It’s a cottonwood heavy kind of spring. I’ve never noticed so much of the bits of fluff drifting through the air before. I ate some yogurt and berries out on our deck today, and I kept covering my bowl between bites so the stuff wouldn’t land in it.
On Monday my husband and I sat at a lake for about an hour. The air was so thick with cottonwood you could almost imagine it was snowing. I put my sunglasses on to keep it out of my eyes. I pulled bits out of my mouth.
I’ve had to make lots of adjustments this spring. My first spring without Daddy sharing this earth with me. My thoughts are thick with him. And emotions, like the fluffy “snow” of the cottonwood trees, swirl and drift and touch me continually.
I spoke with one of my elderly neighbors today that hadn’t heard yet about Dad’s passing. She was shocked and sympathetic. I’d been having a pretty good morning, but then she warned me the house was going to take a year to process and cost a fortune in lawyer fees.
And she said, “Once your parents are gone, you’re the next generation in line to die.” She gave me a sad smile. And then added concerns for my health. We finished speaking and I went back into my house feeling depressed and defeated.
I have neglected my health in the last year of mourning Mom and caring for Dad. And I do feel it. And I’m the Trustee in charge of administering Dad’s Trust and the responsibility weighs on me.
I called the funeral home yesterday wondering why I hadn’t received the death certificate yet. After some research the woman came back on the phone sounding frustrated and unapologetic, saying the application showed the number ordered was zero.
I heard her mumbling angrily about this happening again! Apparently someone isn’t doing their job right. But she could see we had paid for several copies. She said she’d put the order in and we’d get them in a few days. Meanwhile, all the things I could be doing to settle affairs have been delayed, waiting for the death certificate.
Waiting for the death certificate that I need, but don’t want to see.
Meanwhile I’ve been writing thank you notes. And wondering for a micro-second when the phone rings if it’s Dad. And then reminding myself that of course it isn’t.
Dad can’t call anymore. And I can’t call him. And though I’m blessed with wonderful family and friends, there is something unique about talking to your parent. I felt it last week especially when my tooth hurt and I needed a root canal. And then I felt a crack in the tooth a couple days later and I was discouraged and in pain.
My husband was sympathetic, but I wanted to talk to my Dad about it. My husband has perfect, problem-free teeth and can’t understand in the same way Dad could. I knew Dad would care even more than I did. I got teary about it even. And though a tooth is such a tiny thing in the realm of problems, and I felt kind of babyish about it, I just wanted to talk to my daddy.
Dad liked updates about everything. Even when he was dying and it was hard for him to talk, he wanted me to tell him about all the kids and what was happening with everyone. Mom used to be the main listener, until Alzheimer’s took that away. And then Dad picked up the role, and the phone, and was always there.
And now I miss that listening. And that intense caring. And that deep parental love that is irreplaceable.
But one thing I find comfort in is The Lord’s Prayer. I stop after I pray, “Our Father…” I stop and thank God for being my Father who cares about me even more than my daddy did. I thank Him for loving me faithfully and being wise and kind and good. I thank Him that He is always listening and will never die. He will always be with me. He will always care.
And then I say, “…who art in heaven…” And I thank Him for creating Heaven and for sending Jesus to die for our sins, so Mama and Daddy and all who trust in Him can be there in paradise with Him. And I thank Him that I will see them again someday and for eternity.
And I’m thankful I still have a Father I can talk to. My Abba Father. He knows the number of hairs on my head and He surely knows all about my tooth. He wants to hear updates on my kids and loves them even more than I do.
It’s a cottonwood heavy kind of spring. But God made the cottonwoods. And He will give grace for this too.