In which they're just vowels and consonants until they actually mean something....
Have you ever thought that words are just letters? Vowels and consonants that have definitions according to Webster but they, by themselves, don't mean anything at all? I made myself believe that that for two weeks.
Back story [Experiences of a main character taking place prior to the main action, which contribute to character motivations and reactions]
Do you remember the television show in the 80's My Two Dads? This young girl had two dads. She loved them equally as much even though they were complete opposite personalities. I didn't have 2 men who could possibly be my biological father, but I had two dads all the same. My biological dad was never close to me. He was a military man and didn't quite know how to relate to a young female. Not to fault him, he has tried to make up and get to know me as an adult. I love him for that. I had another man step in when I needed him. He wasn't required to be my dad, he wanted to be my dad.
In the beginning, it was not rainbows and sunshine. Far from it. I had lost trust in men. (A story too long to get into so we will leave it at that for now) I felt it was my duty to push this guy as far as I could to see just what would break him.
How much could he take before he left too? To my surprise, he never left. He stood strong and then forgave me for my ugliness. In fact, loved me inspite of myself. He was there for my first love and the immediately following first heartbreak. My first school dance. Every time I ran away from my would-be marriage, he was there. It was our joke that he would never get to walk me down the isle because I was a master at the rope-a-dope but he would give me a bottle of Cold Duck and 2 one-way tickets to Vegas as long as we could dance to Butterfly Kisses when I finally said "I do". He was there for my first child. And then my second. My daughter. As far as he was concerned, she hung the moon and the stars and their shine was nothing compared to the light in her eyes. He told her all the time how he was the first person she ever saw in this world and how lucky that made him. She felt the same for him.
One day he heard a song that made him cry. I hadn't realized how he had thought so much of her future. He saw himself walking her down the isle, although, never really giving her away. Because no one would ever be good enough to deserve his Savannah Rae. His personal Rae of sunshine. He shared the song with me. That is when I realized how much she meant to him. She couldn't have gotten a better Papa if I could have hand picked him for her. For that fact alone, I will forever be grateful. He loved her first.
Back to the beginning of the post....
They found my second dad (step-dad is not a good label for him)on the sidewalk bleeding from his mouth on Monday, February 8, 2010. He couldn't remember any one's name or address or phone number. The hospital tracked down my mom, somehow. She called me and left a message. A message I still can't bring myself to listen to in its' entirety. So it remains as a new message waiting for me to listen, when I am ready.
I spent the next week driving and intentionally not thinking. I read a series of books that took me out of my life, out of my head. This is a series I have developed a full-on obsession with now. I will tell you about that next time. But it helped me with my nonexistence. I would drive from home to the hospital, to the store, back home and back to the hospital. I would listen to music. Not singing along. Keeping the lyrics just words. Letters all smashed together. Not putting words in full sentences. Not giving any words, outside of the books, meaning. For fear the meaning behind the words may crush me. Once in a while, I allowed a few to have the power of their meaning to press down on my chest. They pressed down so hard, with such force, that I could not breathe. So, I found ways to make them just words, definitions... sure... but not meanings. Here's what happened- I discovered that definitions are themselves just words. The words and phrases became detached from reality in a way. Things like; "DNR" "Prognosis." "One week, maybe two." "Comfortable." "Prepare." "Hospice." "Say goodbye." They are all just words until you give them their meaning. The meaning behind them is not their definitions, it's what or who is attached to them.
It's funny how you spend so much time and energy being angry with someone for the choices they made in their life. In the end, all the fights and hurt feelings fade away and you are left with one of two things; Love and forgiveness or anger and regret. I chose love. Nothing else mattered at the moment. Nothing. But love.
I feel lucky to have gotten the time to say that to him. That my children all had the chance to say it as well. No one person will ever be perfect but your love for them and theirs for you can be perfect.
His name was Toby. His eyes were brown. His hair was black. His laugh was infectious. His love was unbridled. His family loved him. His favorite song was Crazy by Patsy Cline and where ever he was, if he heard that song, he would ask my mom to dance. His favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz. He was born January 16,1952 and he died February 14, 2010. He will check in on us from time to time. And he is saving us a spot on the rainbow.