My days lately have been filled with work: writing, editing, networking, family affairs that aren't yet tied up from my father's passing. When I finally get into bed at night, everything I couldn't quite process from the day or week comes flooding through my head. Bedtime is when I finally have the freedom to reflect and think about the past, present, and future.
I've been thinking about my paternal grandfather recently and the few moments we shared before his dementia took over. I remember sitting in his Florida room in the back of his house, snuggled neatly in the middle of a cul-de-sac; he sat on his lazy chair, where he stayed often later in life, while I looked out of the floor to ceiling screen door for rabbits. There were always rabbits.
"I hope I get to be at your wedding, someday!" He shouted over the TV. I looked up, crinkled my eyebrows, and responded.
"Of course you will. What do you mean?" I questioned.
"I'm old. I just hope I make it to see you get married." With that, his attention was back to the TV.
Unfortunately, despite my claim to him, he wasn't around when I got married, or when I had my son, or for any other milestone moment he would have loved. This thought process brings me back to my father and how often he would state similar wishes.
"I want to teach your son how to play chess." My dad said when my son was just about 1.
"I wouldn't let anyone else teach him, Dad. You're the best at it!" I declared.
"I just hope I'm alive long enough to see him grow up so I can teach him to play and actually have a game with him."
Pssh, of course my dad would be there. Parent's are indestructible beings who live forever. Except they don't. No one does, and until you go through it, you don't realize the insurmountable pain it brings.
It's almost 3 months since his passing and I have yet to really process it. Much too regularly, I go to my phone to text or call him about something and when I remember he's not here, it's like being tossed in the middle of a dodgeball game, getting pounded without even realizing what's going on.
Who's going to teach my son chess? Who's going to play with him? Yes, it's silly to wonder about a board game, however it was a moment my father was looking forward to, much like my marriage my grandfather was looking forward to witnessing.
It's these moments that make me stop and wonder about my own life. Though some days I feel like a superhero, most days I feel the weakness of being human. With weakness, the ability to lose sight of what's in front of you is increased. You worry about what you don't have or what you think you need, all the while missing the moments playing out right in front of you; moments that people who are no longer here would have wanted to be a part of.
I can't bring back my grandfather or my dad, but I can hold them close to my heart and remember the times we shared that were happy. Whatever religious beliefs you have or I have (I'm still undecided), I think we can all agree that no matter what, those you loved dearly never really miss the moments; they're here beside us watching and holding our hand, continuing to live through our memories and reflection.