On September 2nd my father died.
There, I’ve typed it in black and white. There is no going back.
My father is gone and since his death, my mother, siblings, his family, friends, and myself have all had to begin the process of living in a world without him. And I have to be honest in saying that it hasn’t been easy. I don’t see how it possibly could be.
I miss him terribly and losing him has left me with an aching pain that has me struggling. The lump in my throat and the tears are never far away. Laying just below the surface, they pop up at the most unexpected times. If you’ve lost someone that you dearly loved, you probably know what I’m going through. If you haven’t, I don’t think you could. I know that I had no idea the depths of pain that others felt after loss. I thought I did, but I hadn’t a clue. Now I know and wish that I didn’t.
A month has gone by since he left us. A month in which I’ve shared his death with just a few close friends. For those of you who knew him, I am sorry. Please temper your thoughts with an understanding of what I and my family have been going through.
On Friday, we laid both Dad and my Unlce Eddie to rest, side by side, in the national cemetery in Canton, Ga. I’ll tell you more of that day in another post. I’ll share more about my father and his life as well. But, for today, I just wanted to let you know of his death.
While much of today’s post has been about my struggle with loss, know that I have an amazing support team looking out for me and my family. We are in good hands. Thank you to all of you who hug us, call us, text us, and see to it that we have the support we need to put one foot in front of the other. You mean the world to me and to my family.
Tonight, I sit here with a migraine wreaking havoc in my head. The pain is behind my eyes, swirling around until it reaches the top of my skull like an explosive ready to go off. On days like these, I try to think calm soothing thoughts. Clear my mind and close my eyes. A dark cool room and as little noise as possible often help, but not always.
I can’t always determine the trigger for one of my migraines, but today, I know it was the nine hours I spent with my face in a computer screen. Other triggers include yeasty foods and stress. Still, most of the time, I have no idea.
Some migraines come on quickly and surprise me. Others, I can feel coming on long before they hit. Those slow rolling migraines allow me to take medication, so that I can head them off or lessen their impact.
My migraines definitely have an impact on my life. There are times when I can push on, in spite of the pain, but other times I can’t really function. I have to lay down and hope that I can sleep and awake without pain.
That said, I am heading to bed.
Perhaps as a result of my semi-southern upbringing, I enjoy visiting. No special occasion is required. You only need the desire to stop by and spend some time with friends and family. It’s a time to catch up on the week. Talk about the events of the day or share information on common acquaintances.
It’s understood that visiting is not a formal occasion. No one is going to wait on you, though visiting often involves food. To underscore that point, the best kind of visiting takes place in the kitchen.
At the farm, visiting often involves sitting near the wood stove, enjoying its warmth. Debbie and the farmer will be there. So will Sarah, the farm’s official ambassador and mouser.
As the wood pops in the stove’s woodbox, the kettle steams and the conversation ebbs and flows. Laughter punctuates the stories told and comfortable silence gives time for thought and reflection.
Visiting may be an art, but it is not pretentious. It’s democratic. Anyone can participate, even you. Go visit with someone you know and polish up those conversation skills you’ve let become rusty.
My mother likes to refer to some folks as good people. Sometimes they are friends and family, other times they are mere acquaintances. The way she says it, you are left with the thought that if these are good people, then there must be bad people as well.
When I think of good people in my mother’s sense, I think of honest, friendly, and hard working folks. The salt of the earth types. You can count on them to do the right thing and to honor their word.
And so it is with John Dunn. He is good people.