March 22, 2012

Normal Part 1

I'm exhausted.
My brain is exhausted.
My eyes hurt.
I feel so let down, discouraged and empty.
I'm holding it together, for my kids' sake, but I'm not myself right now.  And they know it.  And I know it.
It's been the longest, most unreal week of my entire existence.

Wednesday I woke up and for a split second thought that maybe the events of the previous day were a nasty, nasty dream.  But I was snapped right back into reality soon enough.  And it was hard.  We met with the bishop and finalized funeral plans.  I made a list of things I needed to do before the funeral.  We talked.  A lot.  My brother and his wife got there.  My aunt and uncle came over and had dinner with us.  And we talked.  A lot more.  About my Daddy and who he was and what he did.  We looked through a scrapbook about his life.  I scanned pictures into the computer for a slideshow about his life.  I talked to my husband and cried.  Really cried. I stayed up all night going through all the digital pictures I could find for the slideshow.

I went to bed at 6:45 am.  
And my baby woke up and wanted to eat.  
I finished feeding her and closed my eyes.  And my alarm clock went off.  

I did sleep for an hour or so.  And then I got ready.  And then we went to the mortuary.  And picked out a casket.  And designed a program.  And chose a signature book...what are they called?  Guest book?  Anyway, the one we chose was perfect, he would have loved it.

My brother and sister-in-law and I then got in his car and made a marathon trip to Logan. He needed his suit, which was at the dry cleaners.  And I needed a new dress.  And my mom needed a new dress.  It was the smoothest shopping trip I've ever taken.  Things basically just hopped right into my cart.  And they were perfect.  Two dresses for me, two for my mom, two for Amelia, and two suits for Ian later, we were done.  Thanks, Ross.  You saved my bacon.

I then dropped my sil off at her home to pack and went to Walmart.  We figured we'd save time by splitting up.  And it was fine until I was walking through the store and realized that this was the very first time I'd been alone with my thoughts.  The very first time I didn't have anyone to talk to.  And I was running on an hour of sleep.  And I had a baby in my arms.  And that was it.  I was that crazy lady sobbing through the aisles.  And I got what I needed and literally ran to the car.  Sobbing.  And I sobbed the whole way back to their apartment.

We got my sister-in-law's flute and drove back to my mom's house.  And it was real again.  And I was exhausted.  

Friday my mom, brothers and I went back to the mortuary to help get my Dad's body dressed and ready for his last party.  
And there he was.

It was him.

And it wasn't.

My brother and I hugged and cried together.

And my Daddy, he looked so handsome.  They had done an amazing job.  Amazing.  
My Dad had a brain tumor removed when he was 21, but somehow received some nerve damage.  My whole life he could only hear out of one ear.  And one side of his face sagged a little.  

And as I looked at him that day, his eye was perfectly normal.  And he looked beautiful. I put some makeup on his ear and hand to cover some owies he had.  We dressed him in his temple clothes.  I held his hand.  And tickled his feet.  (He HATED people touching his feet)   We cried and smiled and talked about Dad.  My brothers and the two morticians lifted my big daddy into his casket.  And they rolled him out into the big room where the viewing was to be held.

And we cried some more.  

My aunt, his sister, came by.  She walked into the room and stopped.  And cried.  She said his casket was beautiful.  It was.  It was prefect.  A beautiful ceder with pine trees embroidered on the lining.  He would have loved it.

We stayed for awhile, talking and crying.  And then we left to run some errands.  Get some pictures printed.  Buy some frames.  Go to a fabric store.  Put pictures in frames. Gather some of Dad's favorite things.  Style Gramma's hair.  Practice song with Nicole and Sevena.  Get ready.  Get kids ready. (Thanks Nicole, Spence, and Rachel) Stop at grocery store to get lint brush, nylons for Mom, and some of Dad's favorite church candy to put in his retirement vase and share (Thanks Christine).  It was a crazy afternoon, but we got it all done without feeling rushed or panicked.  

We had a viewing.  There were SO many people there.  He would have HATED it.  My Dad was well loved by many, but he was not a social butterfly and often shied away from situations that would put him anywhere near the spotlight.  But it was for him, and there were tons of folks who loved him.  It was good to know how many people he touched.  It was amazing.  

I didn't want to leave him that night. I stayed until everyone had gone and just sat by his body, crying and talking to him.  After hugging and crying and laughing and meeting so many people, I was spent.  Drained.  Physically, emotionally.  It was a hard night.  But it was for him and about him, and I think he would have been pleased.


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