And now for something completely different... a happy post.
Enough of sad, dreary ones. I'm moving past the gloom and dark days of March. Perhaps, I can thank the warmth of spring. Perhaps it's because my family has been enjoying some togetherness with the boys on break or perhaps it's simply my blank calendar. Zero appointments cluttering my days, nothing looming large for yet another couple of months.
No doubt that's a big contributor to my lighter mood, despite disturbing, cold sweat rousing thoughts at 2am, but I guess we all have those. No matter who we are. If I can push past and find morning, things seem brighter.
Later this week, my dad and I are heading to California to attend my cousin, Matthew's wedding. Matthew wrote a poignant, guest post for me several months ago, "A Son Reflects." He wrote about loss, about life without his mother, of things he'd never experience...His mom enjoying his wedding, smiling proudly at the man he's grown to be, a mother/son dance others take for granted.
My mother and aunt had six children between them. Matthew is the last to marry.
It's heart wrenching, not to mention frustrating, to think they're missing yet another milestone thanks to breast cancer, but we can't change that fact. We can only move on imagining their wishes for us and I'm pretty sure celebrate as hard as we can, would top their list.
But first, I need to get to Los Angeles...with my dad.
Here's where optimism pays off. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful trip together. I'm actually looking forward to it.
I'm excited to fly 3,000 miles with my 81-year old, tell it like it is no matter what, no holds barred, father. For I've seen enough of life's losses to know such a chance may never come again.
Now, I realize there are some in my inner circle that doubt me, but I really am looking at the bright side. I'm fortunate Dad's still around, lucky he can travel, grateful for this time together.
And I will carry that running mantra in my head our entire journey. The power of that belief will see me through what may be some difficult moments.
- I will not cringe or slip away if and when my dad attempts to carry his pocket knife through security and gets angry at the TSA agent for confiscating it.
- I won't be annoyed as he leaves the safety of his window seat to stumble over the middle and aisle passengers on his way to the bathroom 17 times.
- I will smile politely at those seated nearby, acknowledging I do indeed hear the movie soundtrack blasting from his headphones, but please understand he won't hear me say turn it down.
- I will truly believe it's fine if every person on the plane overhears his annoyance with the flight attendant over the lack of free food because surely it's her fault and can't she sneak over some snacks.
- I will think he's charming as he loudly swears cross-country flights used to only take 3 hours.
I will grin and bear it all just to share my cousin's day.
Just so we can dance and talk of our mothers, those sisters that raised us. How proud they would be of their children, all settled now, making their way through life as best they can, guided by the hands of those women.
Maybe we'll see some sign of their presence in each other and know they're watching.
How can we not, on this day? They're the reason for us all.
It will be a day of celebration, a day of remembering, and a day to enjoy our blessings.
I just hope all that happiness and good feeling is enough to carry me and my dad through the return flight. I cannot be held responsible if he gets lost in the airport or whisked away by security.
(Just kidding, Dad.)