Well, we carried out your final wishes today, as you requested. We drove forever and a day to Hickory Mounds, and after typical family drama, we scattered your ashes at dead low tide, because no one seemed to have checked the tides before scheduling the time to do this. So we dumped you on the grass. Jack assured me that when the tide came in, the water would cover where you laid and take you out to sea. You should be floating in the ocean now...or being eaten by your favorite fish, the mullet, which would please you.
I am sorry that your send off was not better, as you deserved, but you know how the family is. They can't do anything smoothly and respectfully. Your send off should not have been awkward and uncomfortable, but it was. No one but Mom even said anything, or got emotional, as you know. You were there. The lack of emotions did not bother you though, I know that you were never comfortable with tears and things like that.
It did show me a few things today though. One, I have already said goodbye, and came to terms with all of this. That is not to say I do not miss you, because I do, so very much, so much more than I ever could have anticipated...but I have accepted that you are no longer here physically, and the scattering of the ashes was for other people...
Two, I know that most of the people there today I will probably never see again. You were the fragile thread that held our dysfunctional family together, while at the same time you were the reason everything was so strained. You always were multi-talented lol.
Mom has managed to cut most of them out of her life, and I feel that after today most of them will not be contacted or heard from again. That is nothing against her or anything, we all know how she feels about your side of the family.
The world is a very different place now that you are gone, and I am not fond of it. So many times I wish I could ask you something, or tell you something. It has been 4 months and I find myself concentrating daily to remember exactly what your voice sounded like. It fades.
I wore that shirt you always complimented me on today. It was the shirt I wore the last time I saw you, when you were still yourself, in the physical rehabilitation center. I wore it the night I spent with you at the hospital, after you were pretty much gone from here mentally...and I wore it today, to say goodbye.
I feel really guilty that you died when none of us were there. We spent day and night with you, every day...and the first night you were alone, you slipped away. You probably planned it that way. You would not want us to go through that...but I was there, all night, just the night before, when we all expected you to go...but you held on...until we all left. That eats at me, and no matter how much people tell me it was not my fault, and no matter how much I know you probably planned it that way, it will ALWAYS eat at me, at least a little bit.
I am jealous of you, by the way. Part of me wishes I could have taken this journey with you. You finally know the truth of what happens after we shed our mortal coils. I did not want you to have to go alone Daddy. You always felt like an outsider, you told me, and I understand that perfectly, as that is how I usually feel too. You were the only one who ever understood me, even if you did not agree with me. We were so much alike, and that is one of the reasons we had so many problems when I was younger. It was like two bulls butting heads. The older I get, the more like you I become. It is funny really. When I was young I wanted to be the complete opposite of what you were, and as I got older, I never wanted to be anything but just like you. Jack has told me for years that I am the female version of you...and I do not think he meant it as a compliment, but I always took it as one.
We miss you so much Daddy. Everything is so different. You were such a presence in our lives, both good and bad. You filled up our lives, and now there is a huge hole in our Universe. I am glad you are no longer struggling, or in pain, or unhappy. I am glad you are with your two sons who died so long ago. I am glad that you are back with Uncle Ernie and Uncle Billy. Aunt JoAnn and Aunt Gayle too. I am glad you are back with your friends who have gone before you. I really am glad of those things. But I would be lying if I said I were not dying inside some days because I miss you so much.
I am glad I kept some of your ashes. Today, when they were all scattered, I felt a moment of panic, watching them all float down into the damp sea oats and off into the wind. I felt like I had nothing tangible left of you. Then I remembered that a part of your physical body will always be with me, as I kept that portion of bone dust.
I am so glad that the last almost 8 years were so good between us Daddy. I wish there were more years left, but I am thankful of the ones we had.
This is the first year that Alex will have a birthday without you. That tears me up. You loved her so much, and she loves you. When her school pictures came in last week, the first thought in my head was that you would be so glad to get one, as you were every year. It took a couple of minutes for me to remember that you would not get one this year. Be with her Monday, on her 8th birthday. I know she will feel the loss.
Well Daddy. I do not know what else there is to say about it all that I have not already told you in my head a thousand times. I love you, I miss you, and you are always on my mind. The last thing I do every single night is tell you Goodnight, and that I love and miss you, and I probably will do that every night for the rest of my life.
Watch over us Daddy. Please. Things have been so hard, and so bad. I have forgotten how to smile and laugh. We could use someone looking out for us on the other side.
I love you.