that point. Thank you for letting go. We couldn’t have handled more. You died like you lived: fast and hard.
Only much later did I realize my grief started long before the day you died. I lost you as my companion, friend and equal, years earlier. Cancer is cunning and surreptitious. It took us, before it took you.
It denied us the equal footing needed for a normal relationship and you the chance to be whole. At least as early as 2010, and maybe sooner, I was taking care of you emotionally and physically, as if you were a dependent.
You fucking hated that. I know. But you let me. Thank you for that privilege. Toward the end, as I was giving you my final goodbye, you said “you are the only person I could let love me.” It’s an honor I carry forever, and a debt I owed you for struggling with me for so long.
And I was so powerless anyway. I still feel guilty about the time we were coming back from Africa the year you died. I begged the flight attendant to let you sleep on the floor under our airline seats but he said it was against the rules. You writhed in pain from the cancer entering your bones. We both knew what it was, but we didn’t want the girls to know, so I didn’t stand up to him and protect you. You suffered.
Watching TV – 2007. Image supplied.
Sometimes I even wonder if you knew even earlier that you would die so young? Subconsciously? You were always prescient of your own mortality. It’s what made you so non-judgmental and patient. Did you know? Or was it just PTSD fear, having come so close to death that night in the car crash when you were 22?
That event caused you to have a dark side – not evil, just cynical. It wasn’t easy for you to want to be a parent – to find the will to be so responsible for someone else. I remember the day Emma was born, and you held her, mystified and teary, saying “Yesterday I didn’t want to be a parent, and today I would throw myself in front of a bus for this tiny sack of skin and bones.”
You were a patient mom. Lily can’t get enough hearing about they way you carried her for two years – pretty much non-stop. I don’t think you complained once about that. You just held her constantly. I’m not sure I even noticed until years later when you pointed it out, matter-of-factly. You never did look for credit or thanks, just acceptance (and a wide berth.)
Within hours of her passing, Oct 18th 2012. Image supplied.
Often we joke about the way Lily would beg ‘up, up. up’ or for her ‘tippy tup’ and Emma would bark orders at Lily, a Nazi Disney Princess. “LILY YOU ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! I’m Cinderella and YOU are the fairy godmother.” Lily and I laughed the other day about that horrible zebra kids couch they had. They watched Disney movies endlessly as we tried to build a little household. And then, cancer.