Friday, April 17, 2009

Cut and Paste

I have had several emails asking if I was back at work, how I was doing and how I was feeling. This is the answer to one of those emails. Because I really don't have a lot of energy for writing, I thought I would just cut and paste it and use it as a blog post.

See how I am?

I went back to work on Tuesday. I took Monday off to clear things out of daddy’s room. We still have the bed to move out, but otherwise we are done. We gave dad’s TV to his roommate, along with his DVD player and VCR, the wall unit that held those items and a few other pieces of furniture. Danny was thrilled with the TV…he didn’t even have one before he became dad’s roommate, so getting a big flat panel hi-def wall mounted TV was a big thing to him, but I think he was almost as thrilled to receive all of daddy’s ball caps. He is a man of simple pleasures. We also gave him daddy’s electric lounge chair…which he used most of the time anyway. We are taking the bed to Cousin Sharon, who is on her last legs…she is also getting the other electric lounge chair we had put in the parlor at the nursing home. My brother and Cousin Dan are going to deliver those things to her this weekend.

The service was beautiful. After weeks of snowing and blowing, the day turned out perfectly clear, and all the snow had melted off the ground. We had the service at the cemetery, which has an incredible view of the mountains daddy loved so much. I’ve never seen the mountains so big…as if they were welcoming him home. There were over 100 people there, including Wolf’s half-sister who came in from Wyoming and people Mike and I went to school with, some I hadn’t seen in decades. It truly was lovely. My best friend Barb played her guitar and sang "Let us Walk in the Light", which is a hauntingly beautiful song and entirely appropriate for the occasion. The service ended with a 21 gun salute, presentation of the flag and taps which nearly brought me to my knees crying, but it was all so beautiful…

I am still going to the nursing home at noon every day. It’s hard, because I expect him to be sitting in the dining room waiting for me, but there are a lot of people that depend on me to cheer them up, feed them and pick things up for them at the store…I can’t let them down. I am not, however, going after work, it’s just too hard because that was when he was wide awake and usually pretty with it and I’m just not ready to go there…so I need to find something to do with my evenings. Last night I spent an hour picking lint off of a sweater while visiting my brother who was making a carrot cake to take to the folks at the nursing home…so at least I’ve got that going for me.

I know I still haven’t answered the questions you asked. I am, doing. Every day is a challenge to get through, mainly because he was such a huge part of my life. Every single day had daddy in it, and I loved it. I try to stay busy; walk a lot, talk on the phone a lot, meditate a lot, and cry a lot.

How am I feeling? Raw, as if every nerve in my body has been exposed. I knew daddy was going to pass on, I just didn’t think it would be this soon. I wanted more time. More hugs, more hand holding, more reminiscing, more rubbing his back, more of everything.

I know they say time will help, and I’m hoping that it will, though it really didn’t with mom, as I still miss her every single day. Right now I feel empty, alone, orphaned at the age of 52. I know that sounds ridiculous because I have a wonderful son, brother, cousins, and friends. But that’s the way it feels.


NatureWoman said...

It's so nice to hear from you, and I know how hard it is to lose a Daddy. I'm still not over my Dad, and never will be. I miss him every day. Those bear hugs and hands that completely covered mine when he held them. Nobody will ever take his place. {{{HUGS}}} Laurie.

Anvilcloud said...

I understand the orphan part. For me it passed quickly because of my family, but for others it's more pronounced.

I'm glad you are giving away things as opposed to trying to eke out a few dollars. I mean if you really need the dough, I guess I can understand, but it is blessed to give after all.

Lynne said...

Dear Laurie,
I understand the orphan feeling very well. It's hard to explain to someoone but I know that feeling too. When my Dad passed 4 years ago it was so hard, but my Mom really needed me even more so I focused on that. When Mom passed, my heart was raw. It's been just over a year now and I will say that the edges of the raw feelings have smoothed some, but I ache every day. You're in my prayers tonight.

Squirl said...

That was so beautiful, so real. You're handling it one day at a time which is all there is. Do what feels right and let yourself have any emotions that come up. It doesn't matter how old we are, when our parents are gone we do feel like orphans.

I know there's nothing I can do or say to make you feel better. But I am sending love to you. Hang in there. ((HUGS))

Debra said...

It doesn't matter how old you are when your parents die, you still feel orphaned. Daddys are irreplaceable, and I still miss mine every day but the pain has lightened with time. Funny but I want to call him every time something important happens, and it always takes a second to remember I can't. I guess it will always be that way.

Sharon said...

Only by reading your blog over the past 1-2 years...would I have recognized your dad's obituary in the Gazette -- so, you have been in my thoughts and prayers since then. Thank you for allowing us to know him too -- and I do hope your sweet memories will make the pain diminish over time. Blessings on your weekend,

Dave said...

Laurie as you slowly come back into the world give yourself all the time you need to gain your composure. Just remember that all you have to do is think of him and he is there. He is now in the gentle breeze and the warm sunshine. He will always be there for you and he will give you comfort. Bless you my friend and know that we who read your words love your ideas and your thoughts.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The last picture is particularly touching with your father going off in the distance alone and the dog returning to be with the photographer. (you, perhaps)

I am sorry you are having such hard time. I never felt that way when my parents died. As a clergyman I had dealt a lot with death and dying and resolved death for myself. I am quite stoic about it all.

I was particularly close to my mother. She died suddenly over 30 year ago but still I think of her nearly every day and live the lessons she taught me. I more celebrate her in my life than actually miss here. It is as if I could pick up the phone and chat with her if I chose to but don't (can't) of course.

All the best to you.

Kritter Keeper said...

i just found your blog from 3 collie's...i know your heart wrenching pain as i lost my dad a year ago. i do not know but have already contemplated the 'orphaned' feeling as i am blessed with mom still living. it doesn't get 'easier', time just dulls the sharp pangs. there is not a day that i do not think of daddy especially since he loved farming, nature, and taught me to respect all things living. all i can say is that i can feel he is with me at times when i see and hear certain things on the farm that only he could relate too. i hope you heal soon. life is so hard at times!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you do for a living, but you should be a nurse. Taking care of people is what you do best.

I wish you peace.

KGMom said...

Oh, Laurie--I have been remiss, and missed the news of your father's passing.
So so sorry. It is hard, not matter when or why someone dies.
And, I saw your description of yourself as an orphan at 52--it does not sound ridiculous at all. You are now the top generation. That in itself is scary.
My thoughts are with you--and herewith I send a wave of hugs from central PA all the way out west.

Ur-spo said...

that all sounds 'right'.
I am glad though we are part of your life in happiness and in sorrow.

Cathy said...


Your parents were beautiful people. Look at their daughter.

I'm moved to tears by your brave account of still heading into that nursing home after your father's death. And I hope that if it becomes too painful - you give yourself a pass.

Honey, no one knows the sense of loss you're carrying. It's a lonely journey.

I hope the pain is a little less every day.