Like the smudgey little spots up close on canvas that coalesce with distance into an image that is nearly photographic, I see now how something that I thought was disastrous was actually a gift.
On 10 December 2018, I had emergency surgery. It was the day my first classes of students would take their finals. All semester, I'd been having a horrid feeling in my chest. I didn't feel weak or like I had any pulse weirdness going on, but I thought surely it was my heart. I pushed myself. I didn't skip workouts. I went to classes, I walked it off. I thought if I could make it to the winter break, I'd go to the doctor. Turned out, it wasn't my heart but was instead my gallbladder.
The timing was rough. It made a mess of things. I spent the winter break trying to recover.
But at Christmas, something miraculous happened to me and for me. I realized that life is short, and that I might still die from complications related to my surgery. I knew that life was fleeting anyway, and I felt I could die any day, and I needed to spend as much time as possible with Mom and Dad. I felt bad about leaving them, but I knew they'd be alright, and that they'd be in no doubt about my love for them.
When it turned out that Dad died in March just a few days after I started feeling back in good physical health again, there was so much to do. It's really been a whirlwind ever since that time, and I'm trying to fit so much in to the bag of whatever time is left for me. But I'm so so so grateful for the "disaster" that was my emergency surgery, and the wakeup call to be more present about my life and my time with my folks. It made me cherish the time so much more, it made me truly present.
I'm thinking of this so much lately, and hoping not to sleepwalk through any more fleeting moments of this all-too-short life I have. I want to make the most of it, and I want to cherish time with my dear ones.
When I die, no matter the means of my passing, I don't want my dear ones to feel all tragic about it. I've had so much that is wonderful in my life. I hope that instead of sadness, that the memory of me will inspire smiles and even laughter. I want to be that way about Dad, too, and I laugh and smile at the memory of his adorable self, but I still cry a lot. I'm a work in progress. I don't know anything. I'm just trying to find my way.
So, anyway, I always think of life as a tapestry. Some bigger picture is emerging on the other side of the canvas, but I can't see it. I see the knots and the frayed ends from this side, and it does look like a blotchy mess, sometimes. But I think something wonderful can emerge from all this, too. I'll try to keep my powder dry and hold on to the idea of what is brightest and best.
But I miss you so much, Dad.