For a moment tonight I heard my dad’s voice.
The gestures I still so easily can can see but the voice, die Stimme, doesn’t come as easily.
Each day it gets harder to hear, to see, to remember.
But the pain cannot be forgotten.
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.