So…. I grew up knowing who I was. I knew where we came from, who married who and had what children clear back to the 1300’s! A long line of genealogy that I studied like crazy because it was important. I as the third child, only girl, and proud descendent of James Kneeland later changed to Cleland, an immigrant from Lannark Scotland in 1735. In 2014 that all changed I lost me…. on the road again….
I have long waited to attempt this idea of writing in a format to share with anyone. My Dad joked with me often that my college education of Literature and writing sure had come in handy when it came to sending letters home! My life and career took me a completely different direction and somehow the dream of writing my award winning novel and making my fortune like Diana Gabaldon became a big old pipe dream. Since this is the first entry, I beg any reader to be patient as I attempt to oil my much older brain into creating a flow of words!
To date, I am in a process of growing, grieving, learning and dying. WE ALL ARE!! I just happen to be more apt to dissect the details! I grew up in a small Western Kansas town where nothing really earth shattering happens, unless one chooses to recall a serial killer in the 1970’s, but I choose to give him none of my air time! My dad was a pharmacist so growing up in the public eye was normal to me. I always thought that the spot light was really meant for me! I graduated high school, went to college 5 1/2 hours away from home, which might as well have been in a foreign country at that time, graduated and a month later married my soul mate who is 9 year my senior. Life took so many twists and turns, that I will save some of those for later posts!
Today I am a mother of 3 children. My son is married to a beautiful woman and just gave me the most awesome gift of a grandchild, Finn. My second daughter is married and live 15 minutes away and my baby girl is a junior in high school, and life is moving along faster than I could ever imagine. I am a devout, every day sinning LCMS Lutheran, and a fat 50 year old doing my best to figure out this journey. I’ve discovered the most painful course in life isn’t having a chronic illness, which will eventually become terminal with zero notice, it is the inescapable journey of doing life while losing a piece of yourself with every gift your are given because we all know nothing is free….except grace.
Grief is a wicked thief; it comes without knocking, gives no warning, steals joy, creates pain in your body where there wasn’t, breaks the spirit, challenges faith and never completely leaves. The death of my father on December 22, 2014 has wounded me more than almost anything I can remember. The death of my beloved grandmother, who was more like my mother, was devastating, but I knew it was coming, she was 92, it was bound to happen. My father was 78. I know that is old, or at least old by some standards. I knew it would come, I prepared for years. I used to drive out of their drive way every single time in tears living in the fear that something would happen to him! I think that went on for well over 20 years and now I laugh at the incredible wasted energy! Fear of death was more consuming sometimes, now the table has turned and the fear of living without people I love is at times all consuming. I am not afraid of my own mortality!!
My father had never been to a doctor in my life. He didn’t need to, he was never sick and was strong, handsome, funny, highly intelligent, well read, a historical genius and a dreamer. If he dreamt it, he made it happen almost out of thin air! He was heroic in my eyes. I am no different than many little girls who grow up completely enamored with their daddy! Only mine was better, I am sure of it! The path of sorrow left in the the wake of his departure has damaged us. My brothers are wounded, my mother has become a mere shadow of her former self, my children are missing the piece in their life who shaped their wicked independence and I…..am….not sure who I am again.
Remember in your teen age crazy years when you work so hard to be someone others accept and the importance of group? I got through that. I got through the first challenging years of becoming a wife and mother and I really believed that having my parents as my best friends was the coolest gift anyone could ever imagine! My oldest children and even youngest have become the coolest people to hang out with and I couldn’t be more proud of them and I woke to realize that I am my Dad. I am at the stage I loved the most with my parents in my life. I am now it. Dad always said, “Don’t live so long that you outlive your usefulness.” He didn’t. I am faced with the reality of time. It is all about time. Swiftly it came, swiftly it leaves and then I will become old and irrelevant.
Perhaps tomorrow I will tackle more of the thoughts that bang around in my mind during each night, each day, waking and sleeping. This is just the intro! Maybe someone will pose a question and I will be able to have an open discussion! That would be useful!! lol~