The last couple of weeks since we lost dad have been pretty hard. Beforehand, even if I didn't talk to him every day, I just had the knowledge that he was "there". "There" if I needed advice, "there" when I needed to complain about motherhood, "there" just to listen when I needed him to. Now there's this huge hole in the fabric of my life where dad used to be "there".
I know (and have spoken at times) all the platitudes about how he's in a better place, now he's not suffering, now he's with God, ad infinitum. And, while all those things might be true, he's still not "there." And that hurts. Losing your parents is, unfortunately, one of the pieces of the normal progression of life. It just is. And it just sucks.
The manner of my parents deaths has been tough, as well. My mother died from lung cancer over five years ago. My dad died from prostate cancer. Both cancers had spread into their bodies through blood and bone. The way in which cancer emaciates the body and muddles the mind is horrible. Watching mom didn't seem near as bad, since her mind left long before her body did and she didn't exhibit any outward symptoms of pain. For dad, the pain was excruciating and he mentally wasn't gone enough except for the last few days to be able to block it. No amount of pain medications seemed to keep him comfortable. We've all heard the saying that cancer is a bitch. And she is. And because of it, I have two parents who aren't "there".
I want to take steps to try to be healthier so that my own girls have a mom as long as possible. I want to at least attempt to be "there" for them for as long as I can. I hope I never have to face the bitch, but if I do, at least I'll know that I tried to beat her.