Friday, September 16, 2011

Beginnings. Endings.





"let's go."
"where are we going?"
"come on, let's go."
"dad, we are home."
"then what are we supposed to do?"
"I don't know."

We've had this conversation about six times tonight. Dying is new to both of us. Neither of us have a clue what the heck to do. It is all so strange. It is not what I pictured--it is something else entirely. I think for my Dad, living to 91 is not exactly what he expected either.

Right down to our thick nearly black (for him, now white) hair, I am my father's daughter--salty and introverted one minute; kind and outspoken the next; deeply strong and shallowly weak. He can be the life of the party or the wall flower---never the in-between. When it comes to any activity in which he has to pick aside--join a club, pick a team, pledge allegiance, he is never all in; except when it comes to God and family, then his loyalty is unshakable.

My Dad and I have been in this life together since my beginning in 1977. I imagine, that he knew exactly what to do with a baby--after all he is the oldest of nine and I was his second daughter. But, as the mother of two, I know each new soul is different. I wonder, did we spend nights like this one together then? Was I restlessly sleeping in my crib, while he sat watching and listening to each breath? Did he hold my hand while I dozed in my infant sleep and squeeze it? Did I squeeze back?

I have decided to believe my beginning will be much like his ending: A shared confusion with a large side of knowing everything will be okay. There will be lots of hand holding. There will be tears. There may be spit up. There will be loads of uncertainty. There will be moments when we both know exactly what to do. There will be surges of unconditional of limitless love. We will be in this together, just like at the beginning.

Because he is my dad and I am his daughter. Always.








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