Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Big Picture

 My kids? They LOVE their dad.  Like really really love love him.
All four of them. Even the teenagers who usually dislike their
parents, THEY love their dad too. 

Who can blame them?

I think if they secretly had to pick the parent who was
dying from terminal cancer, it would be me.

I'm not offended, that's who I would pick too.

Kyle is more fun, he's nicer, all the teenage friends of
the kids love him.  He cleans better, is more organized,
and makes good dinners. He has a college degree, he had a 
job that could have supported the family ...and well, 
everyone just needs their dad.  

It would have worked out a lot easier if it
were me.  But it's not.

So they're stuck with me in the end, as sad as that is.

I will learn to be more fun.
Or something.

People always use the expression "Look at the big picture"
in all of this and you know, while that's a nice expression
and everything, I want to give you just ONE TINY snapshot
into our lives as to what the "big picture" looks like.

Kyle is sick.

Someday Kyle will die.

I will be left without a husband.

My four kids (remember those kids who ADORE their dad?)
they will be left without a dad for the REST OF THEIR lives.

Ya, that kinda sucks.

I know we like to throw around the afterlife, and the
whole "families are forever" thing...and while in theory
that is pretty hunky dory, in THIS LIFE, it doesn't really
fix anything.

NOW think back on the last 40 years of your life, if you're
old enough to remember that far back.  Think about HOW LONG
40 years has taken to go by.  Think about how many things
have happened in 40 years.  Think about all the holidays,
life events, and birthday parties that have happened.

Then think some more about how long 40 years is.

Then REALLY think about it some more.

And one more time for good measure.

It's a lifetime, literally.

It's a long long long time to be without a person that
is the rock of your life.  

I would imagine people go into a free fall when it all
comes apart, not sure where to grab, who to hang on to,
and how to make sense of it all.

This is where I don't want someone to tell me to "look
at the big picture".

MY big picture?

MY KIDS big picture?

It's for the next 40 years without a dad.

(I chose that number randomly, considering he's 46 now
and his grandparents all lived and ARE still living into
their 90's--I figured that's a good number to have expected
from Kyle,  had he NOT gotten cholangio-freakin-carcinoma).

Does this mean we will be sad every day for 40 years?

I sure as hell hope not.

I imagine that the pain ebbs, and flows, like the waves
of the and out....gently washing over our
hearts after the deepest and hardest sting goes away.

But then there will be days like this....

And as you can see, I don't even need words to explain
the rawness of pain and emotion our hearts feel for 
this kind of thing in the photos that follow.

Thursday night was my nieces wedding.

Grace was a bridesmaid.

Everyone looked lovely.
It was a beautiful night.

Grace breathed in my ear "weddings are hard".

I can see that, she's 17, it makes her heart ache
knowing that HER future wedding will be without the
very first love of her life, her dad.

Grace and Kyle?  They have a special bond that only
dad's have with their daughters.  It is apparent just
watching them with each other.  She adores him
and he adores her.  

As it should be.  
As it should be.

As the night went on, Grace's normal exuberant, radiant,
glowing personality seemed to dim --just a little.

I kept asking her what was wrong.

And then they had the father of the bride dance with
his daughter....

And then they asked all the bridesmaids to go dance
with their fathers.

And Grace SAW the "big picture" in that moment.

And I watched Grace fall into her father in a puddle of 
tears.   And I watched them cling to each other knowing
there would never be a "father of the bride" dance at
Grace's reception and I willed myself to stem the tide
of tears leaking from my eyes.   And my heart broke
into 1 million pieces with my daughters heart, and my 
husbands heart.

And I cried.

And I thought of the "big picture" again with cancer.

And it hurt like hell, and I felt the claws of unease
and discomfort reach in and wrap around my heart and 
more tears slipped down my face at the thought of all
the things, ALL THE THINGS, that would be missed in the
next 40 years.

Just so you know?

The "big picture" sucks.  

And that's what I've got for today.

Picture story follows below.

No need for more words.


  1. So many tears for you. Hugs to all of you.

  2. Miles said, "sad", I don't think he gets the big picture but he understands tears.