My goal this year was to rejoice on the 22nd and not to spend the day in sadness. Tomorrow it is the 4th year of my dad’s passing. I thought I would get up, dress up, go to a memorial for our friend we lost Wednesday and spend the rest of my day thinking about funny things and good stories. That would feel so much better than remembering a day that forever changed my life. No one else likes to talk about it, so I am on my own in that respect.
Today I woke up in so much pain that I haven’t moved. Moving hurts. I was awake a better part of the night with my legs feeling like they were on fire. I thought that it was from my cruddy vascular system issues but now I’m not sure. You see you can’t trick the body even for a second. While I can tell myself that I’m going to do more positive things tomorrow, I don’t think that my body believes me and has already shot that pain right down my legs. I had this one other time that I can remember. When we moved from Nebraska to Kansas I carried a lot of sadness in those boxes. I packed it away to appear happy and excited to start a new adventure, but the biggest pieces of my heart were still in those boxes and in Nebraska. The day we moved into our house on June 24, 2005, (my 15th wedding anniversary) rather than finding excitement I found fire down my legs! Walking was so painful that I couldn’t help but cry. It didn’t help to stand, walk, or lie down, it was fire. My dad told me that it was a stress ball making its way through my body and I’m pretty sure he was right.
I think that a person can do just about anything to cover feelings but eventually the body is going to say “I’m still here processing your emotions! When you bury them I will remind you that I run the show and emotions are real!” Stress manifests differently for me at different times. Sometimes a headache, or stress across my shoulders, stiffness, aching joints, tears, tender skin, sleeplessness and a host of other things I never know which one is going to surprise me!! Today was emotional fire in my legs.
I’m going to continue to ignore this and think of one of my favorite times with Dad! We were going to Rapid City, SD for a Scottish festival and Highland Games. Mike, Mom and the kids were able to leave early and take the camper and Dad couldn’t leave until he closed the store. He was driving to Nebraska to pick me up and we would drive all night together. We talked all the way about all kinds of things! He was a Native American history genius so we talked about the history of the area and the Rosebud. We needed gas so he pulled into a truck stop in North Platte and we got out to explore and use the loo!! It was quite a truck stop with stuff everywhere!! The women’s bathroom was across the store from the men’s so when I came out and I couldn’t find him I went to the van to wait. I sat there 15 minutes and then I thought I better check on him! As I am getting out I see him striding across the parking lot smiling like a cat!!! He was swinging a shopping bag that appeared to be pretty full! “You are not going to believe what I found and the deal I got!” He was smiling so big I couldn’t wait to hear what it was!!
“I found these cargo shorts in 4 colors for 6$ a pair!! I got all 4 colors! Aren’t they nice?!” “Wow Dad that’s a steal!”, I said!! Off we went for the next leg of the trip. He was drinking Mountain Dew Live Wire with peanuts and we were smoking like champs trying to stay awake!! When we got to the camper at 4:30 am we couldn’t sleep right away and the kids were excited so we were all awake at 7!! He gets up and showers and was absolutely giddy about his new shorts! He told Mom about the deal he had gotten and his plans to wear them all day!! He gets out of the shower and puts on the navy blue pair. He hikes them up and does a little jig and says “Hey! What the hell is wrong with these? My pocket is sewn shut! These aren’t going to work why one leg is longer! Give me the khaki ones!” I hand him the khaki shorts and he pulls them on and turns around. By this time I’m in hysterics because I can see that the seam up his crack is taking a definite curve to the right!! “These don’t feel right!” He starts to laugh as he tries on the other 2 and he wads them up, opens the door and throws them out!! We were laughing so hard and always the entertainer he puts on a show for the kids that was hilarious!! All day Long we teased him about not getting to wear his new shorts that maybe we could exchange them on our way home! That story was told and retold and each time getting funnier!! I can still see him with the crooked crack!!
The morale of the story was do not buy truck stop clothing on a whim! Not even if if is the best deal you’ve ever gotten!! I think tomorrow may be a Mountain Dew and peanuts day. He loved dry roasted peanuts and kept them everywhere. In his pickup, in the barn, at the Shop, an endless supply at the house… the morning he passed I got in his pickup to find a ziplock baggie of peanuts. We didn’t call him the Peanut Master for nothing!!
I’m ok….I am.
Until then enjoy a Dew and some nuts…. we are all a little crazy