We are all familiar with the procedure when you are on board an airplane and the stewardess stands up front to go through the “emergency process” with everyone. The oxygen mask that falls from overhead and you are to place it on your face. They always note that if you have young children you are to put your mask on first and then take care of them. The theory here is you can’t take care of anyone else if you can’t breathe.

This is a process I put in place when my mom passed away a little over 3 years ago. I had to put on my mask and move into the emergency care mode. My dad was overcome with grief and I knew he needed help. So on went the mask and for 3 years I went about caring for him along with much of my sister’s help and the church. I kept track of his numerous doctor appointments, stayed in hospitals with him, found attorneys and ran errands and went to church with him. I was busy, busy, busy, BUSY. No time to think truly about the whole thing..just help him and keep moving.

 He passed away two weeks ago and I dropped my mask. I freaking stopped a minute and then I couldn’t breathe. It is a sadness that I can only compare to an instance in my life 9 years ago. Tragic, hollow and strange. I am cold and wear a coat now. I have eaten hot soup for dinner 6 days out of 9, I get my feelings hurt over stupid things, I have such horrible heart crushing guilt. I am FOREVER CHANGED.

I am still taking trips to his house 3-4 times a week. There is a lot to do there. He is not there anymore. He does not call me 4-9 times a day sometimes one right after the other (this process when he was alive was so unnerving to me-that I compared it to living in a fishbowl …I was never alone.. someone always had to know where I was- it felt binding and suffocating ) yet now no phone is ringing.. it is a horrible and empty silence -No Dad on the other end. No dad for ME to call for a question or a prayer-No Dad to tell I am taking the weed wacker in and he will split the price with me because I mow his lawn too. No Dad at the dinner table.. No Dad!

 Now that he is gone I also have NO MOM! I put that on the back burner.. had to handle things and then two weeks ago on Thursday I woke up from a horrid 3 hours of sleep to NO PARENTS.

Yes I am over 50 years old. Yes my parents are happier where they are now. Yes they are together. Yes I believe in heaven and God and he is caring for all of us. Yes I will see them again. Yes I still have a lot to do and I hope for them to help me from the other side. Yes they still love me. Yes I am lucky to have such a good family-I have a good husband and kids and my Heavenly Father loves me too. Yes I will be ok and life will go on. 

 I  know this, but today I am FOREVER CHANGED