It’s been four years since my father passed into the afterlife. It’s almost hard to believe when I think about it. Time stood still for me for quite some time after that tragic event in my life story. He was the man I admired, he was the man who conquered all. Most importantly, he was the man I wanted to be when I grew up. With him gone, I didn’t have that example to turn to. I didn’t have that voice telling me to “quit getting the cart before the horse, son.” It rattled me to my core.
I had to start over in life, figuratively speaking. Financially and career wise my life is in the best place it has ever been. But emotionally? It’s a tough tale. That’s where I’m still picking up the pieces.
I try to look at when my grandfather passed, and how my father coped as a guidebook. My dad, did everything he could – including trying to get a 21 gun salute for him. Emotionally, that’s where my dad seemed to be a black hole however. He wasn’t very talkative about how he felt about the situation surrounding my grandfathers death. I know he wasn’t happy with the “family” decisions that basically led to his untimely passing, but that was all I got out of him. When it came time to write dad’s obituary, guess what I copied? My grandfathers. Dad had written it.
His urge to make the trip to Oklahoma lessened after that. He became more about life here, his granddaughters and his First Baptist family. He became the de facto caretaker of his mother, my grandma.
His love for me? It never faltered. It never failed. It only blossomed over the years.
So why do I feel stuck in an emotional labyrinth? Why?
Each and every day I feel tormented. Not by the loss of patriarch of my family, but by the feelings of helplessness with my daughters. I don’t feel like I give them enough of me, enough time to enjoy things with their dad, or enough adventures with the man they look up to.
Each and every day I fight it. I try to do something, reach out. SOMETHING. But it never feeds the torment, it only seems to expand it.
I have been embraced by a wonderful, yet crazy family. One that sees me for who I am, and doesn’t give me too hard of a time about it. It helps, but only takes me so far. My experience with the “blended family” situation has not been the most idealistic. I hear this is a common situation. I often feel much more at ease when I am solitary. I think I pushed the healing of my losses, and still need that time.
In the end, I have a roughly set plan for how I want my life to be from here on out. The loss of my marriage and the loss of my father taught me this. If it isn’t going how I want it, I will make it that way, no matter what the costs or consequences are.
The torch has been passed, not in a way I wanted it to. It is now up to me on how to handle and direct this sect of the family to proceed. I just have to pull myself up by my boot straps and take care of what needs done.
That is what I’m having trouble with. I’ve never been one to proclaim what I want, or expect anything. It’s part of that humble nature.