I didn't want to write about it, because it seems dishonest to accept any sympathy - but the rest of my topics are falling flat on the page. The thing about journaling your honest thoughts instead of seeing a grief therapist is you have to be honest, dang it.
I could never please him - whether real or perceived- this is my reality. You cannot say anything to change the story my mind has written for the last 35 years. He couldn't be pleased. Even after securing my master's degree, instead of saying "Nice job." he said, "Now don't you fail to a be mother to those children." There were always more can't than cans, more don'ts than dos.
During the moments the song played....
"In the arms of your mercy I find rest/You know just how far/the east is from the west/ From one scarred hand to the other" these thoughts were given to me...
Dad's death set us both free. I am free from disappointing him and falling short, and he can be free from the demon that kept him from trusting any of us. Hopefully, the fear of disappointing others who I value has died as well.
At Taylor's funeral Dub (my friend and my mom's husband) described how Joey always welcomed his big girl home - opening his arms wide with a deep "C'mere baby girl". She would disappear in his burly strength, hugged like the wanted child that she is. Dub reckoned during Tay's service that God must have welcomed her to heaven in the very same way -with arms opened wide. It's a comforting image that still breaks my heart; nevertheless it returned to me Friday morning as I hoped beyond hope that my father could find that safe place, too.
That's God's promise to us isn't it - that the sacrifice of his son covered it all - that besides an honest desire to follow him there's nothing we can do to earn His love. It's an important message to me because I keep looking for a reason to be punished - that Taylor's death is my punishment for not being good enough.
Hard to write.
Guess that's why I haven't.
Honestly, it makes me angry to have to write about my daughter and my dad as if the losses can be compared.
Still, on Friday morning, the song played and my heart listened and heard the word "rest". It's the last word I said to my dad when I left his bedside Thursday.
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
We are loved.
When the world whispers the can'ts and the don'ts, may I remember there's always a pair of arms waiting for me, to accept me, to protect me, to push me back up and out when the world needs light.