So, my father passed away on 12/23. The irony was that we (my sibs and I) were supposed to spend Christmas Eve with him. I hadnt seen him since his bday, I think… which was 9/21. Prob hadnt talked to him since Thanksgiving. That’s what happens when you take your parents for granted. You think they’ll always be there and then one day you get the phone call.
Not that we were that close anyway. I spent most of my life pretty pissed off and disappointed by him. Too bad, too. It only makes the trauma of losing him more painful. All the things that I thought were so important to be angry at him about –
– they all seemed to dissipate the moment I saw the coffin. The coffin with the American flag draped over it to honor his days in the Army. The coffin with a color guard detail rotation every 5 mins to honor his 21 yrs as a correction officer. The coffin that was closed so that I never even got to see his face one last time.
So Christmas Eve came… and went. Christmas Day came… and went. I always hate the commercial way my family celebrates Christmas and I had it in mind to boycott it this yr. Well, I guess I did. There was no Christmas for me this yr. The whole wk was spent in my apt with my sibs waiting for the hrs to pass. Thank God for good friends – Pastor Grace, Pastor Manni, Pastor May – who all came over to pray. Thank God for good sons – Minister Hubert, Minister Scott, Minister Josh – who all tried to find the words to say… as they also prayed. I appreciate all of you who texted, FBook walled, FBook mssged, emailed, IMed, and attended the funeral. That wk went by in a haze of emotional distress.
Numb. Incredulous. Traumatized.
I couldnt pray. I couldnt sing. I could barely speak.
At the funeral, I heard my parents’ old friend/pastor, as well as his co-workers say things about my dad that made me realize I didnt know him at all. He spent so much time at work. They talked of his laughter, his joking nature, his diligence and mindfulness. They said everything he worked for was for us, his children. The pastor spoke of his re-kindled interest in spiritual matters and their talks about Jesus over meals.
Really? Then why the hell didnt I know about any of this?
How come every time I tried to follow God he tried to stop me?
How come we only saw a tired, sick, over-worked father who deteriorated over the yrs?
My father basically worked his ass off for 25 yrs and then keeled over. Is that what’s gonna happen to me? Me – the workaholic. Now I know where I get it from. He was anal, too. Guess it’s a DNA thing. I know I must sound bitter as I write this. I’m not. Not really. I’m actually crying. (Surprised?)
I hate that I had only begun to forgive him a scant 2 or 3 yrs ago.
So, all this has me wondering. What will ppl say at my funeral? How will the way my family remembers me be different from how my friends and the church remember me? Am I too much of a workaholic? I’m 30 now. Do I still see myself teaching in 5 yrs? 10 yrs? Will I throw myself into ministry so much my own mother wont recognize my face? Who/What do I spend most of my time, energy and resources on? Will it matter how I’ll be eulogized? I wont know anyway, right? I’ll be dead, after all. (But, alive with Jesus… where I hear my dad is waiting for me…)
Morbid much, Jas? Yea, maybe. Too much stored up inside. Too much trying to hide. No more. No more. This is 2008. I am 30. This is my yr of JUBILEE.
You are my freedom.
Jesus, You’re the reason
I’m kneeling again at Your throne.
Where would I be
here in my life?
Here in my life?