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I choose to always believe the best will happen. Even in the face of clear risk or imminent loss, I elect to believe that it will all turn out all right. Sometimes I wonder if this is healthy. Most of the time, I don’t particularly care.

My dad had a car accident on November 18th, 2009. I found out through one of those dreaded 5am phone calls. I flew to be with him and spent a month sitting next to him in the hospital. He was in an induced coma with the hopes that he would heal. Despite all signs to the contrary, I believed that he was going to get better. I spent a month telling myself, my sister, my mother, my stepmother, my friends, basically anyone who would listen, that he was going to get better. I actually wrote an email to friends saying that he was on the mend and hit send 20 minutes before we got the call that he had died.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I knew that he wasn’t going to get better. The answer is yes. I knew the moment I arrived at the hospital. Scratch that. I knew the moment I got that horrible phone call. So why did I spend a month convincing myself and anyone who would listen that he was going to be just fine? Because I needed to. I couldn’t emotionally handle the reality that I was going to lose Daddy at the tender age of 58. I still can’t really. I don’t like to talk about it. I go through my daily life thinking that he’s simply at his house. It’s easier that way. 

Is that healthy? Aren’t I supposed to face the truth so that I can “deal with it”? Aren’t we supposed to conquer our demons and push ahead becoming stronger with each battle? Maybe. But, not right now. Not for me. I choose to not deal with it. I don’t want to deal with the fact that I will never see Daddy again. I don’t want to deal with the fact that my son will never know his grandfather. I don’t want to deal with the gaping hole in my heart. It’s just too hard.

My husband is currently deployed in the Middle East. I choose to think he’s on an uncomfortable cruise in the Med. It’s easier. I don’t want to deal with the reality that he could never come back. I don’t want to deal with the idea that there is a real possibility our son may not know his father. I can’t deal with the threat of my heart being shredded to pieces. “Too hard” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

So, I choose not to deal with it. I don’t care if it’s supposed to be healthier. It’s healthier for me to believe that there was a chance Daddy was going to get better. It’s healthier for me to believe that my husband is busy lying out on deck getting a suntan. Perhaps some would consider it foolish optimism. Me? I consider it necessary.

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