My father died two weeks ago.
He took a sudden turn and there was no coming back from it.
Overall, he’d been healthy-ish, for someone who spent too many years drinking too much, supporting Little Debbie and her baked-goods friends, and had prostrate-turned-to-bone cancer.
Other than that, he was healthy.
For all the shit he did to his body, he also believed in a host of natural cures, such as apple-cider vinegar, gin-soaked raisins, whiskey-and-honey-and-lemon to cure any sore throat (or at least make you forget you had a sore throat), and a pharmacy of other longevity potions.
I believe in a past life – or future – he would be/will be a medicine man.
Going through his things, it’s been interesting to find what he felt was important.
A $5 bill he won in a card game. A $1 bill gotten the same way.
My ex-husbands CPPA get-out-of-jail-free card, appointed to “Father.”
Photobook upon photobook of arial shots of his property. Photos of us. Photos of his family.
It’s been a wild couple of weeks.
Trying to figure shit out.
Trying to figure people out.
Making good decisions for our family.
Spending an unexpected trough of money on hotels, airfare, meals.
But. There was a bright spot in all of the chaos. And I am going on the record, calling her out for being my bright spot.
My ex-sister-in-law. She shined a little bit of light for me during all of it.
My love language is Acts of Service. I appreciate and value things being made just a little easier for me. For some of the burden to be lifted.
I’m terrible at gifts. I’m terrible at birthday celebrations, card sending, Christmas gifting. Because that’s not my love language. But mop my floors? Vacuum? Empty the dishwasher? I’m in love.
My sister-in-law met me at the Orlando airport, and drove me everywhere I needed to go for 5 days.
The day that my father died, that night we bought cheap wine at Walmart and ate cupcakes in an overpriced hotel room. My dad died during Spring Break. Not a rental car to be found in the city, and hotels were exhorbiant. But as my cousin advised, just get the room. We needed our own space to work through the days we’d just experienced.
It was a good decision.
We ate delicious seafood and bought bathing suits and spent the following day swimming around in the pool, feeling the warmth of the Florida sunshine.
We didn’t have to talk a lot. She’s a lot deaf from a disease that steals your hearing.She did her thing, I did mine. But she was right there next to me.
You never know who your lighthouse is going to be, providing that little pillar to lean on just a little bit. Speaking my love language without even knowing it.
Those are your people, Reader. When they show you who they are, don’t forget it.