One thing I will tell you right away, is I will always surprise you. In fact one of the things I love about who I am, is just when you think you know what I’ll do or say, I will surprise you… in the best way. I change, I’m a good kind of different, and I won’t bore you, and even if you think you’re getting bored, I’ll surprise you.
I want to say that whatever you believe is ok with me. And I’m not here to preach anything. I’m here to share. I understand when certain subjects can deter you from being interested if you’ve had a negative experience, or just plain don’t believe in certain things or ideas. I am only here to share mine. And I share mine because it’s really freaking neat what I’ve experienced.. for way lack of better words.
When I talk about God or angels, or any of it, please don’t let that deter you. I do not expect anyone to believe what I do, or be where I am with it. Although I do hope for it for everyone because it’s just too cool not to have it. I do understand everyone gets to a place on their own. And my friend, I’m there with you.
It has taken me some time and reminders to get to this place in general. I would say one of the biggest things I need to remember is that not everyone is where I am in my head. Sounds obvious but I forget it all the time. So much so that my feelings have been hurt for years because I’ve forgotten to meet people where they are, instead of assuming they’re like me.
One of the greatest gifts I’ve gotten from my own self work, and listening to friends, and therapy, and observing and thinking.. is the ability to keep acknowledging not one of us comes from an identical place, and there’s beauty in that.
Just like there are no identical snowflakes… however Grace brought up a good point.. how on earth did anyone ever figure that out? And I’ve been meaning to google it.
So today’s story comes from me writing about my Dad’s shoes and crying next to them on the closet floor. It reminded me of a moment I had with him on the way to one of his many doctor’s appointments.
He was spent, and he felt awful for me “having” to take care of him. He didn’t want that for me. It made me so sad because I kept telling him there was nothing more I’d rather do.
I could tell that day that he was really feeling that. He was quite quiet which might surprise people, because boy could he talk.
I knew he was feeling like he was a burden, I knew I had to find some way to make it really resonate to him that I meant it when I said there is nothing I’d rather do.
Here this man had dedicated his whole adult life to his wife, and my siblings and me.
This man is how I got to go to college and graduate.
This man had been my security and love, hope, inspiration, I mean you name it, he was it and then some.. my entire life. This man had also carried me through my darkest times. And helped me fly in my brightest times.
He gave me wings this guy, my Dad.
How could I put all of that into a sentence and make him realize the gift he was giving me by allowing me to care for him. What a gift. It is what I have left of him now. WHAT A GIFT, I could cry just thinking of it.
Side note, ironically I was never a crier, I think I cried 3 times in about 5 years at one point in my life and it was only when I was really sad like when my Grandpa died, or really angry, like out of frustration. Now, I’ll probably cry if you told me you had the best sandwich of your life and it meant a lot to you because you didn’t get sandwiches when you were young. I mean, that’s kind of a great example, I don’t see why someone wouldn’t cry for that.. ok wait back up to … not everyone is like you point I made earlier lol.
Was it hard… all these appointments, him not feeling good, my poor Mom going through it, my kids missing me because I had always been right there for everything… sure. Was it hard when he didn’t feel good and his voice would be harsh and it shot me back to being a child in this 40 something year old’s body confused that I am adult and his voice being harsh can still make me cry… yes. Was it hard even after he passed to look back and see how horrible he felt and feel bad that I ever felt anything other than compassion for him, yes. Does it all come with that gift? Yes. I have a great deal of compassion and I knew he felt like hell, but I’m still his little girl and I still would get hurt feelings. I am human after all. And so was he. An extraordinary one because can I just say, if I went through one of the things he went through or was even on one of the medications he was on, I would have a hell of a time being even as quiet as he was, let alone nice.
Again, so much to say, but that’s why the posts will keep coming.
Was it hard? Absolutely, 100%.
Was it a burden? That’s a no beyond no’s.
So we’re driving to that appointment that day, he said something about being a burden, I blocked it out, that was painful to me, to have him feel that way.
I said “Dad, you have been there for me during the toughest times of my life. You are why I am where I am in life”
(I’m crying now at this point in talking to him which makes him uncomfortable, he hates it when I hurt. It took me years.. like until I had my own kids, to realize that’s what the harsh voice is. It was never to be harsh, it was our sheer discomfort with our kids hurting in any way)
So I hold strong before he can say anything and I say “I cannot tell you what you have done for me, I can never thank you enough. For your patience, for who you are, for saving me, for supporting me”
He’s quiet and listening.
I said “You know how the people washed Jesus’ feet? I’d wash your feet, it’s the least I can do to repay you for everything you’ve done and been for me”
He says in a harsh voice “I don’t want you to wash my feet!”
I say “Well good, because that’s probably one of the things I couldn’t do anyway”(I don’t like feet or touching them, unless it’s a baby’s)
He grins, I laugh. And from that day on I think he truly understood I was doing what I wanted to, and he was not a burden.
It was also nice to know that we established I drew the line at feet washing and he didn’t want it anyway 🙂
The picture above is of my feet, in my Dad’s shoes and in case you missed the previous post.. He wore his Father’s shoes in the last several months of his life. I asked him one day why, and he said “Because I’m walking in my Dad’s shoes” like he knew I’d get the meaning to him, and I did. And I do.
My Dad’s shoes cannot be filled by my feet, and I love that. They still feel as big on me as when I would wear them for fun as a little girl. And they remind me that he never expected me to walk in his shoes, he wanted me to run barefoot if I wanted. Just as he did not want me to wash his feet.
Ps Dad… I would’ve washed your feet if you had needed that. I think you knew that too.
I hope you remember in your times of need, that you are never a burden. There are people to whom it is a great gift, to be able to care for you.