Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Daddy

Last Thursday, my husband and I made a very hard trip down to Ocala to get some things from my parents home...My Mama died almost 8 yrs ago suddenly and unexpectedly and Daddy has lived alone ever since then....He has gradually decided that he could no longer keep up the house and yard by himself and started thinking about moving into a different place. I really never thought he would go into an assisted living place which is really just a glorified nursing home..kinda like calling a trailer park a mobile home community...We all know what it is...
I am a homemaker so giving up his home has caused my emotions to be so mixed and confused and empathizing and anything else you want to call it...I have been just a mess for weeks...

I learned my love of home and making a comfortable and beautiful place to live in from my parents and they learned from my Grandparents and they learned from their parents.......you get the gist.. a long line of homemakers..and gardeners...
so his giving up his home and yard has turned me into a river of tears for him...
I asked him about a month ago what he wanted to do and his reply was I just want to paint....I want help with everything else and I want to focus on my painting..
I recall that conversation over and over because where he has moved, he has no room to paint....I cannot understand how this has happened.....his art supplies and books are still at his house for the moment but they will be done away with or packed up soon for the house to go on the market..

When I walked into the house for the first time Thursday night, I was overwhelmed with grief....I cried and cried...could not get a grip on the emptiness of it. My brother and sister and ex sister in law had already pretty much emptied out the house before I got there...they had made a pile in one room for me...they chose what I was to get instead of waiting until we could all get together and go through it all.. I sat on the floor and went through what was there and cried...and cried.....and cried...
all the memories, all the life, all the opportunities for family get togethers, over..just like that. all of the pictures of us growing up had been removed...there was one picture left of me when I was a little girl....all of the family movies had been thrown away...
Bryan and I began to go through and start to pack what I was going to bring home..every time I would run across something that held a memory, mostly I would just cry..LOL
Daddy was very, very sick with a cold ..he has been battling lymphoma so his immune system is compromised and we were really concerned about him...he came over to the house anyway on Friday..I could tell he felt really bad...we talked a little about some pictures he had set aside for me...(they were already gone) he was shocked and kept saying I put it in your pile...can't believe it is gone...but that is pretty much the way things have gone for many years...
so
I told him I was fixing to dig up daylilies and he said he wanted to go with me and tell me where the best ones were....I got the shovel and off we went..he with his walker and me in my garden shoes....Bless his little heart...he parked the walker and sat down on the seat and then pointed and called out.."that one....that one too....I really love that one..get it...and here is the one you wanted..Sabie.and Ski Chalet."
Bryan was bagging them as I dug and Daddy directed....

As I look back on the couple of days, THAT is what I will always remember the most..in the garden with my Daddy for the last time....passing along daylilies. the legacy of my family...it was a sweet, sweet time between me and him..it wiped away all , well, most of, the hurtful emotions I had been experiencing..
We insisted that he go back 'home' so he could rest..and he did.
I cannot believe I did not take any pictures of our time in the garden but I was so in the moment that I didn't even think about my camera.maybe that is a good thing..I stayed present and accounted for and focused on just Daddy..the lilies are already in my garden with 2 days worth of rain on them..they will be beautiful this June...

For any of you that have had to pack up your parents home, you understand...for any of you that have this in your future, hugs to you..and grace, grace..you will need it...

these pictures are from the last times he was able to drive up to Georgia to stay with us..I will always miss that that part of life is over..
I didn't know it would be the last time
I hope you will bear with me as I pass through this season in my life of seeing my Daddy in this transition in his life...and this transiton in my life also..and be transparent about it..
I never knew how hard it would be to not have a 'home' to go home to..

I will be fine...Life will go on and it will be good...I will carry the memories with me and incorporate into my home the things from my parents home.
And I will also take a long hard look at where I am headed in life...realizing that it doesn't last forever on this earth..there will come a time when all of these things are a burden and need to be gotten rid of rather than trying to acquire more..
This ending is a new beginning..
four generations

Daddy

Daddy and Will

first great grandchild
















2 comments:

  1. Mona,
    Thank you for sharing such a difficult and tender story. I have so many memories of growing up as your neighbor in Dawson. My heart hurts for you so much. May the daylilies bring a joy to your heart this spring!
    Love,
    Susan Beaty Bowden

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  2. Susan,
    thank you for your kind words..I have many memories of you also..what a fun neighborhood we lived in...I can't wait to see the daylilies bloom..MLG

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