So - a longgg time ago - or was it just in September? I guess it feels long ago...I took my father to the ER because he appeared to be unwell. 3 weeks and a Stage 4 terminal illness diagnosis later, I brought him back home. Now - the details are all very sad and as I mentioned in an earlier post, my heart is as heavy as it has ever been. But that is not why I am writing today.
Today I am writing because this afternoon, I was bear hugged by my old friend Chucky - Father Chuck now. I grew up with Chucky and he went on to become a priest right out of Xavier High School. I have seen him exactly three times since then. Once at his father's wake, once at his brother's untimely funeral and today at my father's side. It was so JOYful to be with him - if only for a few minutes.
What I've discovered in these 5 weeks is that people really are amazing. And compassionate. And caring. I have heard from people I never dreamed I would hear from. I have visited with souls from my past who have come to see my father. And, I have been held up, by those who love me most. ALL bring me JOY in this joyless time. I've missed all these people from my past but I've only just realized it - as they file one by one past me - to reach my father. And although I am always surrounded in my daily life by people who love me, I have a greater love for them all now, as well. Not because they "do" things for me. But because they care enough to - send a text "How are you today?" "How's your Dad doing?" "Do you want to go out and get away for a bit?" "I love you." And they call to make sure I don't need anything. And they stop in to say "hi". And they send me good energy every day. Who knew all those small things would be so important?
Yes - this is not a happy time in my life. And honestly - the JOY was flying by me, but I just wasn't there to catch it. Being swept up in Chucky's strong arms was what it took, for me to look around and see that the JOY was still there. I just needed to open my teary eyes and reach for it.
So even in these sometimes, dark days - there is light. That infrequent smile from my father, the twinkle in my Uncle Al's eyes that I have missed, my cousin Cindy's beautiful face, those texts from near and far, the emails from people from my father's life asking about him, trying to schedule a visit...they ALL hold me up and you know, I can even see the blue sky and sun again. Yup - there IS still JOY in the dark days...don't ever think it's NOT flying by waiting to be caught. Trust me - I know this for a fact. ♥♥♥