August's Rush

I find myself overwhelmed this August. Not so much that it's my birthday month, but moreso because it's the month of my Dad's one year death annviversary. Mom wants an intimate family acknowledgement, whereas I would love to see some of my Dad's buddies. But I defer to my Mom because it is she who was Dad's primary caregiver his last two years. It is Mom who lives in the home where she & Dad made their life together. It is Mom who still lives among Dad's presence -- his clothes, his computer, his papers -- which we still have yet to do anything. (I patiently wait for Mom to let me know that she's ready to donate Dad's things, & I dread the day that we'll have to go through it all.) I realize, Mom & I each have our individual grieving experiences with Dad's passing just as we each had our own relationship with him.

I ruined A.'s birthday surprise for me. Given that we'd spent last August in the hospital with Dad, A. planned to fly my cousin, K., in from GA to surprise me. Only I found out a couple of weeks early because I decided to check A.'s blackberry -- something I'd never been accustomed to doing! As my 14-year-old niece thankfully pointed out, at least I was surprised in that moment. While I am certain Dad would want me to enjoy my birthday month, I cannot help but feel deep sadness that he's not around for my birthday, & he never will be. I really miss my Dad. As much as I would like, not even the news of a newborn baby in the family makes the sting of Dad's death a little less painful. Of course, I know he is always in my heart's memory. But his physically not being with us really does bite more days than others. And it's those hard days, I try to laugh at Dad's most character moments. Like when we were about to trek out one time, and he said he would drive. I sat in the front passenger's side, and Mom sat in the back. But what did he do? He got in the other back seat, and then no one was in the driver's seat!

What I need to do is . . . not focus on the rush of tears, but the rush of sunbeams that graciously embrace me in Dad's loving presence.