Oh what a week!!!! You know there’s hours, days, weeks, etc that life is normal. And it’s been that way since Easter. I go about doing the daily tasks needed to make this family run. Work, school, football practice, dinners, homework, laundry, cleaning, buying new cars, etc. I laugh, have fun, get mad, have PMS, sleep, and actually can FEEL again! I can’t say that a day goes by that I don’t think about you or have a moment of loneliness or reflection. However, I am past the point of wondering “how on earth do I wake up in a world that my daddy isn’t in and make life happen without feeling angry, hollow and sad.” And, there’s a part of me that feels guilty that I’m past that.
Oh, I know, time heals, and it’s all part of the grieving process. I recall you telling me in 1986, as we sat in the front seat of the white Oldsmobile, that you had developed feelings for Nancy. You were struggling because there was a large part of you that felt like you were cheating on Mom. I remember a time Nancy and I went out for the day, and we had a great time . . . .. and I kind of liked her. I laid in bed that night crying and asking Mom to forgive me for letting someone else “in” like that. The result was that special dream I had (that I’ve shared with you, but won’t with the world at this time)….. and it made it ok for you to marry her.
That’s how I’ve kind-of felt the last couple weeks. The logical segment of my brain KNOWS it’s HEALTHY and ok to be where I’m at. The heart that is connected to you fears that you’re sad and worrying I’ve “moved on” and “forgotten”. . . . . although we both KNOW that’s not true! And that it IS ok to feel “normal” again! You’d be preaching at me endlessly for the deep retrospect I’ve invested time into. “Michelle, you’ve got kids that need you. I had a good life. I’m at peace. I’m not in pain. Don’t live in the past. Make everyday count.”
I had a really bad day on Thursday. I was in a conversation at work, and a colleague asked me a question. Internally, I thought, “Oh crap, my dad knows that.” I picked up my phone and dialed 616-6408 only to hear “beep beep beep, the number you have dialed is no longer in service.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? I REALLY just did that!!!! I felt like the biggest idiot in the room! I can NOT believe to this day that I made such dull-headed move. I had to leave my office early for lunch. I took a long drive and cried and talked to you and yelled! It drove me back to feeling like it’s February, ( and not April ) and everything is raw! I’m just glad there wasn’t an audience observing! Wow, quite the laugh that would have been!
So, it’s tax week. I’m the tax lady. I find it ironic the items you can prepare for mentally and emotionally and those you can’t. Oh, I knew Easter would be hard. I’m dreading my birthday, Nancy’s birthday and Father’s Day in the next couple of months --- but I’m mentally preparing for them to be tough! It’s the elements that you don’t know will “catch you” that you can’t prepare for. Might be a song, might be a smell . . . . .but who in heck would have thought it’d be your signature!!! I was finishing your taxes this week, and going through the papers you’d saved throughout the year. There was a copy of a check ---- in your handwriting and signature --- and it affected me in a way I could haven’t predicted. I don’t know why. It broke my heart for a period of time! Maybe it’s because you won’t sign anything again? Maybe because I was organizing the last year of your life? I don’t know --- even to this day ---- but I know that day it bothered me and made me sad.
Mom and I were talking --- we all have different triggers. For her, it’s Sundays, and I understand why! She says she’s sadder and lonelier on Sundays. That makes perfect sense. Your world revolved around your church and others, your love for God and your family. It was the day that you’d force yourself to feel good (on the tough weeks) because you WANTED to go!!! It was the day you talked to both of your kids and you and mom did something special --- church, breakfast, ride on the Harley, visit friends, etc. She misses you most on Sundays. Maybe you could reach down from wherever you are and give her an extra special hug so she can feel you!
Speaking of mom …. It’s also been a very educational week! I had an “ah-ha” moment this week, and it was confirmed on Friday. Mom and I had happy hour together and an amazing talk. You know what? I’m tired of feeling guilty for the way I feel; and, I’m tired of everyone trying to fix me. I’m NOT broken!!! I have spent so much of my life suppressing my feelings and dealing with business items!! How many times have you told me, “You have to deal with it. You can’t just push it away. It’ll show up anyway.” So…. I’m not! I’m a pro at suppression, being “fine”, and moving forward. This time … I’m letting my emotions out a little at a time --- and what do I get? “Oh, Michelle is struggling. Is she going to be ok?” Yes, I’m going to be ok!! I AM OK! I may cry more, be honest and raw, admit things openly! But, others are missing you too and think the same the things but choose to keep it in and that’s fine!!! However, that does NOT make me broken or crazy! It means I’m dealing with it in my way. There are self-help books, but there is not a one size fits all guideline to life without a loved one. And, no, I’ve never dealt with something like this without just pushing it down and dealing with it a decade later. This is all new to me …. but it doesn’t make me broken. …. Novice, maybe? Helpless – NO!
Just because I don’t want to go to church or don’t believe in God anymore --- just makes me a ‘question-er’, it doesn’t make me bad! Just because I’m “fine” one day and ready to talk another ---- just makes me normal! I have to believe many people think and feel this – there are just few that would say it out loud for fear of what others would think. So . .. … I’m trying …. trying to “not worry”, not fake it, not pretend. Lately in my life --- you encouraged me to talk – to REALLY talk – and I never would. You commented many times that that was one of the things that frustrated you most about me. I’m talking now. I hope you can hear me. I’d love for a small sign that would show me you’re proud of my miniscule progress. I love you!!!!! Thanks for loving me and working so hard the last few years to try and get me to “see” things now that eluded you til later in life. I’m trying. I swear I am! X0XOXOXO