I was in the shower worrying about life, wondering how things could be different... I felt a jaw-dropping wave of peace and warmth. I heard a voice telling me that everything would be alright, never give up, remember the sunshine.
A while after getting out of the shower the phone rang downstairs. I knew. I told my Grandma I didn't want to take the phone call. She told me I had to come to the phone.
I walked down the stairs and took the phone, the kitchen was dirty and the back door was open to the Missouri sunshine. The phone felt greasy, holding it was hard. It was Mom. "I am so sorry baby, I wish I didn't have to tell you this on the phone... Dad died."
The fridge door was suddenly holding me up. Grandma Momo reaches for me, her parents have been gone longer than I've been alive, she understood.
She bought me a plane ticket home as I packed. We sat in the backyard and talked, and didn't talk... Waiting for it to be time to go.
My Grandpa had died 6 months before, we had celebrated his life recently. Momo told me to be strong for Mom. Don't cry, don't make it any worse for your Mom.
It took 3 planes and all day to get in to Seattle. The airline was very sweet and gave me priority boarding so I could find a quiet place to sit. While boarding my first flight I stopped at the gap between the plane and the walk way.
It was raining. May 31st in Missouri. Rain has meant something more to me since. I got off the plane in Seattle and hugged my sister Becky until my arms were tired. Mom was next, then Nicole (foster sister), and then I noticed my Mom's best friend Rebecca. I remember being grateful she was there because it meant none of us had to drive.
We started the 3 hour drive home while they filled me in on what happened. It was sudden. Unexpected. When we got home I laid down on his side of my parents bed, face buried in his pillow and cried.
I broke my promise not to cry. Sometimes you just HAVE to cry.
It's hard to believe its been 7 years. Becky was days away from being 19, I was two weeks from 22. Nicole is in between the two of us. We were kids.
Becky is married and has 2 babies, and Nicole is married with 3. I am divorced with cats. ;)
My parents had a tendency to adopt our friends. I think it was something to do with Dad being a Pastor and Mom being a nurse. Their mission in life was to help people.
One of our friends posted on Facebook today about missing Papa Phil and the impact he had on her life. She is a strong, beautiful woman and the fact that my Dad had something to do with that means so much.
People try to tell you that grief gets easier with time... I'm not sure that its easier.... But rather that it becomes a part of who you are and you learn to accept it.
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