Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Left Unsaid

Two weeks ago, it felt like Daddy and I were so out of sync. I was frustrated, he was frustrated. He asked me to be patient and trust him.

One week ago, it felt like we were getting back on track. Daddy was back. Playing, spanking, things were good.

Then six days ago, I learned my grandmother had had a stroke and wasn't going to make it.

Daddy and I have both lost people before. We've both been blessed to have grown up with nearly all our grandparents throughout our lives. Unfortunately though, that's meant we've had more to lose. They've all been hard, but this one has been even harder because I had not seen nor talked to my grandmother in five years.

There wasn't a big 'falling out' between us or anything -- maybe that makes it even sadder. She did live over 600 miles away so dropping in on her wasn't the easiest thing to do. However, up until about 13 years ago, I called her once a week and saw her at least once a year. But then my parents went through a bitter, messy divorce that dragged me into the middle and created a wedge with that side of the family. And although I knew my grandmother still loved me dearly, it became easier to avoid than deal with the conflict created by the fallout of my parent's marriage.

So the years passed and the phone calls and visits dwindled into nothingness. My oldest child barely remembers her and my youngest not at all. Every now and then, I would get a whisper in my head urging me to pick up the phone and call her. A longing to hear that excited squeaky pitch in her voice as she would say my name when she realized it was me.

In August we were but a few miles from her. I thought of going to see her. I should have gone to see her. But I didn't.

Last Friday, as the day wore on, and I waited for my father to call with the latest update, all I could think of was everything I left unsaid. Everything I'd never get to say. Did I ever thank her for that dark summer of my life that she helped me through? Did I ever tell her how much it meant that even though her and I were nothing alike, she loved me for who I was? Did she know I loved her?

She passed away late Friday afternoon, and the weekend was a whirlwind. Daddy and I pretty much threw the kids and the dog in the car and drove across several states for an awkward and heartbreaking family reunion. I don't know what I would've done without Daddy. I was a mess. Guilt. Dread. Sadness. Regret. He never let go of my hand for very long.

It's been a hard week, but I can't help but think how good this dynamic is for us. Even over the last month when we've been struggling, it's still been good. Because we talk all the time. Daddy constantly wants to know what I'm thinking and feeling -- honesty is his number one rule.

I guess I'm finding it comforting right now to know that with him, there never is anything left unsaid.



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