Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughts After Midnight

Well, it is just another sleepless night. But it is different, because my father's burial is in less than a week. One would think that funerals and weddings would be times for the family to get together in a spirit of lovingkindness. Or hey, just being plain old 'polite'...I would settle for that.

But I think that if some one thinks badly of you, there is nothing you can do to change their attitude. The phone rings and wala. Another sibling yelling at me. Oh! And then my email....complaints and madness. Then to my cell phone texts. I have become less than enthusiastic about even having a cell phone. Really. I just put it on 'silence' and that it nearly the only time I have some peace for my own soul.

My father was and is my hero. He was my father and my mother. He did so much during his life of mathematics and physics (he was a double major), military science and parenthood. He helped write the program for satellite repair via rotating arm robot. He was the Contract Manager of the Space Station, writing the electric and power systems to keep the Space Station floating about in outer space without withering.

But the biggest accomplishment he did, to me, was raising 7 kids as a single parent. Also, he fathered another son whom we all wish we had grown up with. Now, as adults and with Dad's death, jumbled memories and warlike behavior seem to be the norm as we try to plan his burial. Each day brings more texts, emails, and phone calls about what ever mistakes/errors/disagreements that each person feels. Some siblings don't even call at all, and it is funny that that, at this point, is a blessing.

No one calls to say, What can I do to help? Actually, my friends call to do that...and the least likely people are here to offer the most help. The nearest and dearest friends call to offer support, to be there for me at this time...and to just .... to be there. Who wants to go to their beloved father's funeral alone? No one.

I just want to be able to look to my right, and look to my left, and see loving eyes. I just want the flowers scent to pacify all ill feelings, and for the church ceremony to reveal to us, once again, that Christ is resurrected and that God is good. How can this happen when some one dies?

Well, I can only say that I died. I was one of the lucky ones, certainly. I had the choice. I could go through the door of light and never go back again. Or, I could return to my body, my life on earth. Strong as an umbilical cord, I wanted to be a mother. I thank God I got to come back to life, to earth. Each day, I look at my daughter's eyes and I thank God that I get to watch her grow up. I pray for wisdom, patience, and time.

More time to spend with her. Time to play tea, time to watch her at karate, time to take her shopping for new slippers with monkey heads on them :=). Most of all today, I am grateful that my daughter comes to me when she is hurt, and that she still thinks that if I kiss her boo-boo, it will feel better. I love to see the transformation of her eyes as fear turns into comfort, and as food is set before her to satisfy her hunger. We are so blessed to have food and clothing and money for a few things. We are also most humbly blessed to be able to support others in this life, others that would not otherwise have an extra chance at being blessed. For it is better to give than to receive, and not a day goes by wherein I fail to do at least one good deed for the day. What joy reaps in my heart and soul when I give of myself, and invest my time and efforts in this little joy of a life that God has blessed us with.

A few more days left before the burial occurs. Each day, for the past month, has been gradually consumed by energy that leaves my body. This person needs this. That person needs that. The puppy needs a bath and this is a welcome break as I feel the warm water cuddle her body...and it is as if I am a mother again. Feed, water, sleep. Awaken then off to the grass. Puddles of mistakes in the living room, and a carpet with little poop smells that only dogs can identify. Oh. Gotta go wash the dog again. As I wrap her in a blanket, I realize that God put her in my hands.

It is a good thing to be in God's hands. In His hands, we can realize that this headache of a funeral will bring some good to the life of all that are touched by the day. And I have to say for the record that I will be so happy to have my Dad in the ground. To have closure to his death, and to place flowers on his grave plot, with my daughter who grew up knowing him very well.

I was thinking of wearing black to the funeral, but now I need to wear colors. Perhaps red. It is bold and bright, happy and fun. Dad would have liked that.

Hold on to your parents while you can. Just do it for me. No parent is perfect, but I remember that my Dad used to make me feel like I was his only daughter. When I wrapped my arms around his neck, there was love and peace. Inner comfort, like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket on a cold day. Soothing. Peaceful. Loving.

I will be so glad when his body is laid to rest. A military burial will complete the ceremony, and mariachi music, per his culture, will guide us to feel our emotions. I am so glad I saw him in Heaven. He was the only one who was waiting for me inside that door. But now I know that he suffers no longer, and that he does have the peace that surpasses all understanding.

As each day progresses and the 'big' day approaches, emotions are raw and personalities make themselves known. All I want to do is to honor my father. Others misinterpret my goals and intentions, thinking nothing but the worst of me. I am seeing the dark side of people that I never saw before, and I wish that could have been spared. As if I don't already have enough problems.

And by the way, where were all these complainers while Dad was alive? Now they want to exhibit righteous behavior and indignation, whereas before.....Before, there was opportunity to show love and affection, support and conversation, assistance and togetherness. I pray the upcoming togetherness breaks the hatred and disgust that sometimes permeates the air.

It seems that when some one dies, nothing is ever the same again.
Perhaps that is meant to be, so that we can appreciate people while they are here.

Go in love to your family. Go for a walk in the hills or the garden. And when you get a chance, dance. Sing. While you have your healthy body, run. Move in the racquetball court, swim 1200 meters/day, and hop that soccer ball with your feet. For one day, you may not be able to do any of these things....but if you can do them now, do them for me. Learn to love each day.

And know that you are doing the right thing...just follow God's ways and bear the trials as they come. Nothing lasts forever. We have to love and live each day, each moment, while we can.

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