Because March, the last two years running?
Has nearly done me in.
This time last year, even though my body was officially "healed" from my first ever surgery (goodbye, gall bladder!) my spirit was still struggling. I was not yet nearly "myself" again.
And suffusing that whole winter, laying over it entirely, were ghostly tendrils of the previous winter when my father had been busy dying, and I had been completely consumed by caring for him and supporting my now widowed mother.
So last March was the final crushing end of Year One Without a Father. That year of sad first anniversaries, of remembering and reliving so much awful.
As I was grinding through it, trying to keep my head above water, everyone told me I would be astonished at how much better it gets, with time; that year two would be nothing like year one.
And they were right. Thank all the powers that be, they were right.
Two years ago, today, was four days out from Dad's passing. I was witness to his emaciated, worn out body, fiercely clinging to the last shredded remnants of life.
His incredible strength that I had admired throughout his life now a liability, he was really ready to go, longing for release. But his stubborn, fighting, never-say-die spirit won out. Over and over.
Until it didn't.
March to me is my parents' anniversary on the 1st. My father's death on the 13th. And my father's birthday on the 25th.
Two years ago, he nearly made it to 93. This year, it would have been my parents 53rd anniversary. He would have been 95.
And yet thoughts of him, of my Annus Horribilis, bubble up momentarily to the surface, then sink back below.
I am busy.
Busy with life.
Rising with my children. The thousand tasks involved in their care and feeding and shepherding throughout the day.
Laughing at their jokes. Supervising 4th grade homework. Cheering at their basketball games.
Busy preparing for Jacob's annual IEP meeting, for which "the letter" came in the mail yesterday. Always giving the shortest notice legally allowed, it's in two weeks. Scramble. Scramble.
Busy producing the New York City Listen to Your Mother Show. an amazing endeavor that is heating up white hot in my life, now that we are cast and less than two months out from showtime. (May 6th - mark your calendars!)
Busy doing everything that needs to be done for my nearly 90 year-old mother.
It's good to be busy. I am grateful. I complain (it's my nature). But I'm not REALLY complaining, you know?
Two years ago, I was in the thick of death. There is such a surreal quality when I look back to that time, the awful and beautiful of it, all wrapped up together.
And while "beautiful" seems a strange word to be found here, describing death; now, two years out, I can see that part, too.
It was a gift to be able to be there with my father, and for my mother. To lie beside him and gently, so gently, stroke his back so he could continue to sleep, comforted by the last simple human connection of touch.
At the end, at the very, very, very end, there is no future. The past is a distantly receding dream. There is only the bright white light of NOW. And then it goes dark.
Sitting in my father's light, at the end of the end, was a gift, with its own beauty. And now, two years out, I am beginning to see that, beginning to treasure it.
And so I run about these busy March days, grateful for the life that flows through them.
Starting year three.
And waiting for April, and true spring to come.
I'm linking up to Maxabella's I'm grateful for... because I so am.
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