Three successive deep breaths.
Five seconds fluttering my eyelashes.
This was not a flirtatious advance directed at the object of my desire. Although, quite honestly speaking, are we still trained to flutter our eyelashes as Betty Boop trained us; compared to the trendy sub-tweet directed at hashtag oomf?
It was a successful attempt to slow my heart rate. To keep my slowly simmering emotions in check. You know, akin to opening the saucepan cover to keep the milk from spilling into the sigiri; an action that would have left the entire house reeking of burned milk.
I’d thought about running to the toilet, also known as, the throne room of all things private… Except when it came to acoustics, muffled cries are one thing, muffled farts – a whole other ball game.
Surprisingly, I was on a troubleshooting streak and couldn’t afford to step away from my task. Yet, in that moment, my entire being was awash and painfully aware of the absence of my dad.
He didn’t just pass away, so this is not a fresh wound. It’s been 3 years and 3 months and I think I have been doing well so far. Well not I alone. I think my family has been doing well with his absence. My immediate family and our greater family.
This is not a rookie coming face to face with the shapeless shifting wraith named Grief. When you master the art of waking up, you begin to comprehend that corny adage: take one day at a time.
I already took the day and woke up. I should be over this. I should be past this. Instead 3 years in, I am still having moments. Worse still – in public type of moments.
Something had just happened; my personal life was beginning to leak into my professional life. There I was, silently trying to draw deep breath without breaking the train of thought my troubleshooting task needed. For all of fifty seconds, the energy was sapped right out of me. I was tired. Tired, when I could not afford to be tired.
In a cosmic attempt to authenticate her existence, Fate shook her tail feather at me, almost as if it was 2003 again. I was one of the lucky winners of the Father’s day competition. Why is it Father’s though? Is there one Father who owns the day? If not, should it not then be Fathers’, representing the Fathers everywhere owning the day? Or is Father actually in plural already?
Still, this is not what brought on the brimming of salted liquid.
Actually, what did is inconsequential when compared to the lesson that I have learned as result of the entire episode. They say, a parent should never bury their child, again who comes up with these adages?
I have learned of a hidden response from the child who buries a parent; naturally the departure causes a void that needs to be filled. And, who else but a grieving child to assume the responsibility and attempt to fill this void. With a brave face, they drudge on, propelling themselves into an unintended destiny.
Not for me.
Not for us.
To the one who has dealt with the loss of a parent.
To the one that is filled with the burden of protecting the one you have left.
To the one wandering helplessly in the wilderness of an unintended destiny.
take a knee.
and pray for strength.
gasp out loud and let the tears roll.
then stand up and keep walking, it may have been unintended, but I heard a rumor… Something about all things. I am guessing that all means all…
Some promises are worth holding onto, with all that you are!
This is for me.
This is for us.