Sunday, August 8, 2010
It's been a year since my Father went home. Not a day goes by that we don't remember his words or his smile. He has let us know he is near in ways that only he could. There have been a lot of difficult days....but the fun memories and the way my father would say things...left many smiles to comfort us.
I know he is very proud of me and all that I do. He made sure that he let me know before he left. At times he was a very difficult person and as a parent he taught us much about honor and family values. It is not what you say... it is what you DO. He told me once while Tim and I were visiting him in the hospital... "Stacey, you are always my rock. No matter how tough things get, I can always count on you". It wasn't until many months later, did my Mom share with me that he had told her the same...and also told her that he was proud that I was always so independent and he never had to bail me out financially. My Dad and I had many, many rocky moments...but as he got sicker, we spent the time talking and listening to each other. I never was quite so sure he was proud of me, until those last few months.
As many of you know, I have lived with my parents to help my Dad take care of my Mom. She has MS and is full care. My daughters lived with us here until my Father's illness created anxieties last year. I was supposed to move and my Mom have round the clock care in the home. After 7 years of being on call and 10 years of living here... I would like to just be a daughter. I've done everything that it takes...taking family leave time for weeks and months. I still had a mortgage and bills to pay and we did what we needed. Much to what was thought, my parents did not pick up those bills so that I could help them. It was never my style...there were very, very few occasions that I would allow it. It was my duty as their child to step up and help them when they needed it.
I'm still here a year later because it wasn't feasible for a promise to be kept and I would never dream of walking out the door without knowing that my mother was in good hands. It has been a rough 18 months of not being able to go to a family barbecue...a shower or even a graduation because someone needs to be here for her. I am fortunate to have a brother that has stepped into my shoes so that I could work and do a show in January. I am thankful for his time and his insight on all of this.
I no longer say.. I will be moving or should be out and living my life as a daughter by a certain month or time frame. After a year and a half of words without action, I realize that I'm still the rock for my Dad and I will continue to do what it takes for my Mom. I know he smiles...and that's all I need. My Father taught me well.