Yesterday marked two years since you left us. It feels like two seconds ago.
Nothing prepared me for losing you. Not even the deaths of Nanny and Granny Hector. They left a huge void, yes, but I guess because I was younger and they were older (and had been ill for a while), it did not ricochet so in my spirit.
The pain of the final days
People think that because I was not at home when you took ill, the news of your sudden sickness was not so difficult for me to bear. I don’t think so! I lost sleep and appetite with every day of waiting through that unending week, hoping to hear that you were improving, only to be disappointed and for my heart to drop like a 30-pound barbell to the floor.
I know I was an unrestrained hot mess when I saw you in that hospital bed. Why couldn’t you hold out a few more minutes til I got there? The tightness in my chest gave way to an explosion of wails and tears. I probably freaked everyone out, but I really didn’t care.
My dad was gone.
I was catapulted into a zombielike zone in which all that seemed normal now seemed dispersed, fragmented.
The fog that was 2010
I remember Facebook chatting with Blanche, days after the funeral, confiding in her that I would not be able to mourn properly until I returned to the States. Dad, I didn’t count on the form that mourning would take, and the length of the process of adjusting to the “new normal” of fatherlessness.
My hair started to fall out like crazy. Work was onerous. Sleep was a fugitive. I developed a strained relationship with money: the car died; the fridge died. Friends seemed far away, literally and figuratively. Adrenal fatigue set in.
Spiritually, I went through the motions. I felt abandoned and angry, full of questions for God that I didn’t have much energy to pursue, but that kept me numbed to the intercession and worship that I normally sought and enjoyed. Why did He let you go before I got to say goodbye?
The fog cleared, through no effort of my own. I give God praise for bringing me through it and for sticking with me. I am beginning to accept, grudgingly, that you are gone.
Homage to my DNA
Mom has always said that I am my father’s child. And I am. I tell everyone that I am a Hector, not a Herbert. No shade on the Herberts … 😉
I look more and more like you, especially with my hair cut off and going grey. Yeah, going grey! I know; go figure!
And I realize more and more how much we indeed are alike. We love journaling. I know you would have been excited about this blog! We are both hardcore introverts, somewhat loners, eschewing idle chatter. We give 200 percent to our jobs. We love books, music, movies, and humor, especially the home-grown Kittitian variety of local jokes and legends.
I see all of that reprinted indelibly in my life. Thank you for that DNA. As you once said, I am the “first fool” of two “first fools.” And proud of it.
So I press on, missing the Dad who would quietly encourage me, put up with my idiosyncrasies, tease me slyly, pick me up and drop me to the airport, waiting patiently.
I miss the Dad who read Alice in Wonderland to me at nights before bed when I was a little kid in England. Seeing the movie last year was such a kick for me! If only we could have seen it together… “Twas brillig…”
I miss the Dad who took pride in both of his children and their achievements, beaming as you called us by our first initial and middle name: A. Marcia; C. David.
I miss the Dad who led unselfishly by example under difficult circumstances and who willingly sacrificed, putting his wife and kids first.
I miss the Dad who knew what to do “when it was sleepy time down south.” LOL!
I miss hearing your voice on the other end of the telephone line, chuckling at whatever madness I’m sharing with you and Mom.
Dad, I hope you hear me: you are dearly loved and deeply missed.