my dad and I in 1971
today it has been 4 weeks since I walked into my dad's hospital room to say goodbye for the last time. it's all so amazingly difficult and hard to explain. I have lost grandparents (all of them) aunts, uncles and in 8th grade, a fellow classmate. nothing comes close to this. we were a small family and lived in a smaller house on a little street in a town that didn't even have a restaurant when my parents bought the house. that was Huntington Beach, California. that little house cost $14,000. a huge amount to my parents back then. the house hadn't even been built when they signed their names on the dotted lines. I lived in that house, with my parents, until I was 24. how do you ever say goodbye to someone you lived with for half your life. how do you reconcile all the missed opportunities to visit, listen to stories, just plain listen. I know they say to live each day as though it's your last. does anyone ever do that? how could you live your life clinging on to every person you love just to go to the store? obviously, that is not realistic. but I wish I had been a better daughter in so many ways. it never occurred to me that at 81 he was old. he never seemed old. he was always laughing, cracking the same jokes he had cracked since my brother and I were small. I know he knew I loved him. I don't think there was any question about that. I guess maybe I never knew just how much until now. I feel like the pain will just split me open some days. others are more of a constant ache. I would do anything to have one more moment with him. just one. I don't think anyone can understand what losing a parent does to you. it is in fact losing a huge portion of who you are. how am I to accept that part of me no longer exists?