Now, just because you are an adult doesn’t make you mature or responsible. All that comes from experience, practice and pure intent. Sometimes I choose to be a kid, foot loose and fancy free. I wear PJ’s with cartoon characters on them and pink fuzzy socks. I carry a Bobby Sherman lunch box from the 1970’s to work and tell inappropriate jokes when laughing out loud is even less appropriate. I play with rubber ducks in the bathtub and swear chocolate milk tastes better when sucked through a silly straw. I love to brag about eating a yummie frozen Snickers Peanut Butter Sq. to my FACEBOOK friends while watching my favorite TV show. But there comes a day when you have to grow up, even if just for a day. That can always be a challenge.
I knew a woman who always said when she needed to change her frame of mind or situation that she was “Ripping off the band-aide”. It’s drastic and sudden and supposed to get the pain over and done with as soon as possible. That’s how she “broke thru to the other side”. That’s exactly what it feels like to set aside your childhood, rip it off like a band-aide and walk into a hospital room of a dying man that’s supposed to be your father and be the adult in the room.
Many people see the final days of a parent’s life as a time to make peace. A time to make amends before it’s too late. There’s a chance to say your goodbyes and you’re sorry. How you should have done better or just be there to give them the chance to do the same. I’ve learned the hard way that there is no making peace with my father. Only making peace ABOUT him in my own mind and heart. There is nothing he can give me or any of us at this point. These final days for me are about compassion. Whether he realizes it or not, I am there as much as I can be. My concerns are simple. I have compassion for his comfort and that he not suffer if we can prevent it.
The closer he gets to dying the uglier his tone and comments get. It can test the compassion of even a saint. Somehow, the comments and barbs don’t cut near as deep or sting near as long as they once did. He’s angry, scared, weak and confused. He is no longer the adult in control and I am no longer a little girl stung by his opinion. We will all get through this.
God has a plan and a system. I am who I am in part because of my father. So whether it was good, bad or indifferent it really doesn’t matter. I’m okay with how I turned out. I know that God’s plan doesn’t allow all that ugly to pass thru to the other side. My father will forget what he was scared of and who he was mad at, who he hurt and where he fell short. He will find his peace on the other side. And when all is said and done I will make my peace here. I will return to being footloose and fancy free. I will find moments to be a kid again. God and I will share a joke, a frozen Snickers and point out all the tall blondes with tans that pass by. Cause that’s what God and I do. We muddle. Sometimes we muddle together side by side and other times he throws me on the nearest Home Depot flat-bed cart and pulls me along for the ride. We still get there together. I am never alone. Snickers and God. It’s a good combination.
I love each and every one of you
Copyright 2011 Juliana Wathen