August brings a whole collage of emotions for me. This past weekend marked the fifth year anniversary of my dad’s passing. This year, I was able to spend the day with two of my siblings, my sisters. It was good for the soul to sit with them and laugh, listen to what is going on in their lives and just relish the time spent with them.
I call myself lucky because I was born into a family that already had three children. My siblings, although we don’t see one another that often are what I would call close. Our parents passing has only reinforced that verses making a larger gap. My degree of gratefulness for this can not be put into words.
But there is something I wish for. I wish our family, our generation and the rest would talk more about Dad and Mom. I guess it would make me feel closer to them, allow the current youngest of our kin to know them somehow and quite possibly help the part of me that is broken heal more.
I find myself feeling better in regards to the grief I have felt in the past five years. Mostly in the past couple months, finding strength and health.
I sat with my husband on the date of my father’s death and as I realized the time of day my thoughts went to that night. I can see and feel moments of panic, sadness, hear sounds and recall smells. I am able to do the same with my mother’s passing that will be marked on the 26th of this month as being four years.
While waiting to go up to the church altar just yesterday I was standing by some flowers from a recent funeral in our church. The smell wafted over me and it brought about the scene of my parents funerals and the smell of the flowers at them. It’s interesting to me how much the brain can store and bring back just by simple smells and sounds.
Four years without the super glue of our clan. Mom. The lady that could make you angry quickly or rolling in laughter in seconds. She required your presence at gatherings and if you didn’t, she’d serve up some guilt with your name on it. The lady that only required her family be surrounded around her and the gifts could stay at the store. The woman that chose newcomers and grandchildren and in laws over her kids most often in life. But that was her way of showing us (her 4 kids) that she loved us. See those folks are extensions of her own children, people her children loved very much.
Five years has come and gone and the year before my dad’s death was hard for me for other reasons and that added to the brokenness of me. My mother’s passing really shook the core of me and I went to some places that were not enjoyable. But time has passed and I have learned a new normal so to speak.
I’m still broken due to the losses I’ve felt. But I can honestly say I am finding a balance and I rebound from the lower times quicker. I feel stronger I guess. I can look around and see that I can celebrate my parents by just doing a few things.
Closing my eyes and bringing my memory bank up. This includes my dad’s big hands and his hugs that no one will replace. Sitting down at my sewing machine that sits below the picture my mother painted or looking at the photo of her nearby. I can hear my older daughters laugh out loud about an outrageous story that included grandma. Then there is my three siblings that I can plainly see a mixture of our parents in. I can feel a bond with them that I don’t even have with my own children or grandchildren. Only my siblings grew up with our parents and lived with me, that created something pretty cool.
I’m sad in August but I’ve got so much to celebrate as well. My sister’s birthdays each year. This year a family reunion that I hope will become a tradition where we can honor dad and mom and grow closer. There’s more to celebrate but I’m focusing on those for now.
If I have learned nothing else in my 48 years of life I’ve learned family matters. The family that brought you into this world. The family that grew with marriages, babies and close friends. The family that teaches the next generation what they know in hopes they will learn from it. Whether it was good or bad advice, there is always something to learn.
Rest in peace Dad and Mom. You are loved and missed.