Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Thinkin' of the things we used to do"

I'm sitting with my Daddy and we're listening to Patsy Cline. It's midnight, which is the perfect time for Patsy.  Daddy didn't have any say in the selection, but he loves country music, and since my country CDs are limited I'm hoping he'll like this one.  He woke up for a few minutes this evening -- he couldn't open his eyes and he only murmured a few words, but we had a conversation anyway.  He smiled when I told him three of his grandsons had visited that day. He squeezed my hand when I told him Zoe and Maya had visited him, too, and that Zoe had held his hand and asked him to wake up so they could play tea party. 

My dad was admitted to hospice on Saturday, and I'm not sure how much longer he'll be with us.  The girls know that Grandpa will be leaving us, and Zoe says that gives her two things to be sad about -- Grandpa and her birth parents.

Most of my sadness is about what the girls are losing.  I've had a wonderful 49 years with my Daddy, and there isn't anything I regret, nothing unsaid or undone. I have 49 years worth of memories. I've been especially fortunate to watch and marvel at how he is as a grandpa to my girls.  I would never have expected him to sit there and let them wrap him in a pink feather boa, put a crown on his bald head, and play tea party, but he did -- and I have the pictures to prove it!  If I had done the things my girls get away with when I was a child, I'm not sure I would have survived to adulthood.  But Zoe and Maya can do no wrong in his eyes.  He went from a little leery about this whole adoption thing to unconditional love for my girls. I hope they will remember this.

And sitting here I'm reminded that I have something my girls don't have -- I have a mirror. My dad is my mirror.  I look just like him.  We have some personality things in common, too, but it's the physical resemblance that's most clear. We have the same blue eyes.  We both went gray prematurely (gee, thanks, DNA!).  We have the same body type (heaven help me!).  My mom tells the story of taking me out in the stroller as a baby, and a woman going on and on about how beautiful I was, and then looking at my mom and saying, "She must look like her father."  A back-handed insult to my mom (!) but the lady spoke the truth, something I grew up knowing -- I look like my father.  I'm sad that my girls don't have that mirror, that knowledge of who it is they look just like.  And I'm sad that I won't be able to look in that mirror for long.  Still, I've had that mirror for a long time.

Time to change the CD.  Or maybe we'll listen to Patsy Cline one more time. . . .

Tonight alone I'm thinkin'
Of the things we used to do
There's laughter all around me
But my heart still aches for you

16 comments:

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

I'm sorry that this is happening, although glad for you that it seems to be peaceful. My condolences to your entire family. Your dad sounds like a wonderful father and grandfather.

Anonymous said...

How sweet and sad, Malinda. I know your girls will treasure their memories of their grandpa.
Sue

mama d said...

Beautiful post, so full of love.

Wendy said...

Beautiful post Malinda. Thinking of you all.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I am so sorry... it's difficult, no matter how at peace we feel. I'm so glad that both of your girls were able to meet their Grandpa; but I'm sad that they won't have years with him.

OmegaMom said...

This is a beautiful post...I'm sad this is happening to you. Enjoy and love your dad while you still have him.

Joanne said...

This post is such a beautiful tribute to your dad...he sounds like such a special dad and grandfather - I'll keep you all in my prayers ~

Diane said...

my dad + music= many wonderful memories. Of course Patsy Cline made the music mix! You and yours will be in my heart as you navigate this journey.

LisaLew said...

Praying for your father to continue to be able to feel and comprehend the love and unending support your family is giving him during his illness.

Mahmee said...

Thinking of you and your family. You've painted such a lovely picture of your Father. Take care.
M.

osolomama said...

Hey, Malinda, I left my comment yesterday but it didn't go through. Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and your dad, and the girls. What a lovely tribute to him.

The Gang's Momma! said...

This is a lovely post. I'm so sorry for your grief. For your loss. For the shortened season of memories for the girls. What a great man he sounds to be. It's always amazing to me how the presence of sweet grand-daughters has softened and changed my dad. Sounds like it's been the same for yours. Although I'm still not sure my dad would submit to a feather boa!!!

Lorraine Dusky said...

Malinda, thanks for the great post. I know you will miss your father deeply and I send you warm thoughts and my sympathy. And thank you for always understanding so much. Whenever I get weary being attacked for my positions about adoption by people who don't understand the complexities of adoption, I come here and feel glad that you are in the world.
lorraine

Lorraine Dusky said...

PS: and me too, I was so much more like my father in so many ways.

Nora S. said...

I'm so sorry...for you and your girls. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful father and grandfather.

Nora S. said...

I'm so sorry...for you and your girls. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful father and grandfather.