On the 6th of this month three years ago, my father passed away. My mother passed away almost 19 years ago this year. When my mother passed, it was the hardest thing and the most painful thing that I had ever dealt with but over time, the pain subsided. When my father passed, I seemed to be stronger in dealing with his passing. It hurt but it was a different hurt. That is until the last few days.
Today I shared a picture that I took at my father’s visitation from when he was in WWII and I just broke down. I had to close my office door and turn up the music I was playing so that no one heard me. After a few minutes, I was okay.
When I came home, I apologized to my wife for being moody the last few days, now realizing why I have been off emotionally. I broke down again and the hug she gave me was the most comforting hug I have had in a long time. It’s not that they are not all comforting but this one was extra special.
I have written before about becoming an adult orphan but since I wrote that I have grown a bit and thought a bit more. I realize that the death of a mom and dad can hit us, as adults, unexpectedly hard but when it comes to both being gone, it’s a life changer. The loss, no matter how strong how one thinks they are the break in the relationship on earth of parent and child reverberates for the rest of our lives. I say this for a few reasons.
If you think about it, our parents are our keepers of wisdom. For the whole of our life looking to our parents for solutions and answers to problems in our lives, they held our family traditions, knew the names and the histories of all the faces in the family photos. With both gone now so goes this knowledge for I did not have the fore site to record it.
I was lucky enough to discuss with both my mother and father before their deaths any unresolved issues that we had. Any forgiveness that needed to be conveyed was conveyed and any tears that needed to be shed was shed and this left us with nothing but true and open communication and love. I must say though with my father there really was NOT ONE THING that I needed to forgive him for, for he was the most honest and honorable man I have ever known.
You see, he adopted me and raised me even though I was born out of an affair that had happened during a bad time in my moms and his relationship. This explains my hyphenated name. He taught me what it was to live and to love unconditionally and because of him, I am the husband that I have become today. He loved and devoted himself to my mom and forgave her for what she had done. There are so many factors and so much history to the story but know it is incredible the love they had for one another in the end of all the chaos.
Each year on the anniversaries of the passing of my moms and my dad’s passing, I relieve those moments in my mind as Gwen does with her father. No death is predictable and I pray that each of you that still have the gift of your mom and dad or at least one of them, that you make every moment count. Leave nothing unsaid.
I remember back when my dad passed I now had to assist in the decisions of the ritual. This was a new experience. When my mom passed, it was all planned and my dad took care of it. Now with my dad gone, it was left to my sister and to I and we did not agree on certain things. Because of that, sadly, we have not spoken to this day but I will say I thank God that I am as spiritual as I am and do not hold the resting place of the body as dear as most. My mother and father are both in different cemeteries all because of my sisters inability to forgive our mother as I did of the sins of the past. However, life goes on and I know that my mom and dad are together despite of my sister and I.
One of the strongest realizations that hit me this year is the realization that my mom and dad never got to know our children as they could have and never will get to see their great-grandchildren. The birthdays missed, weddings, graduations and special events all missed, at least in physical form.
The grandest of all realizations is my own mortality. The buffer between life and death no longer exists for me. That generation is gone and now my own eventual demise is uncomfortably nearer. However, because of this realization and because of all of the others, I will make each day a special day with my wife, my children and my grandchildren and God willing my great-grandchildren and we will record our histories for them and leave no questions about our lives when we are gone.
I for one, plan on my wife and I living on forever in the memories and hearts of our family for generations to come.