Yesterday marked since months since we lost my dad. (There I go again, using that cliched language). It has been a tough six months, the longest and yet the shortest. The time has flown, in a way. I can’t believe it’s been half a year. At the same time, it feels like so much has happened since then.
I just want to start off by saying: this is not a sponsored post. None of my posts are.
Okay, now that’s out of the way. When I first heard about Instacart’s recent arrival in the Buffalo area, I was intrigued, but didn’t necessarily think it was a service I’d ever use.
This week, I decided to give it a try. My husband and I both have a busy week, filled with our day jobs, plus a ton of ‘extracurricular’ stuff (side job stuff, basically). The evenings I’m free, I look forward to going home and being able to relax. I don’t terribly mind grocery shopping, but after working an eight-hour day, the last thing I want to do is go spend an hour strolling the aisles of Tops or Wegmans, then another 15ish minutes carting the stuff home and upstairs. And then you’ve still got to put everything away!
It’s been two months since my father passed away. The grief is still so fresh, in many ways, and stale in others. I keep finding new ways to miss him, new moments that come up in my day-to-day life that I wish I could share with him.
My father’s death pushed me to quickly consider things like the afterlife. It’s one thing to think about heaven in general; to think about what happens after someone dies. It’s another to lose a loved one suddenly, feel left behind, and wonder where they are now, where their spirit is. There have been moments where I say to myself “I wish Dad could see this.”
In my head, I know, or maybe hope, that he is seeing all of this. That he’s somewhere he isn’t feeling any more pain, that the hacking cough he had for years due to smoking is gone, that the aches in his varicose veins don’t trouble him anymore; that he’s watching us, and will see us as we grow over the years. That he’ll be proud of us, just as he was when he was still physically with us.
Rush, rush, rush. Do this, do that. Check ten things off the to-do list only to add five more later. Oh, and I have to do that other thing, too. Why isn’t this finished yet? I’d better get that done real quick.
Does that sound familiar to you? It does to me. Life can sometimes seem like it’s all-go, no-stop. Sometimes it feels like there’s just no *time* to stop, or even slow down. When you’ve got a to-do list that’s half a mile long, and that never quite seems to get shorter, it can, quite frankly, be exhausting.
Well, a few weeks ago, my body told me to SLOW! DOWN! Or rather, the fact that I slipped on a huge patch of ice and fell, putting three small fractures in my right elbow, told me to slow down. After a trip to an immediate care facility, then an orthopedic doctor, plus x-rays and a CT scan and then *more* x-rays, my elbow should be healing nicely. I’m not in a cast, but I have to wear a sling most of the day.
Between this and losing my dad early in the year, I’ve really been forced to take a step back and slow down. I can’t do things the same way I could before I broke my elbow (on my dominant hand, of course). Writing is better now that I can take the sling off once in a while; same with typing. Cooking is a challenge, and quite frankly, my husband has been great in stepping up to help. Getting dressed isn’t too bad, but I still can’t zip most of my jackets over my sling.
For the first few days, it was definitely frustrating. I wanted to start dinner when I got home from work, then realized there’s no way I’d be able to one-handedly lift a hot pan out of the oven right now. I wanted to get some laundry done, but carting that down to the basement was a no-way, Jose. I wanted to wash my hair, but it took extra effort not to try to use my right arm.
I’ve slowed things down a bit, focused on just doing what I can, and taking it one day at a time. It’s helped, a lot. I’m no brain surgeon, and it’s okay if the laundry has to wait another day or two to get done. It’s okay if it takes me an extra hour to finish this piece I’m writing; my deadlines are mostly self-imposed anyway. It’s fine if it ends up taking me 3 months to read this book because I can’t focus on reading a lot of days. And I haven’t even touched my NaNoWriMo / novel project since last year, but I know it’ll be there when I’m ready to circle back to it.
What am I in a big rush for anyways?
Life is meant to be lived now, not in the ink on some never-ending to-do list.
We’re 17 days into the calendar year, and I’ll be the first to admit: it’s been an awful one so far. I’d give almost anything to go back to the late days of 2017 – even the first few days of 2018. The days when my father was still alive.
This has all been incredibly unexpected, heartbreaking and difficult. I didn’t expect to lose my father, just days before his 60th birthday.
Isn’t it funny how we say that? We say we “lost” someone when they pass away, as if they can be found. As if they just wandered off in the grocery store and they’re three aisles down, looking at the macaroni and cheese when you’re in the bread aisle. Maybe some people would say we use that terminology because these people never truly leave us, that they’re always just around the corner, watching. I don’t know.