Most days I forget that he is gone. More often, I'm too involved with trying to fix, comfort, and restore what he left behind. There'd always been this love-hate relationship between me and Mom. Mostly, I hated her weakness, her interference, her jealousy, her abrasiveness. My young adult years were voluntarily spent far, far away from anywhere she was. Until an awful realization hit it's mark ... that thoughtless woman would forever keep me barred from my father. I was going to have to play nice - do it her way - act as if everything she did & said was O.K. if I ever wanted to see him or speak with him again.
So began the charade. Years passed and my parents aged, new fears sprang into place. Fears that found me praying - no, pleading to God "don't take him first and leave her with me". Then cancer struck, it struck hard and furious, slowly and agonizingly, deteriorating the man of my heart. Destroying inch by inch his quality of life, I watched him dying in degrees before he ever took that last breath. All the while proclaiming to my daughter, "When he's gone, that woman will no longer have ANY power over me. I will be done with her finally and forever.
Life didn't listen as the years of struggle ensued and I watched this woman take such tender care of my beloved. I began, very much unaware, to come to love her despite her character and continued harshness soaked with negativity. I saw that there WAS good in this woman, how did it go unnoticed for so long?
Now she is all alone. The son she cherished, wined & dined is but a stranger now. I've become her primary caretaker through good times and bad. The 'bad' are becoming less and less; but, it's still a struggle. Nonetheless, I wish her all the very best.
She's on a cruise this week. I have a reprieve from this Jewish Princess and her demands. In a small yet undeniable way, I miss her - huh!! Tried to call her yesterday - Dad's voice is still in the cell phone and it caught me by surprise. Once again, I remember.... He's gone.