I have cried all day. The kind of cry that creates giant snot bubbles and has you choking on the slimy saliva that heartbreak produces.
I think about how fortunate I was to have had great-grandparents alive when I was born. For the most part, I was able to create memories and hear stories from a generation that far exceeded my own.
How fortunate I was to live up the street from Charlotte the Great, see her work ethic, taste her homemade bread and stewed tomatoes. She taught me to love Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwiches and to bake and have a best friend. To catch a glimpse of the girl she must have been, hear her stories and capture her insight on life.
I picked an amazing family to come into and a fantastic time to create memories.
I am still struggling with my Grandpa Bill’s death. Not that he and I were close, but still, my childhood has these spotlights with him.
I felt while Grandpa Bill was alive, death was far in the distance.
I suppose I was still a child, in a sense, sticking my tongue out at the Grimm Reaper who couldn’t cross the veil to claim me.
Then, he did. He took Grandpa Bill, leaving my dad the only thing between me and death.
Terrifying. It haunts me.
Today, learning that my dad has Leukemia shook my core.
I had to call him back and say,
“Dad, I know you told me this, but my heart and head couldn’t keep up and I need you tell me again. I need you to answer questions.”
I know 15-20 years, puts him an old man of late 80s, early 90s. By all accounts, a life well lived.
The reality is it puts me at 63 at the least.
I will still need my dad.
Suddenly, I feel like my childhood is far in the distance. That today, I took off my ballet flats and put on high heels for the first time. I’m struggling to walk, to find the words that make this all make sense.
I feel like life has been punctuated by hyphens and ellipsis and suddenly someone edited it all and abruptly dropped a period.
I asked my dad if he cried. He said, “No. What change would that make?”
I cried again and said, “Well, I seem to be crying enough for us both.”
Suddenly, that family medical column now has a check mark. The one next to leukemia.
My heart hurts.
My mind is numb.
I’m blowing snot bubbles again.
I need my dad.
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©2017 Julee Morrison, as first published on Mommy’s Memorandum