I lost my dad 6 weeks ago. He was here on Earth and gone so quickly. My heart is broken; broken in a way that will never heal. There is no length of time that can mend this, though I know that it has gotten easier to realize as the weeks have passed.
My dad was my rock. He was the person who made everything make sense. He was my supporter through everything I chose to do. He gave me strength and confidence. He loved me always and told me so.
There is so much about the situation that I have needed to talk through. Moments and memories that are both hauntingly beautiful and sad. Like the moment that I leaned down to kiss my dad in that hospital bed and say "I love you" to which he responded, "You don't have to say that." I could have cried and told him that I knew I didn't have to, I wanted to - his words: "I know you do. You don't have to say it." Cue the tears. The pride that hit me when he apologized for being sick and feeling like he let me down-yes, pride; my father loved his family so much that he was hurting for us instead of himself. Or the moment when he looked me in the eyes and asked "Why?" - I couldn't answer why this happened to him, I could only kiss him and tell him that I didn't know but that I wished I could fix it. Finally, the moment when he knew his life was ending and he was crying, unable to speak and all I could say was "It's okay, Daddy. It's okay. I love you."
Two and a half months after his diagnosis of Lymphoma, we lost him. I am blessed to have been able to go to our hometown and see him before he was gone. But, I am angry at myself for not getting to see him more. I am angry at myself for wanting so badly to move away from home and start a life, knowing it would be years before we could settle in a place of our choosing. Angry that he was proud of me for it, proud that I built a life with my husband and pursued our dreams. I am struggling with the guilt that I should have been better, tried harder, done more. I am wrestling resentment that my husband's career is what pulled us away; I know it's not his fault but grief is a difficult thing, there's too much to process, too many what-ifs.
To top it all off, in the middle of my father's last weeks on this Earth, we find out we're PCSing. To a place that is incredibly far from home and nowhere I ever wanted to live. I am trying to find the positives in this duty station and hold fast in my belief that my life happens for a reason. But, I am crumbling under the weight of it all. Thankfully, I have great friends that have given me an ear (and shoulder) as I wade through this. I can continue to make my dad proud, I know it, I have never quit before and don't plan to start.
*If you have read all of this, thank you. It is my heart right now in print, it doesn't get more real than that.