Sunday, January 24, 2010
Here I am, up late again. I've always been such a night owl. For as long as I can remember I've been a night owl. My Dad always told the story of when I was two and I stayed up ALL night long when my Mimi came to stay with us.As in, I did not go to sleep AT ALL. Legend has it that I made her fix me a "do dog" (hot dog) at like 3:00 in the morning. Why, you ask, would someone do such a thing? Well, I was obviously spoiled rotten! Anyway, back to my night owl issues. The thing I've noticed about grieving is that it hits me at all different times and in different ways. Maybe something little first thing in the morning or when I'm tired in the afternoon. I just never know. But, without fail, I can count of the grief to hit me as soon as I lay down in bed.
Even my most uneventful days are full of 3 kids and a dog. So, even on good days I still stay pretty busy and occupied. It is easy to pretend that life is still normal and my Dad is in Florida and I am in Mississippi. Then, I lay down and that nightmare (that I still haven't finished writing about)comes back and I am overwhelmed by the fact that I won't talk to him on Saturday morning and I won't see his encouraging "You can do it Em" comments on my Facebook status about my struggles with the kids. I haven't been able to post any new pics because I know this time he won't be the first one to comment, "My beautiful grandkids." Tonight I will think about how he would've gotten a kick out of hearing about our experience taking the kids to Cracker Barrel and the movies. He would be amazed that I've done the stinkin' Shred for 8 days in a row now. He would be impressed at how I handled the puking situation in this house last week as I most definitely inherited my weak stomach from him. I will think about all of these things and how they are of no interest to anybody else, but my Dad would have cared. And it makes me homesick.
I will never forget my many attempts at my first sleepover. I can't for the life of me remember the first time I actually spent the night at somebody's house, but I do remember plenty of attempts. It was the same every time. I would be excited about it all week. My friend and I would make big plans. I would go to their house, we would play, eat supper, play some more. And then...it would be time for bed. And I would get...homesick. I think it had a lot to do with my night owl status. At slumber parties with 8 or 9 girls, I would be the last to go to sleep. Of course, that is when I made it to that point. There were MANY times before that my Daddy would drive across town in the middle of the night to pick me up and take me home.
Josh still tells the story of the day my family dropped me off at college. I was going to William Carey which was 6 hours from home. Who knew that the little girl who couldn't spend the night away from home would one day be able to go to a college where she knew no one and was 6 hours from home? Well, Josh rode there with me in the Little Red Rocket, but left with my Dad in the minivan. He said they both did their best to avoid eye contact with each other as they cried their eyes out. I know so many people whose parents tell them that as soon as they're 18 they are out of the house. Not my Daddy. He made sure to tell me (I think every time I talked to him :) that I could always come back home.
After Josh and I were married I had a moment when it hit me (of course, late at night when I was up by myself) that I couldn't go back home. At least not the way that it had been. I would go to visit and I would always be welcome there,but it wouldn't be the same. At least that is what I thought then. The truth is, my Daddy never stopped being my Daddy. And when I was 7 months pregnant with Sarah and living by myself in a big house while Josh worked out of town all week, my Dad would come hang out at night with his independent daughter who insisted on staying by herself instead of at his house during that time.
So, here it is bed time (or really like 3 hours past it) and I am homesick for my Daddy.
At the hospital when I saw him for the first time with no breath left in his body, my emotional response was, "I'm just gonna miss him." I heard my Uncle Reggie utter those exact same words minutes later. And I do. I just miss him...