You see, five years ago this week my Dad died. Now I've got Millie and another one on the way, the gravity of losing a parent seems magnified. I run through the scenarios in my head - if something happened to Mr S, how would I cope? How would I honour his memory to his children, OUR children? That's a rhetorical question. We've talked about this as Mr S takes off for another South-West Wilderness hike.
But yes, thankful.
I tearfully explained to Mr S this week that this year, the anniversary of Dad's death really make me sad. It's as if the everyday fog of grief has lifted a tiny bit, and I now remember with searing clarity, the week leading to his death.
The decision I made to drop everything and fly interstate to see my family and my Dad. Finding out that Mr S packed his suit because he suspected he might need it. Realising that I hadn't thought about that. Sitting with Dad in his hospital room. The way that grieving people can behave. Singing songs to my Dad. Listening to him talk to me for the last time. Finding a new normal in a hospital room.
Realising that I have to find a new normal outside of that hospital room.
And Mr S said to me 'I know how horrible it was. But be thankful you had that time with him, that you got to say goodbye.'
He's so right. (yet another reason why I love that man.)
I'm so thankful that I got to drop everything to be with my Dad. I'm thankful that I got to sit with him in his hospital room with my family around, chatting normally and including Dad in the conversations. I'm thankful that we found the humour in the situation more than once, because I know that's what Dad would have wanted. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to sing my songs to Dad, one last time, and that if I'd ever doubted the power of music, I stopped doubting and started believing at that time.
I'm so thankful I got to have one last conversation with him.
I'm so thankful that he was here, for without him, there'd be no me, no Ben & Sally, no Millie.
He was an awesome man with a ripper Dad sense of humour. And I'm thankful for that, too.
After all, who else's funeral would it be okay to be walking through the chapel, hearing the mix CD I'd made randomly from Dad's CDs, only to hear a song pause and hear the singer say 'I'd like to thank you all for coming here tonight... but I know that you don't give a f**k.' Oops. Sorry Mum. I laughed out loud. But I think Dad would have liked that.