I woke this morning to the sound of my love's voice and the sun shining in my window. I had a list of chores to do and plans to accomplish so much today. In my excess organization I went into Ancestry.com and there I was greeted with several photos submitted by Annie. I noticed one was a news article but it was too small to read, so curiously I opened it.
It's been one month shy of 23 years since I lost my Dad. On an almost daily basis I talk about him and laugh about him. Reading his obituary again after all these years brought back Daddy's Little Girl and the pain I felt when I lost him. I remembered the dream of him saying good-bye and the phone call from Mom an hour later. I remembered listening to Robert talk to someone on the phone and I knew what had happened but in my mind I killed off everyone but Daddy. When Robert stood by the bed and spoke my name I remembered the desperation I felt, arguing with him over who really had died. I remember feeling like my world had come crashing down around me and I wanted to die with my Dad.
And then I saw the next photo and I knew what it was before I enlarged it.
My Daddy. In Arlington Nation Cemetery. My Mom's name is inscribed on the other side of the headstone and Mom's coffin is laid on top of Daddy's since she died last. Mom joked that for all eternity she would be where Dad liked her best... on top. Mom wanted so badly to be together for their 40th Anniversary. She died not long before then so that they could celebrate that milestone in Heaven... together.
Not a day goes by that I don't think about them. Not a day goes by that I don't miss them so much that it hurts. People don't realize what they have until it's too late. You need to understand that no matter how much your parents might drive you crazy, you should be grateful to have them in your life. No matter how burdensome your parents may be, they are still alive. You need to be grateful that you have parents to care for, no matter how grumpy. I would give anything to be able to care for my parents in their old age. I wasn't given that opportunity. When your parents are gone there is no bringing them back, no second chances to tell them the things you want to or to let them know how much you love them. I was blessed in that I always let my folks know how much I love them but I have seen so many miss that moment. If you don't take every opportunity to let your parents know your feelings, you will regret it when they are gone.