Tuesday, February 14, 2012

525,600 Minutes

I’ve spent most of the last year in a somewhat numb haze. I lost my Daddy in February a year ago. Lost? What a word. That word sucks really—How about I’ve been missing my daddy every day since February a year ago.

It has been the shortest and the longest year I can ever remember. Time has passed, it seems like I remember every minute and I also can’t remember hardly anything. Everything has been touched by change. Sorting through emotions and pushing many things to the back with the feeling of “I’ll get to that when I can.” But emotions do ambush you if you don’t give them the floor to present their case. They will demand to be heard—they will act like the reality show cast member most likely to be voted of the island. So from my cast of emotions that I keep beating down, anger continues to raise its ugly head. Because once beaten down anger just stews, anger plots, anger makes alliances with unresolved grief and will try its hardest to take you down.

Since Valentine’s Day last year I have let it stew in me – anger my vengeful reality show cast member.

Let me set the scene the week before my Daddy died it was Valentine’s Day. No… let me go even farther back. In what I thought were the last few months of my dad’s life I tried to make memories happen. Shall I say I tried to forced memories? I hope it was memories for him also, but I know it was just buying more memories for me. Just one more thing… just one more thing… just one more thing.

The humming birds in late summer, the space station coming over on a cloud less night, the family cookouts, the westerns watched, the Christmas snow, Christmas poppers and fake mustaches, always trying to let him know just how much I loved him, trying to make memories for my little girl with her Pop, they were each other’s Dust Bunnies. But truly it was all for me. I just wanted more time….more memories, more moments.

Not the kind of time that ticks away on the clock but the moments that you are really in, the moments that you know are just yours. When you are aware of life, love, and that this won’t last forever. Those moments don’t tick away, they stick, and they stay. Moments that are different than time.

So back to Valentine’s Day, during the last month of my Daddy’s life the kind people of Hospice helped us, helped Daddy manage the pain, the grief and they tried to take up some of the space in the void of uncertainty. There was so much uncertainty during that time, but they helped us carry a time that was oh so very heavy.

I had plans of spending Valentine’s Dinner with my Dad and Mom that night. Nothing big nothing grand just time together. But that is not how the evening played out. Not like the little Hallmark commercial I had planned in my head.

My Daddy's Social worker was there that day, and had locked her keys in her car.

And you see my Daddy was a helper. If you needed something and he could help he would. That’s it. He would help you.

So in his last year the chemo and the cancer had at times pinned Daddy down. But that week, the week of Valentine’s, He was almost back to himself. Maybe just like me he was saying “one more thing…just one more thing.” On the evening of Valentine’s when the social worker had locked her keys in her car Daddy and Momma took the social worker on a quest to find extra keys. They ended the night opening their home to this woman her children and whipped up some frozen pizza for dinner. It was not my hallmark card but looking back I think it was my Daddy’s “one more thing.” Helping this lady out was his last act of helping another. In the end of the battle of cancer, the loss of his life, he had the last words…LOVE WINS.

AND I HAVE SPENT THE LAST YEAR SO ANGRY AND UNABLE TO SEE THAT. I have felt like that night was taken from me. I have been blind to what really happened that night.

The next day there was the noticeable change in my Daddy’s condition. Looking back it was the day he started parting from this life. By the next Tuesday he was gone.

I’m sitting here sobbing and can’t even see the computer screen because in this moment right now I can hear my DADDY IS SAYING “LET IT GO LITTLLE GIRL, JUST LET IT GO. They needed help, and I could. You can’t stay mad little girl.”

It has been a hard year. A year filled with loss, numbness, grief, overwhelming sadness. Holding on to anger is not easy. Letting it go is even harder. But today on a Commercialized day of red heart balloons and candy that can start conversations, I will listen to my Daddy’s voice. I will let love win. I will try to let go of the anger. This will be one of my moments I will remember this year. I will have a Hallmark moment. I hear my Daddy’s voice in my head and I will let love win.

So here it is to all, I send a Valentine to all those who have my heart! You know who you are. You have held my hand, you have carried part of the load and you have listened to a heart that has been broken.

I love you all more than any Greeting card could say…

So for anyone keeping score

Here’s to a better year!

And for 525,600 moments of love!


From Rent
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?