I haven’t been able to paint. I could give excuse after excuse as to why. But also, I don’t want to. I’m afraid that if I do, it’ll all come out. I’ve been doing so well at holding it together, staying strong and getting through the sad messes of life.
When I paint, it’s my raw emotions being throwN onto the canvas. When it’s my own pain, I can tolerate it for the most part. But this time it wouldn’t be for my own relief. It would be for my mom’s broken heart. My siblings and even their future significant others. What if they meet someone who’s never known our dad? They would never know the amazing and incomparable human being he was. Was. Ugh I hate having to say that. He still is amazing. Because he’s not gone, he’s just away. Away in Heaven. But always with us.
But what are we to do now? Who do we fight for? When my dad got sick, we were all fighting for his life. I fought everyone. Anyone who tried telling us no or they can’t or he can’t. Because this was my dad. My strong, brave, courageous dad. Nothing ever stopped him. How could these tiny little cells be the things to destroy him? But I shouldn’t ask how. Because only God knows how and why. But I miss him.
I try to justify life now. Well, he was sick and scared and we were all scared and now he’s happy and healthy! That may be true but I miss him. I miss fighting for him. Frantically calling this and that doctor and therapist. Reaching any and every hospital that could save him. Watching him, feeding him, helping him take his weak and painful steps to the bathroom and then the bed again. We would celebrate those moments when he got up using only his walker. And we would talk about how all of this was just temporary, daddy. You’re gonna get better. The treatments will work. The vitamins will work. The prayer will work. My fasting will work. And maybe it did work. Just not how we had envisioned it. I never envisioned this. People knew. They later told me that they all knew it was going to be soon. I fought until the final countdown because I couldn’t accept the idea of quitting on my bob. He never quit on me and he taught us to be warriors, just like he was. He was a great warrior. I miss his battlefield stories. His funny stories. He was so funny.
So now, I don’t know what to do. Who to fight for. What to say to my mom when she breaks in the middle of the store. I couldn’t help him and I don’t even know how to help her.
I’ve never seen love like theirs. 35 years and they couldn’t spend a couple of hours apart without missing each other. My dad cherished her. He cherished all of us.
I miss his voicemails. I miss his “everything will be okay” hugs. He talked me down from every break down, every worry, every anxiety attack, even all of the painful nights. It was him, he would fix it all. He was a hero through and through. He was the epitome of chivalry and the picture of safety. At the same time he was kind and generous to all he came across.
So, how can I paint something to honor such love? How could I make something good enough for him? What can I express to best represent him? Nothing could capture what my dad meant to us and to this world. So, I’ll paint nothing but scratches and call it art.
Here you have it: