Presents

Mother’s Day is coming up. Soon to be followed by Father’s Day. I don’t like this time of year because I’m bombarded by ads all over the place telling me where to get “the best gift for mom”. Even if I wasn’t watching tv, I saw a sign on a restaurant door or a couple emails in my inbox. Can’t escape it. 

In the past, a friend or two have suggested doing something to remember/honor my mother (or father) on these days or their birthdays. Rarely do I take follow that advice, but sometimes I think about it. My selfish wish for Mother’s Day would be to take my mom out to brunch or dinner and discuss my life. In real life, I probably wouldn’t do this. In real life, it’d be all about her. But I think this because it’s been almost 8 years since I’ve had a conversation for her. So, of course, my wish is to sit down and have these grand discussions. About M, seminary and how it sparked a change in everything I thought I knew, my job, my uncertainty about my life, my insecurities, my fights with my sister (or other family members), friends…

Even though I like to think I’d talk about it all openly with her, the truth is I don’t know if I would. 

All I know is that I would love the opportunity. 

Advertisements

Baba

Disclaimer: Again, I ask for forgiveness for any typos/grammar mistakes. I wrote this fairly quickly & didn’t reread it all. 

I think this is the 1st time I’m writing something entirely (or at least mostly) about my father. By far, I talk about my mother more, though I feel both their absences so strongly. If I’m honest, sometimes I feel that I miss her more, which, at times (or maybe just in general), I do. Maybe not. But, then again, I think it makes sense. My parents were separated, reunited, and then divorced, when we were young. On TV/in movies, a divorce is often a horrible ordeal..even if the parents are amiable about the whole thing, the kids are usually upset by it. Not so with my sister and I. I think my parents only needed to be together to have us, but, other than that, it didn’t seem to work.

Even before they got separated, somehow I don’t have too many memories of my father being around. Then, once the divorce was final, he moved to another state. We were fine with it. I can recall being seemingly forced to go visit him over the summers. Part of the custody agreement.  We didn’t really care to go visit my father. I don’t think the main thing we disliked was going to see him, but we found his city extremely boring. I also tended to think, as a teenager, that he assumed he knew us just because we shared DNA…but in my mind, he wasn’t around that much, and we saw him once a year. What could he possibly know? I cried once, after something happened…I can’t even remember what it was, but I don’t cry easily. I just remember my sister phoning my mom and telling her that he’d made me cry.

My father died in 2013. It was only in 2008 that I truly believed he loved me. And only in the past few years that our relationship, to/for me, started to mend. When my mother died, my world was shaken. Though I still had my father, I still felt utterly alone. Slowly, that changed a little bit…after he died, I realized I would miss what could have been. I had only just started feeling that our relationship was getting better. The day he died, I was supposed to be leaving to go visit him.  I was excited to go..I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. I felt guilty about that afterwards…at planning or beginning to plan an earlier trip, but I didn’t go. Either because I couldn’t or I changed my mind and postponed it. I was planning to give him a mug from the school I attended for graduate school. Because he likes tea. I was also planning to get him a large print Bible because he’d said at some point he needed another one. I was packed. I was ready. I had a graduation picture (from undergrad) to take with me as well, a big one..because I remembered/thought I’d only given him a small/medium one. After he died, once I got down to his city…I was shown the graduation picture I’d sent him previously. He’d had someone laminate it. Apparently he was really excited about me coming too…they had planned to have lunch set up for us in this common room. I was angry with myself, for putting it off. I was angry that it happened the same day my mother died 4 years prior. I was sad that it happened under the same circumstances as my mom: random, before Christmas, the semester before I was to graduate.

My father was an intensely private person. I knew this, but found it to be true even more, speaking with his/our relatives. I, too, am somewhat of a private person. I have to push myself to reveal the depths of my heart and, even then, I still have to push myself…and then I might not do it lol In my last post I talked about my introverted nature. I know I got that from my father. Oddly enough, I think I got my intense love for people from my mother..although it can be hard, that combined with being an introvert. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find myself thinking more often about which parts of me I inherited from my father. Just like with my mom, I find myself thinking about calling him to update him on things. With Father’s Day coming up, I find myself also thinking about how I/we never…rarely got him a Father’s Day card on time. I am still struggling with some things I found out after his death. And I know part of the reason I didn’t go see him earlier was because I was still, whether consciously or unconsciously, holding things from our past against him.

All these things I know to be true. I miss the lunch we didn’t get to have. I miss the opportunity to show him pictures of my friends, discuss my classes, my ideas for the future. To learn, from him, about my family on his side. As I mentioned, I miss the opportunity to fully repair our relationship..or to see what it would have continued to grow into. My mother once told me my father had a hard time showing love. I can attest to that.

So much of me is him. I can’t pretend I’m not still confused/upset about…various things. Things that have made the grieving process even harder. But, I suppose, at least, I can say, finally, that I know he loved me.

Now

I’m graduating tomorrow..today, I suppose, technically. It’s an odd thing. A good thing, but odd. Neither of my parents will be here with me. Two of my aunts are going to be here though, a couple cousins, and some friends. and my sister of course. Sister said tonight she wished my mom was here and I echoed her sentiment. I also wished I could call my father to tell him about it, how I got a grade I didn’t expect, maybe about my outfit (though I’m sure he wouldn’t get it) and send him pictures later. My aunts remind me of my mom in so many ways. Expected heartache is different from unexpected, obviously, but just as painful. I haven’t really been focusing on things the past week and a half. Yes, of course, I’m excited to have finished what I seriously doubted I would. I was over school in so many ways lol But it is hard for me to enjoy it. I am happy. But I’m also so sad. My mind is constantly, unconsciously at times, preoccupied with the reminder that my parents are no longer here. And I fear that casts a dark shadow on every big event/accomplishment in my life.

It’s getting late though and I have to go to sleep to be ready to start tomorrow. It’s hard to be honest with myself, and others, about how I feel when I feel like people just want me to be excited or happy. & if I’m not, I’m not only letting them down, but wasting the time and effort they put into coming here. And yet…while I am happy, there’s also so much more. 

TKO

There are times I think I’m fine and other times I’m sure I’m not. Both probably say something about where I am on/in this whole “grieving process”. I don’t know that I’m afraid of death perse, but I fear the process of dying. It’s probably more because it’s unknown. And though I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak, I do like/prefer to be in the know. The thought of life slipping away from me or suddenly being ripped from my grasp is a scary thing. I suppose that’s normal. But my mother dying almost 5 years ago and my father a few months ago has me seeing death in places I do not wish to see it, but I cannot help it. In places  where it may not even be that “serious”, it’s the first thing I think of. And when I think about it, I get such a feeling of anxiety and dread, that I don’t even know what to do with it or how to rid myself of it. The sinking feeling in my stomach at reliving what I already do or someone else experiencing what I know too well. I know death is a part of life…I hold no grand delusions that I will live forever, but at times like these I fear death has overwhelmed my psyche. 

Spill

Disclaimer: This is going to be long because apparently I’m just writing. It’s also all over the place in some areas. Also, not checking for grammar/spelling so…if there are errors, forgive me. 

So, something weird happened to me recently. My father died. Even weirder is that he died on the same date that my mother did four years ago. Just…weird. Right?

I’ve been thinking about deleting my blog lol Not sure I see the point in it anymore, yet here I am writing in it. Which, of course, probably means it’ll be around for a bit more. I suppose it’s not too bad to have when I want/decide to write in it. I don’t HAVE to. And when I don’t, I still enjoy being able to interact with the blogs of those who I follow. Which can be more difficult if I didn’t have this account. 

Oh, another weird thing. The day he died, I was supposed to be leaving to go see him. I actually would’ve been on the bus to see him probably 5 hours after I got the call. Spoke to him…not the day before, but the day before that. My friend and I went to the Christian bookstore near campus because I mentioned I wanted to buy him a new Bible. He said he needed one with large print…but it was too expensive, so I said I’d buy it online and have it sent to him. I didn’t have anything else to bring, but then I remembered that my father and tea were definitely an item, so I was also going to bring him this red mug that had the name of my school on it. I thought he’d like that. I put it in my suitcase…left it in there until I had to leave for the funeral.  I was all prepared…stayed up until 1am or so packing because I pack at the last minute. Made snacks for the ridiculously long bus ride and went to bed. Randomly woke up and that’s when I saw a missed call from Uncle and a text from my sister. Then my sister called me again. 

Funny how the deaths of my parents were so similar.

Both times my sister was the one who told me, crying so hard.

When dealing with things with my father, things have always been a little different. I’m the oldest. I have to take responsibility and be in the front and all of that. Which is fine, it was something I did anyway…always see her as my “baby” sister, despite us only being 13 months apart. But with my father, I guess my role as the eldest child was more pronounced. Again, which was fine. So I told my sister I’d call her back and called my uncle to find out what happened. 

Both times I was going to see them soon. 

With my mother, it wasn’t as close, but it was before Christmas break. I think the week after I probably would have been on my way home. And obviously with my father, it was that day. 

Both times I was going to graduate the following semester. First, with my B.A. and now with my M.A. 

Clearly, since the date was the same, both were close to Christmas. Puts a damper on things, as you can imagine lol 

Both times it came out of nowhere.

I won’t list here what happened to each because I don’t feel like it, but…when I say came out of nowhere, I don’t mean that one can necessarily be “prepared” for death. Even when someone has lived for years, it’s still a heartbreaking ordeal. I just mean it came out of nowhere in the sense that we either didn’t know they were sick or it literally was a random occurrence. Both, I suppose. 

Anyway. Yea, but it’s weird now. I think I wrote about it before, how when my mother died, my sister and I felt like orphans. Our relationship with our father, at the time, wasn’t the greatest. We were definitely closer to her than to him, so despite him still being around, we felt like we had no one except each other. That was 2009. In the years that followed I think my father tried to do better. In some ways the relationship, at least on my end, still seemed strained, but there were days…minutes…where it seemed we had a pretty good relationship. So that’s good. I think my sister felt the same way too, which is lovely. But now…she said to me, “we were destined to be parentless.” It sucks because things were looking up with my father. I was looking forward to seeing him…hadn’t seen him in a couple years. According to some people at the place where he was staying, he was excited about me coming. They were supposed to set it up so we could have lunch together one day. He’d laminated one of my graduation pictures I’d sent him from when I was in undergrad. So before we felt like orphans…but now it has become our reality. I just didn’t think I’d be thinking/saying/feeling/writing that word…that becoming part of my identity, who I am…at 25 years old.

I had more I wanted to write, but…I need to get some sleep today. Until next time.