Sunday, February 13, 2011

Almost Three Years, and I Am Not Really Handling It

Dear Dad,

Instead of a letter from Cameron, this one is from me.

I never really used this blog the way I thought I would, but with what I have been dealing with lately, this is the perfect place to write what I need to say.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about your death. It was sudden and shocking, and there was truly no part of me that saw it coming. But now, as I look back with 20/20 hindsight, I find myself regretting things I know I didn't have any control over. As the 8th grade DC Trip for my school's students approaches, I am reminded once again of how I was on that trip, three years ago, and what I did not know then was that it was just a few weeks before you would die.

When our journey took us to New York City, and you did not join Mom, Auntie Pat, Patti, and Alyssa on their jaunt into the City to meet me for dinner, I admit I felt a tad hurt, but I understood. The weather was horrible and you never really liked the City that much anyway. I was a mere eight miles or so from you, and I did not see you. And in less than a month you were gone. There is a part of me who wants to go back to that night, to skip Phantom of the Opera and take a ride in the rain over to your house. I would just sit on the couch with you and tell you that I love you, that I always loved you, and that I forgave you for what I am about to describe next.

The last time I did see you face-to-face, before the funeral home of course, we had an argument at the airport in San Jose. It was the last time you visited California. You were stressing out over who would be picking you and Mom up at the airport in New Jersey. You were getting ridiculous and I pretty much told you so. I even asked you, "Do you want the last time your grandson sees you (I meant "in a long while") to be a memory of us arguing?" or something like that.

We got past that and we were fine, you and me. But we were fine over the phone and across the miles. I never got the chance to hug you or look into your eyes again.

I really can't seem to get past that. I can't seem to let go of the regret and longing for us to have had a chance to just be okay in person. I know it was fine. I know you'd say it was nothing, really. But I also did not call you in the hospital when you were in after the heart valve transplant. "I'll call him when he gets home, since he needs his rest," I told Mom. Couldn't I have just called you and told you I love you? I had spoken to you on the Sunday -- Easter Sunday -- but you were gone before Thursday and I never had the chance to even prepare myself a little bit for the possibility that you could get pneumonia and die in the hospital.

It was never supposed to happen that way. I've led a charmed life, and stuff like that doesn't happen to me or the people I love. Does it? Things in life generally don't ruffle my feathers, but this has me beaten up, dragged across the floor, and thrown out the door. My brain can't process that this all happened to you -- to our family -- and there is nothing at all anyone can do about it.

Is there ever going to be a time when I don't feel like I've been robbed?