Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Orphanhood Pending

When my sister was killed years ago, I remember that I noticed siblings together everywhere.  Karen and I were worlds apart at the time of her death.  She had just turned 13 a couple of months earlier and I was 18.  The five years between us at that time might as well have been twenty, our lives were so different.  She was just discovering boys, Ronnie Barnes who lived behind us in particular and I was entering my adulthood.  We weren't close at that time although we loved each other dearly.  Once she was gone, I was so aware of not having a sibling to share life with and was so envious of anyone who did.  Her death left a huge void in my life and left me angry for many years.  You don't expect your baby sister to die. 

You do expect your parents will die before you do.  It is the natural order of things.  My mom and I were very close.  She truly was my greatest friend.  When she died unexpectedly in 1999, it wrecked me.  I mean WRECKED me.  My life for months afterwards felt like I was living in a bubble.   I went through the days, tried to do my best at work, tried to be a good wife to my husband (we had just been married about four months), tried to enjoy my friends but I just wanted to curl in a ball and die.  I never dreamed that I would ever feel joy again, enjoy anything at all again.  The pain was nearly unbearable.  Of course, it does get better, but nothing is quite the same after losing someone you love.  It has been 12 years years since mom died and rarely does a day go by that I don't think of her and miss her. Every achievement I've made in my life since her death is a little less bright because I can't share it with her.  Every milestone, a little less of an event.  She was my cheerleader, even when she knew I was making mistakes and bad choices.  She had unwaivering faith in me even though she witnessed my failings.  She had my back.

Now as I face my father's illness with him and know that his death is bearing down on us, I have so many feelings about being left parentless.  Sure, I have great friends in my life and they really are the "family you choose" and they lift me up constantly.  But it won't be the same as having a parent's encouragement.  Who will nurture my inner child when she needs it?  Knowing that soon I will never answer the phone again, "Hi Daddy" breaks my heart in a million little pieces.  I'm really trying to just get through one day at a time, but I can't help it that in the quiet times my mind goes to the future.  I am cherishing every minute that I am spending with him.  I am cherishing every conversation that we share these days.  I am grateful to be able to take care of him at this stage in his life.  I cherish making him a sandwich, bringing him a glass of milk, watching "American Pickers" and "Pawn Stars" and every judge show on TV with him.  I really am trying to drink in every minute that I have left with him.  I am trying to keep the future out of my head but I keep coming back to my ophanhood pending.  My entire family unit will be gone once my dad dies except for me.  There is something so sad about that.  No one left in the world will share the memories of my youth growing up in that immediate family.  It feels like some of your history just begins to fade away, like even my presence is becoming fainter...

1 comment:

  1. Well said Katona; from one that is parentless...my heart breaks for you ~ I love you girl. always, sonja