Monday, October 20, 2008

Life without Daddy

Daddy's 61st birthday would have been this Friday, October 24th.

His sudden death has left me with a tightness in my chest that after about 6 weeks, I'm thinking could be permanent. I wake up from nightmares most nights...images that reflect the fear I have about continuing in life now that I have lost both parents by the age of 30.

Saturday, August 30th was the last day life was normal. Jesse and I went to my favorite cafe in Seattle, Alki Bakery, and enjoyed cinnamon rolls and a walk on Alki Beach. 7 hours later my uncle Royce called to tell me that my father's surgery (to see why he wasn't healing from his original routine surgery) did not go well and he had been given a prognosis of imminent death with hours to live.

Thursday, September 4th, 2:13 am. Amy and I arrive at the hospital. My father's BP and heart rate are extremely low. His eyes are open but glazed over. His last breath was 2:15 am. We waited for an hour until the coroner came. He was already cold.

Saturday, September 6th 10:00 am. The funeral service.

Wednesday, September 10th. I left Texas and flew back to Seattle. I had gone to Texas with one small suitcase. I returned with 4 pieces of luggage, including my father's belt buckles, bowling pin, and cowboy hat. Also, several photo albums.

I have nightmares most nights. Strange images of burying both parents. My mother's death has become resurrected in this situation.

I am alone. There are people who care about me, but I am alone in this life. If I screw up, there's no home to go to. This is scary. A part of me, a rather big part, wants to go to Brownwood or Kerrville and hole up in my family's homes, not getting out of bed for the next year (or so).

The other day, I thought, "It's been awhile. I need to call Daddy." He is still in my cell phone, although the number was disconnected on September 30th.

My parents' anniversary was October 11th. My parents married each other twice, separated by a 5 year divorce.

Jesse met my father. He came with me to Texas. My father's eyes followed Jesse where ever he went around the ICU room. I think he was definitely checking him out. He rolled his eyes at Royce and told him, "I guess HE's one of us now."

Who is my family now?


Chris and Kate Borders said...

I'm grieving with you Peggy - thank you for sharing your thoughts and struggles.

Big hug,

Jonathan et Kari said...

Pegs, once again your gift for putting emotions into words amazes and humbles me. Thank you for sharing this, for being willing to find the right words to help us see what you're going through.

You are loved and prayed for. And you are part of a much bigger family that spreads across continents.

Rick said...


Sally, the girls, and I, love you, too.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes our friends have to be our family. Being a person who had to leave my family at the age of 17, who was never close to her mother, and lost her father 2 years ago, I somewhat understand. But not fully. I don't pretend to, but I'll be praying for you. Karina

Nicole said...

Peggy, thank you for sharing your emotions. You are so real. I hope you give yourself a break and are able to pay attention to your needs. This is your grief and no one else's, and you do whatever you have to do to feel better. I also hope that you reach out to the support system that you have. Many people love you, and I think it is love that defines family more than anything. But I can't begin to understand what you are going through. If you need to get away, there is always a place for you here in Atlanta. Love and many, many hugs to you.

Swiftyjess said...

I don't have the right words, or any words for you.
I'm sorry doesn't quite do it, even though I am.
I've been thinking of you often lately and hope that I can do something to help.
Let me know.