It would be a big white elephant in the room if I began posting again without addressing why I fell off the face of this blog. So while it means breaking a couple of my self-imposed rules, I’m going to blather on for longer than usual AND I’m going to delve deeper than my typical inane banter.
As some of you know, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in mid-2009. He took a sudden turn for the worst this September, and he passed away in early October.
Although I had plenty of time to prepare for it, the loss of my Dad was truly overwhelming. He was one of my favourite people in the world, simple as that. The above photos of us together are particularly close to my heart; one of us when I was a wee thing, and one of our many hamming-it-up moments (to clarify, we are hovering over piles of donkey poop while on a family trip to Santorini).
I know we’re lucky to have had him in our lives as long as we did and also that we got to say everything we wanted to each other. I feel guilty wishing for more time with him when I know too many people who’ve endured much younger or more sudden losses… but I wish it anyway. I can’t begin to imagine how all-consuming the loss must feel to our Mum, having lost her partner of almost 50 years.
A week after my Dad passed away, John and I took possession of our new (-to-us) house. The following four days were the visitation, the funeral, the cremation, and the interment.
At the end of October, we moved into our new digs. I’ve definitely fallen in love with the place and have never felt so at home. There’ll probably be unpacked boxes around for a few months… but there’s already so much pride and happiness steeped into this place.
And wouldn’t you know it, just for good measure, there was one more thing going on. Throughout all this, I was in my first trimester, and feeling consistently like a useless pile of nauseous crap. I packed a few boxes, unpacked a few… but I didn’t lift a thing. Other than one day when we had a whack of friends help us move the big furniture, John single-handedly moved us out of the apartment AND cleaned it from floor-to-ceiling.
Yesterday was the halfway mark of the pregnancy — I’m at 20 weeks now. John came with me to a prenatal appointment, and we got to hear the 150-bpm ‘whirr-whirr-whirr’ of the baby’s heartbeat. It’s the most surreal, beautiful sound.
I am soaked in luck, I know it.
The loss of my Dad only feels so huge because he was such a terrific father, and he continues to inspire me to be as good a person as possible. He knew about the house, but it makes me sad that he never got to see the place in person. We also made the decision to tell my family about the baby when I was only 6 weeks along — one piece of good news when all my Dad was getting at the time was bad — so again, I’m really glad he knew, but I will have a tough time getting past the fact that he missed out on being a grandfather by just a few short months.
We are going to look back at October 2010 and wonder how we managed to make it through without imploding. One thing I learned in the process is that, in grief, I tend towards introversion… to hermit-like proportions. While there’s obviously still lingering bittersweetness and sadness, things are levelling out now.
Before you know it, I’ll be back with the everyday anecdotal banter that you’re used to. In the meantime, thanks for bearing with this novel :)