Sunday, July 29, 2012

Time is fleeting

The last several weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. I received a call that my biological father is stage 4 lung cancer. It is a grim prognosis. He has been given 3 to 6 months to live. As my stepmother told me this admist the tears and breaking voice, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I was immediately overwhelmed with a plethora of emotions. Shock, anger, disbelief, and sadness. My heart is so burdened.

You see-- my parents divorced when I was 5. My dad  remarried and had 3 boys. Due to geography (they lived in Florida for a short time) and life,  I really didn't get much time with my dad, step-mom and brothers. Everything was always so busy. Life was moving at an accelerated pace and their never seemed to be time to foster a relationship. To reconnect. To talk. To laugh. To share stories. To make memories.

Me- the Christmas  (1971) before parents divorced 
I always believed we would have time to do all these things. And that phone call changed everything. And if losing my dad isn't hard enough, my mom is also very poor health. It is a difficult realization to know this is the year that I could lose both parents. It doesn't matter that I am 45--I still want  my mommy and daddy!
My mom preggers with me (1966). This also explains my love of dogs, haha

Me and my dad (1984)
Life is fragile and time is fleeting. Someday all you are left with is faded memories and tattered photos. Whatever hurts you are hanging on to, let them go. Someday arrives sooner than expected and you may  never get another chance to make amends, to make memories, and to learn your history.  A life filled with regrets is not a life.

And regrets? Yeah, I have them. I am sorry that I didn't make a better effort to know my dad. I'm sorry that I was angry at BOTH my mom and dad for things I obviously had no control over and not understanding the intrinsicies of their failed relationship. I am sorry I didn't get to know my brothers. I am sorry I didn't ask the questions for which I long to have answers. I am sorry I don't know my history.  I am sorry I felt like I didn't belong or fit in. 

So what have I learned from this painful wallop life has given me? My foolish pride, my anger, and my insecurities robbed me of something I can't replace....time. That I can't change my past but I can change my future. Let go of the hurt. Reach out. Apologize. Forgive. Accept. 


Today I took those tentative steps.  I met up with my dad, my step-mom and my 3 brothers for the first time in nearly 12 years.  It was a bittersweet reunion. I took some pictures (which I am not ready to share). I listened to the stories. I hung onto every every word, committing it to memory, along with the raspy gravelly sound of my dad's voice. 


I made myself hold it in and not cry...at least until I began the hour drive home. I am sure there are more tears to come. I just hope somewhere during this journey I find the answers that I seek. That I find the way back to my parents. That I find myself. And that I find the clarity to sharpen the hazy memories in my mind and next to those are new memories. Good memories. Filled with laughter. And always love.



7 comments:

  1. you loved that little table and chairs.we lived on corner of spring and market.in batavia. you always pretended to have tea parties.life is friagle but hold onto the memories you have.and that will keep you strong.thats something you will always have is memories.the good ones.

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  2. Sandra Sullivan MillerJuly 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    In the 90s I worked with your stepmom and seemed to run into your father everywhere we talked all the time.. He was always so nice and polite and always asked about the family.Forgiveness is a powerful emotion but one you must do and let go of thing you have no control over stay strong you can do it ..With great love my prayers are with you at this time..

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  3. No one else can ever take our memories away, so let go of those you don't want and make new ones. My thoughts are with you across the miles.

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  4. Such a sad time. It's never easy to get through. My thoughts are with you.

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  5. I'm so sorry for everything you are going through. Maybe you can go visit and try to get one last healing time together. Thank you for sharing and being so honest and real. We are all on this journey called life together and need to learn from each other's experiences. Wishing you love!

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  6. You and your parents are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I hope this will bring a smile to your face ... Today, (Tuesday) July 31st, You will want to stop by my Blog and pick up your award!
    Hugs,
    Bj

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  7. we can not hold onto the past and only hope for a brighter future, God holds the future and your heart if you allow it, I have gone through many emotions in the last few years over love and lost, I have no regrets as I look at life as a learning experience, My heart is heavy for you as you go through this but do know that your parents love is unconditional for you so hold the faith and know that love is on your side even though time isn't..... You are in my thoughts and prayers ;)

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