We went to a movie this weekend. True to form I can’t remember the title but it was about family; adult family. Grown siblings had gotten together because their father had passed away. I found myself wrapped up in the characters, the laughter, the interesting dynamics between the siblings and their remembrances of a life lived together.
On another note, I’m reading a book on love and life and relationship. How we get to where we are as an adult and the relationships the we try to juggle and manage and enjoy, all the while trying to figure out who we are, often hurting those we love most or pulling away from those who love us most..
On a third note, I’m studying interpersonal communication this semester and my term paper requires me to look at the ways I communicate, break down where I do it ineffectively and make a change. Not only make changes but document them. An 8-10 page paper about me and how I communicate, or…don’t.
Mostly though, all of this that I’m writing about tonight and that I’ve been processing this week and for the 7 weeks prior to this one, has brought me full circle to 60 days ago.
60 days ago my dad had a heart attack. And a week later he had a quadruple bi-pass.
I sat quietly, listening to my mom explain what they had told her so I could be the messenger to my 6 siblings. Each needing called. Each having questions. Each needing to hear he’d be ok. That’s my roll being the oldest. Assure. Hold up. Be strong.
Only…. I wasn’t sure he would be ok. With all my medical background, all my understanding of how the system works, with all my encouraging words to all of them, I wasn’t sure. He was my dad. Strong. Always Strong. Healthy. Brave. A ‘baller’ as my Man calls him. Only, right then he was none of those things.
“Not now” I silently screamed. “We have so much catching up to do. I finally see you as a person, a Man. I have so much to learn from you. And, I’ve finally found someone like you. After all this time and all this pain and all this water under a fractured bridge. Not now…. ” I whispered. “Please… Not now….” I begged.
“Not now. Please, Not now. I haven’t even had the chance to ask you to walk me down the isle next fall. Every little girls dream. And at 40 something it will be the first time you will have walked me or any of your daughters. And I’ve already imagined it will be a beautiful moment and how you’ll look at me and how we’ll laugh an little and you’ll cry and I will too”. “See, you can’t not be ok…. we have some life yet to live together in a very big way”. “I need my Dad”.
60 days it has taken me to write my fear. 60 days to understand that all the things I’m learning about me and about life and about family and about communication is all tied up in “Not Now”. We only get so many days with everyone we love. I want to say all the things that count and none of the ones that don’t. I don’t want to be left wishing I had time to say I’m sorry or that I love someone. The call could have easily been different. My siblings and I could have easily been gathered to say good-bye, sharing memories, wishing we’d known him better
Instead, he will walk me. In 360 days….give or take….My Dad will walk me down the isle to the Man I have finally found who shares his soul. And I will be the happiest little girl on the planet the same day I become the happiest woman on earth. And my Dad…. will be there to witness all of it.