My husband, mom and I went to her house yesterday. In the aftermath of my dad’s suicide, the trigger of being in the house with dad everywhere, every single time I step foot in that home, I fall apart. Some days I can’t do it. I have to wait outside in the car while mom grabs something.
Yesterday was exceptionally hard. My dad took his life in their backyard. I have not spent much time out there. We needed to weed and take care of the lawn. I needed to weed around that area and threw up while convulsing with tears. The violent ending is too much to process. The only peace I have is he died in the place he built, groomed, loved, and spent most of his time in if he wasn’t in the workshop, tinkering.
Dad made an oasis in their backyard complete with a wooden trellis archway leading you to a wooden handmade gazebo, bench seating and a fire pit for winters days. The backyard was built to be a sanctuary for birds, lush gardens, organized compost containers for their huge vegetable and fruit garden. He made a stiff Styrofoam board that was attached to the back fence, for all eight of his granchilden to practice archery. He spent most if his days in this, heaven he created here on earth.
I was gathering all mom’s things to take to car, when my eyes caught sight of my dad’s black, enormous, tabbed and personally enscribed with ‘pappa’ in gold letters ,bible I had given to him last Fathers Day sitting on his side table next to his leather chair. I felt like a sprinkler turned on full volume, sobbing.
My mom said, ” I was going to give that to you.” When she saw me holding it to my chest. I told her, ” I had forgotten about it. ” she answered, ” I didn’t, he read that every day and it was special to him, I was waiting, but you found it, take it.” Dad had found his faith and devoured everything he could read about it.
As this process continues I see my father’s strength in me rise to be mom’s caretaker. I am my father’s daughter.