Back on my feet… well mostly. The last eight months have been pretty rocky. My daughter broke her kneecap which required surgery, my neighbor passed away as did two of our family cats, a couple other family members have been in the hospital for severe digestive problems requiring surgery and stroke, and my dad was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. I can’t write those words and not feel a large watery lump in my throat and tears run down my face. My winter and into mid-spring involved many trips to care for my daughter and dad; between Salt Lake and Seattle, I think I may have put over 4,000 miles on my truck.
I watched my dad over the years create life and care for us. He worked so many lower end blue collar jobs from tire changing, security, post & pole, odd jobs and a lot of janitorial jobs. Hard, brutal work to do to make sure our family had the bare minimum basics. Our family has been homeless and hungry and stranded. I watched him stand in unemployment lines. I watched him swallow the largest pride a man has in providing for his family by having to pan handle for money when we were stranded in traveling.
My family had so many, many just plain old life survival hardships, that when we got the lab reports, I was stupefied speechless. I was mad as hell at God as I thought we had served our time in tragedy and suffering over the years pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps barely surviving at times. I think I lived in a make-believe world and thought that maybe maybe illness and death would not apply in the usual way. We could just live to old age and pass away in our sleep, if we had to die even at all.
He passed away in mid-April of this year. I made my peace with my dad a long time ago; so in being with him dying, there was very little angst left. Being with my dad at this point was beyond words -it was the purest state of being and honoring another‘s spirit. I was so very humbled as he was so brave in facing everything in the last months of his life - I hope I can be that brave. My memories now are ever so precious of sitting with him wrapped in blankets on my couch and massaging his back when he hurt.
We always had a bit of tug of war on life perspectives; him coming from the 1940’s perspective and me with my Generation X artist view. One thing we never argued about was how much we loved each other. I miss having him here to share my life with. I love you very much dad, you were one of my life hero’s.
Blog by Mary Riitano...
I'm a Montana actress on a journey sharing my heart and growth through blogging, stories, and poetry, I have faith you'll find empowerment and inspiration to create like a champion in your own life!
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