One of my fondest memories as a little girl, was waiting for my dad to come home for work – my mom and I would watch out the front bay window in the living room, or sit on the front steps and ‘count the cars’. We would try to guess how many more cars would pass by until daddy pulled into the driveway, how many red cars were coming up the road, how many blue ones, etc… When he finally drove up, and wearily got out of the car after working long days at multiple jobs, I would run as fast as I could into his arms. He would scoop me up, and ‘carry me like a frog’ into the house, and twirl me around. I only understand now, how bone tired he must have been.
I was 29, my son was 15 months old & I pregnant with my 2nd child. We were living in our first house, about 90 minutes from my parents home on Long Island. My mom and dad started to make weekly visits, usually on Wednesdays. I was tired, frazzled, and overwhelmed. But not on those visiting days! As soon as they would call and let me know they had crossed the George Washington Bridge, Tyler and I would sit on the front steps and wait. We would count the cars and guess the colors. Tyler was just as excited as I was. We would see their car, and he would clap his hands and jump up and down. As soon as they pulled in, and my dad got out of the car, I would run to him. Something about my dad getting out of that car was so comforting. When my dad was there, everything was going to be alright.
Fast forward 40 years…the final weeks, than days of my dad’s life. Driving out to Long Island day after day, pulling up to my parents home, parking the car, gathering up my things, and…waiting a moment – collecting my thoughts, preparing myself for whatever scene was to unfold that day. As soon as I would enter the house, I would run. I would race up the stairs, and get to him. I was always waiting, then running. I couldn’t get to him fast enough.
It’s 7 months today that I lost my dad, and boy do I miss the waiting and running. It’s hard to give up things you’ve done your entire life, the things that became second nature, the things that brought you so much comfort and joy.
I’ve been waiting to feel stronger, to feel lighter, and more free from the heavy burden of grief. It’s starting to happen. There are less days spent crying, and more days laughing and remembering, and making new memories. My faith is stronger, and I know he is always with me. I know, that someday, I’ll be running into his arms once again.