I don’t talk a lot about the grief journey that I’ve been on since my dad died for a multitude of reasons… I guess mainly because it is so personal, and it is very difficult to put into words how I am processing things. I’ve been approached by several people to at least try to bring that section of my life to my site because a lot of people would benefit, but I just haven’t felt comfortable yet. Maybe, though, in time. Maybe.
So, the story I’m about to tell you is crazy and weird, and something that I referred to on Facebook the other day. I can just about guarantee that there are going to be at least a few of you that think I’m off my rocker, but I’m ok with that 🙂
Anyway, on Friday, my mom had hip replacement surgery. Wait, let me back up even further. When my dad was sick, his number one concern was my mom, and how she would be taken care of after he passed away. He wanted to make sure that everything was set for her, and he prayed over her constantly. He and I had many talks about what to do – where she would live, what car to get her… anything and everything that had to do with her life without him. And, he got to the point where he said “you know, I have prayed over her, and asked the Lord to watch over her and take care of her in my place since I won’t be with her”. And, that sort of finalized all of his concerns – he transferred my mom’s care over to the Lord.
Letting go of my dad in the physical world was, and in some ways, still is, very difficult to do. Because of the way the cancer came about, the subsequent treatment, and the way the doctors dealt with us, the realization that he was not going to come out of the illness came very late in the game.
One day, when I was at the hospital, I began to realize there wasn’t much time left, and I looked at him, and I said “Dad, I will promise to take care of mom as long as she is here on earth, but you have to promise me that you will give me an indication, in some way, that you are with me, after you are gone”. He responded, “Dana, in the quietness, when you need me most, you will know that I am there”.
Since he has gone, I have had four times when I knew he was with me – like I could turn around, and he would be right there.
On Friday, when my mom was in the pre-op room for her hip replacement surgery, we were allowed to go back and see her. Phil, myself, Amanda, and Kaitlyn were all there. Kaitlyn and I were sitting right next to each other and Kaitlyn leaned over to me and said “Mom, I smell Grandpa”. I smelled the air, and sure enough, his scent was there. It was on my shirt, actually. I went over to my mom and leaned down for her to smell, and she smelled it, too. My dad, as he promised, was there when we needed him most.