Posted 6/24/2007 2:56 PM (GMT -7)
To those who know my story, I sold my home and moved across state to live with my parents to care for Mom with Alzheimers and Dad with some dementia and other health issues. I was their sole caregiver for two years and lost my Mom to Alzheimers last March with Dad following to be with her 7 weeks later. I am still having a hard time with the grieving and with the emotional cost the caregiving and eventual loss has had on me. I had an experience, though, that I had to share.
Something happened on Friday evening that freaked me out something huge about my Dad and I had a real difficult night and didn't even really sleep. Yesterday was icky feeling, too, and I couldn't put my finger on it. I was working on the computer and got this prickly feeling down my spine. It was so odd and disturbing so I tried to ignore it. Eventually I fell asleep from lack of sleep and when I woke up I had this weird feeling that Dad was here and I actually got up and went looking, in that half asleep, half awake stage. I was calling for him and started crying when I remembered he was gone. THen I went to unlock the front entry so that I could get the paper and saw that his favorite picture had fallen off the wall, the glass didn't even break, and was lying on the brick in the entry way, face up. The picture is a sketch of a man riding a horse, a picture that always reminded Dad of his father. I couldn't believe it hadn't broken, it fell OFF the wall onto the brick tiles!! I picked it up and was holding it, checking to see if any damage was done to the frame and I found an envelope taped to the back and the envelope had my name on it!! Seriously freaked out at this point. I opened the envelope and inside was a short note from my dad, obviously written toward the last of his life because it was pretty shaky, and he wrote using the language he always did when referring to a short letter, a "missive."
"Dear Linda, I am sending you this brief missive to tell you that this picture always reminded me of Dad. He wasn't much of a Dad sometimes. One time he got on his old horse and headed down the homestead road and didn't come back for months. He told Mother that he was out looking for ranching jobs. But he came back and then my Mother scolded him about leaving without saying good-bye. I hope I never left you without saying good-bye. Your Mother, such a dear woman, and I were always so busy with the restaurants and I might have left without a good-bye on occasion. I am sorry if I did; that was inexcusable. I will never leave without saying good-bye again. I hope you keep this picture to remember me, at least to remember something I liked. It's not worth any money, not an antique or an original, just something I picked up when it caught my eye. Good-bye, Linda. Love, your Dad."
Then he dated his "missive", May 4, 2006. Dad died May 8, 2006.
I had really been missing both him and my Mom. I guess somehow the universe knew I needed to feel them again. My unusual feelings like this don't always end up in such a nice way, but I thought this was such a nice thing. So, thank you Mom for keeping Dad sensitive when he was always so busy, and thank you Dad for always remembering to say "Good-bye."