Friday, July 26, 2013

Maude VS The Month of July

Three years ago this morning I received the call that came far too soon.  It was a call from my brother to let me know that our Dad has passed away unexpectedly the night before.  July 26, 2010. 

We had just moved to Portland to begin a new adventure in a big city, the city where my parents were both born & raised, the city where they met and married, and the city that I always felt at home.

I had seen him last, two weeks before, at the 70th birthday party that his twin sister hosted at her home.  Dad came to stay with me for two more nights after the party and then left. 

Aside from a voice mail from him, I can't recall that I actually spoke to him again before he was gone.  I'll never forgive myself for that.

July is a month of memories, some good and some bad.  It seems like July is the month that "Shit Rains Down on My Family" ever since we got here.  A month that, from here on out, I think should be "The Month We Run Away to Barbados And Hide Until August 1".

I'm not blaming any sort of karma-ic influence, or Portland as a whole, in fact it's quite the opposite.  I think the stars aligned to put us here because of all the crap that was coming down the pike for us.  This is where we needed, and still need, to be.

I could tick off on both hands the number of fortunate and unfortunate events that have transpired in July, but I won't, aside from pointing out that July 2012 was a month of tragedy and triumph, at least there was triumph this time.

July 12 was my life saving bilateral mastectomy, and the official YOU ARE CANCER FREE phone call came on the 19th.  But, July was also a month of misery, worry, and missed opportunities.  I'm not going to lie, that surgery was a bitch, the recovery no better.

So July is, for me, memories of a "series of unfortunate events", good, bad and at times ugly.  I'm not exactly why I am reflecting on any of this today, I'm not a "dweller". 

I work so very hard at putting things behind me, trying to "just keep swimming" and smiling and pretending that everything, at the present time, is all sunshine and rainbows, even when there's a shit storm brewing below the surface.

As it stands, I'm a bit puzzled as to why I am, at the surface today, near tears.  I do know that I am thankful that there are only five days left of this miserable month.  Five days left of remembering what I've lost, what I've gained and what I've missed.

And, right now, I'm missing out on the laughter and joy of two children who will, I sincerely hope, never know of the Bliss and Chaos that has been the norm in the month of July for me.  For us. 

I think we're going to play poker, then read on my bed, and have a good lunch together.  I'm ever hopeful that memories like this will start to outnumber those that break my heart in the month of July. 

Today I'm going to put on my big girl pants, allow myself to be sad for a little bit and then ride off into the sunset with my kids and my husband and focus on what's important: the here and now.

I'll never stop missing my Dad, I'll never stop loving him.  I'll never stop wishing I'd called him one last time, to tell him that I loved him.  I could never have said it enough, and I do know that now.

I'll never stop wishing I could rewind time and erase all the cancer stuff from last summer (new rack being the exception, that part I would keep most definitely). 

One thing I refuse to wish is that I'd spent more time enjoying my family.  So, for today, I'm signing off to go tickle the hell out of said children and hope that I don't use every box of kleenex in the house today....

Love always,


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