The sun sets, the house quiets. And the tears begin to fall.
And you know you must sleep because the day starts at seven but you can’t, you just can’t.
You toss and you turn, try to distract yourself, try to forget.
No rest for the weary.
And you realize you didn’t really say goodbye. That you can’t even remember the last time you saw him. Was it Father’s Day? The week after? Did you give him a hug that day? Tell him you loved him?
You can still hear his laugh. Still see his smile and the twinkle in his eye.
It all happened so fast.
You think you have all the time in the world but you don’t. You just don’t. You have today. There is only today.
He gave you a good man. You gave him four grandchildren.
Did he know that you loved him? Does he still?
To have to tell your children someone they love is gone. To have to answer their questions and watch their wide eyes brim with tears. To watch them swallow hard, chins quivering, lips pursed into an involuntary frown.
To hold your spouse in their grief, to witness them crumble as the dust settles and the children finally sleep. It is surreal. You are a child living a grownup life.
His last clear words to you were almost a year ago. As you hugged him tight and told him you loved him, he spoke the words back. Maybe a few more. A moment frozen in time. A voice the Parkinson’s had not allowed in so long, a voice you haven’t heard that clearly since. Maybe that was your goodbye.
We breathe. We grieve. We believe. We receive.
We look back.
We give thanks.
We press on.
“Thank you for raising a man who works hard, who loves his children well and who gives to his wife unendingly. You set that example for him and because of that that is all Chaz knows to do. He is more than I deserve. I am forever grateful. Our hearts are with you. Our hope is in Heaven. I and Meadow and Granite and Canyon and Haven love you very, very very much.”