I’ve always loved telling stories. My favorite is the one where I sent the wrong letter to the right missionary. We were married the next summer. I attended LDS Business College where I earned an Associate’s in Computer Technology and Brigham Young University where I should have majored in English. I live in a small town nestled in the heart of the Appalachians. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found baking cookies, going to the movies, helping with the homework or catching fireflies with my handsome husband and four adorable children.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
A lot of thoughts have been swirling in my heard lately. As most of you know, my dad isn't doing well. I've been coming down to the farm as often as I can. And as I lay here, the watchguard of the night, listening to him cry out, I wanted to share some thoughts.
I debated about whether to do this, as it is a very personal thing--to lose someone you love dearly. Not to be confused with losing someone you admire, or sort of love. It's very different. This will be the first time I've had to be separated from someone so entwined in my life. I've never been more thankful than I am this Easter weekend, that 2012 years ago, the Savior atoned for out sins, died and was resurrected again. Because of Him, when my dad goes, this really will be just a separation. I know that.
He slept the entire day yesterday. And when I say that, I mean the entire day. We sat him down in his lazyboy after he'd had his breakfast consisting of one mug of sugar free hot chocolate and we did not move him again until nine o'clock last night. I'm sure he remembers nothing in between. There were times when he'd open his eyes for about ten seconds, and for maybe two of those seconds he might make eye contact. It took three of us to get him to the bathroom and then into bed.
I was here last weekend. Up until that point I thought I was dealing with this pretty well. I've known, as everyone does, that eventually I'd have to face losing a parent, and I thought I'd reconciled myself to what that meant. But I don't think this is something you can possibly comprehend until you're in that moment, nor do I think everyone's experience is the same.
Saturday night, while all the guys were off at priesthood session, it was time for Mom to put Dad to bed. He was so exhausted it took all his effort to baby-step it to the bedroom, with me supporting him one side and Mom on the other. When he sat down on that bed, I'd never seen him so beat and plain uncomfortable. I felt so bad for him, i crawled up in the bed beside him and held his shivering hand. He looked at me with these eyes I'd never seen before. Eyes that said, I'm still here, but I'm already gone. And I cried like a baby.
"Don't cry," he said as tears welled in his own eyes.
I told him he didn't need to cry just because I was. Mom came in and asked me if I wanted to sleep there all night. Dad told me I was welcome.
I wiped my tears and said, "No, I just wanted to love on him for a bit."
"Love me for as long as you want," he said, his hand gripping mine tightly.
"I'll love you forever," I said.
I will. I'll love you forever, Dad. And I'm so thankful I'll have the chance.