3/28/2007

Transitions



It was six months yesterday. Six months since Dad died.

I can't begin to tell you how I miss him. I'm sure there's someone in your life whom you miss every bit as much as I miss Dad, so I'm sure you know what it is to face that kind of hole in your life.

But...

Dad wouldn't want me to sit around feeling sorry for myself. He would want me to reach deep inside my heart and pull out my "reality" of him. He would want me to find comfort in his memory, strength from the adventures and lessons we shared and joy in the length and depth of time we shared- 51 years of my life spent in the sheltering love of the greatest man I ever knew. Pretty neat, huh?

There isn't a day that passes that I don't think of him, or go to the well and draw strength from something he taught me.

Today I am hoping I do his memory justice by remembering to choose my battles wisely.

This is quite helpful when face with teenagers, especially the Eldest Unnamed One. He's growing up. Soon he'll be gone, making the transition to adulthood and his own life. It is a wonder to watch this almost-man take his own life into his hands and run with it. But it is also painful.

I knew this day would come. I knew it would feel like it was all happening too soon, too suddenly. I knew I would grieve. And I am.

But just as I let Dad go, I must also let the Eldest Unnamed One go forth into the world. And I must not cling onto him because if I do this, would I not be saying "I don't think you can handle the world on your own"? Wouldn't that send the message that I expect him to fail?

He's not going to fail. He's going to soar. In fact, sometimes I worry he'll leave home and forget all about me!

It's like that first day of kindergarten, when he got on the bus and didn't look back and it broke my heart. I stood there at the bus stop, tears leaking down my cheeks, feeling quite sorry for myself. That's when the brash redhead from the Bronx who lived across from the bus stop and also had a kindergartner, took matters into her own hands. "Hey, what're you cryin' for? If he didn't look back, it's because you did your job. You raised him to go out there and not be afraid. He knows you'll be there when he comes back because you always are there for him- but he doesn't need you to hold his hand because you also taught him he can do it."

Well, hell. If you put it that way...

"You did your job," she said.

I have never forgotten that and I'm glad because I think I'm going to need to remember those words come August when he leaves for UNC.

I will stand in the driveway, tears rolling down my cheeks and I will feel Dad's hand on my shoulder.

I know the ones we love are never truly lost to us.

In my heart I know this but aren't transitions a bitch?

2 comments:

Heather said...

Hi Nancy,

And yes, I can say that they really are. I can't speak too knowledgeably about what it feels like to have to let go of the child you have raised as they go in to the world..I'm actually just pregnant with my first...but I do know that I will feel very much the same way that you described here, when the time comes.

And I hope you believe it when I say that you have come so far in the six months since your dad has passed away. It still hurts, of course it does, but time is really a great healer and also gives you the ability and the perspective to be able to take what is most important from that experience and build on that. You will never forget your dad and I'm very sure he could never forget you..he will always be alive in your heart and that is a great thing.

Teena said...

Your dad is still with you. Remember the pennies?