Monday, April 9, 2007

Monday blues

Well, Larry provided an excellent segue to what I wanted to talk, er, write, er, blog about.

I wish. How is a humor writer supposed to follow this?

Emotion, loss, perseverence, all things I'm totally inadequate to speak about. I can't even imagine the pain that Larry, Rose and her family are going through. And you can tell by Larry's post that this is something that he is going to think about, learn from and use in his spiritual growth.

And for it to have happened that way ...

It put me in mind as to the death that most personally affected me. When I was twelve, my mother packed the kids up for a week at my mother's in Michigan. My father had to stay home and work. I remember the dark early morning we left our Maryland suburb. My father came out to see us off, and just before we left he leaned into the station wagon and kissed each of us goodbye. We were sleepy and grumpy but tolerated the kisses anyway.

If we would have known that this would be the last time we'd see him, we would have been far more cooperative.

While we were gone he had a major heart attack, and though we rushed back to Maryland, he was gone before any of the kids could see him a last time. So my last memory of him is that morning in the car. It was hard to believe that my bigger-than-life, playful father was really gone.

Maybe that's why I started having the dreams. I would dream that the front door would open with a rush, and there would be my father, overcoat swirling, back from a long undercover operation that he had done for the government. Never mind that he worked in the space program, not for the CIA or any other espionage organization. Our dreams aren't supposed to make sense anyway.

Anyway, these dreams came to a sudden end years later when my mother remarried. I guess that's when my subconscious finally accepted that he was gone.

I carry this memory with me every day, and this is why every single morning I go into my daughters' rooms and give them a kiss on the head to start my day.

It always bothered me that it ended this way for him, especially now with more efficient medical care available. What if my neighbor, who was there when he had the heart attack, had known and done CPR? What if the hospital had today's medical procedures? What if my father had taken an aspirin when the attack first started (something they claim is effective)? 'What ifs' abound.

If these thoughts engross me for an accidental death, I can't help but think of all of the 'what ifs' that happen in a murder. All of the questions, fears and doubts that come with an intentional death. Why? How? For innocent family members, this kind of loss rarely comes with the kind of closure that one has when a loved one dies from a sickness or accident. There's no culprit or trial in a sickness, so the loss remains fresh and renewed.

That's why the family needs support and encouragement. And that's why, for whatever it's worth, my prayers are with you and your family, Larry.

The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
Coming soon: The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness


Larry D. Sweazy said...

Thanks, Norm. Great post. I think we all take too much for granted....

Morgan Mandel said...

That's so sad. You make me want to cry, Norm.