Twelve years ago today, I couldn't find my mom. I tried calling all over the place home, work, siblings. I wanted an update on my dad who I had just left the day before. He was in the ICU dying. We had been anticipating these last days for years. Just days earlier Paul turned green watching for the first time death take over a person slowly. It was not a first for me, it wouldn't be a last for either of us. It was his whimpering in pain that got Paul. Honestly I think this might be the single most reason I love Paul the way I do, because he turned green to sit with me as my father died. We were still kids. It is something that you would expect a husband to do, not your high school boyfriend. Paul had taken some time to get to know the shell of my father that was left before he died. He never knew him healthy. I knew when I couldn't find my mother that morning he had died. No one ever said he died. Her employees knew but they didn't say. (Rightfully so.) When I finally got my mother she said simply, "I guess you know then. Paul is on his way to get you."
Poor Paul thought he had to tell me. No one wanted me to be alone when I found out. By the time Paul got there, I was packed and had settled everything I needed to settle at school before I left for the week. I will never forget the look on Paul's face when I saw him and then the relief when I said I know.
In my head I can see it like it was yesterday. It doesn't feel like 12 years ago. 12 years sounds like a long time. Yet here we are. I have lived the majority of my life with out my dad. He was in nursing homes from the time I was 9-10 and he died when I was just 18. He did see me graduate high school which was a big deal for him. I wonder what the college graduation would have been like?
I have learned to give up most of the could-a should-a would-a's. I have made it through so many important days with out him. Paul and I married on his birthday to make it a happy day again.
I am not going to wallow in grief today. I never really have. It's not my style. I have cried a few tears here today and I have recognized this day. Now we are going out to live life, because if I learned anything from the way I lost him, it's that our days are numbered and we really don't know when the last one is. This has defined my life more than any one singular event. I live my life with no guarantee of tomorrow. I tell you it changes how you see everything.
Lilia and I have a fun morning planned. We are doing a trial class at Gymboree to celebrate life.
I will tell you, that is the single thing that breaks my heart more than anything else, Lilia doesn't get to have a grandfather. I would give anything to see the two of them together. I imagine they would be great pals. I think she and Kira and Pop Pop would be like three amigos. Much like Dale, Dad and I were on Saturdays.
Today I am grateful for the love Paul has for me ... the happy times I can remember with my dad... for the wisdom and courage it takes to LIVE my life.
May you be blessed today with recognizing something ordinary as extraordinary.