Birds flying high you know how I feel, Sun in the sky you know how I feel. -Nina Simone
Yep, totally out of the ordinary that I'd post on a Sunday. But today is the 5th year anniversary of Daddy's death.
5 years ago to the hour, we all sat around our Daddy as he took his last dose of Morphine. As I wiped his lips with a pink, star-shaped swab that tasted like mint, and he sort of gave us a smile and his pulse drained out of his body.
Nobody and no life event prepares you for that intense moment. And no Neurosurgeon or Neurologist will agree with me that his smile was of Spirit, but rather it's his autonomic nervous system shutting down. Screw that...I think he smiled at us.
We all took turns, my sister, my momma, our family and friends, helping my dad as he spent the last months of his life living. It stressed me out, at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way...driving him to all his appointments: from Qi Gong to the MD appointment where I told his doctor off and my dad thanked me as we left the office.
It was a moment where I had to protect him, as much as he spent his life protecting us. It is what you do when you're the daughter of your dying Daddy. You wrap your little arms around his big body as much as they can possibly fit. By the end, it was scary how tightly I could wind my arms around him and even how the thought of a hug made his body hurt. He resorted to tapping our heads with love.
Daddy and I talked promises. These are the ones I can remember:
1. Be happy, in love (I promise). 2. Make a difference in peoples lives through your work (I promise). 3. Love your sister as much as I do (I promise. Even when we have our mood swings set in and we need sisterly vacations, I love her more than the stars). 4. Do work that makes you happy and fills you with "affluences" to help you to live the life you want to live (I promise). 5. Love your mom and your sister for me (I promise). 6. Believe in yourself, deeply, for you and for me and for a better world (I promise). 7. Have more fun (I promise).
It's funny how time passes so quickly and how there are days when I forget. But anytime I hear Enya, Sinead O'Connor, George Winston, or that song "Sailing, take me away," I think he's right next to me.
Or like last week as I drove into Sheridan, WY where my friends had asked if I'd want Ribs for dinner (his favorite food) and I knew he was riding shotgun with me as I drove home towards Montana.
Each of us, in our small family, has our stories and connections with Daddy. We joked and called him Jaime until the day he corrected us and told us, "My name is DAD." After that, it was only Dad or Daddy that we called him.
Daddy, I promise. I love you, as much as I did when I was a little girl, an ambitious teen, a dope-smoking 20 year old, and a 30 year old Midwife. You've seen me through my growth; you told me not to date the farmer, but I did; we shared dreams about my potential travel to India - I never went because of those dreams. Whenever I asked, "Why didn't you stop me?" You responded, "Because you had to learn for yourself."
I'm still learning, but man do I feel grateful to have you by my side in Spirit form. You're a great guide to have on my team.
I love you, always and forever Daddy,