Friday, September 16, 2016

Losing Dad


For the last two months, I feel like I am living a double life.  Now, how to explain that statement!  Since my dad fell at the Brendan House on August 2nd, my mind has been logical and living my normal life.  I have helped make decisions, run the show, progressed in the daily duties as daughter, wife, sister, and mother.  My mind tells me all the good things: Dad is no longer in pain and he is watching over me.  I am enjoying my family, going on outings, went on vacation, volunteering for church, and progressing in most areas in my life.  This is life number 1.

The imposter life is being led by my heart and body.  I have no energy or desire for energy.  I look at my gardens which I can't seem to bring myself to step into.  I know in my head it has to do with my dad and his love of gardening that we shared, but I am scared that by gardening his death will be closer, more real.  I am struggling with the page and my words.  He won't read my next novel.  I might have to write of mourning.  I don't want to.  I don't want this to bring me closer to reality.  All I want to do is read, sleep, or watch television.  My heart is also telling me horrible things.  My childhood is lost.  I am no longer protected by my dad.  I am no longer a daddy's girl.  Lincoln County is lost to me.  The great outdoors has been shut away from me.  I have lost my Nixon family.  I have lost my home.  I know many of you would like to tell me this isn't reality.  My head knows, but my heart isn't listening.

My mind has tried to kick me in the butt.  The other day I ordered a book to read.  One that I hoped would help me be logical in this process of being without my dad, of mourning.  "The Orphaned Adult" by Alexander Levy is teaching me that I am quite normal.  (Dang, I like being abnormalJ)

For 48 years my father's "… touch has comforted and guided and corrected and made you (me) safe since the beginning of time," page 7.  I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband who helps make my life safe.  I have not asked my dad for very much advise in the last 30 plus years.  I have created a self-sufficient life.  I am strong.  My life is filled with friends and family that help me.  My brain tells me all of this.  However, my dad has always shored up my belief of safety.  Just because I grew up, it didn't take away that feeling of his protection.  Now it is gone.  I will never have it again.  It sucks!!!

"There is a sudden awareness of no longer being someone's child, which carries with it a loss of childhood altogether," page 16.  I am no longer Doug Nixon's little girl.  I will never see the glint in his eye when I drive into the driveway.  I will no longer jump in the pickup with him to go visiting or fishing.   I have always felt so much love, acceptance, fun, and whimsy during our outings.  They are over.

The feeling of losing my home, Lincoln County, the Nixon family, and the forest has been very perplexing.  I have a beautiful home.  I love hiking in the area that I live in and taking drives all over the state in our beautiful mountains and flatlands.  Lincoln County still exists and I can visit anytime I want.  Why do I feel it is gone?  "Parents provide a unique spot on this planet, which is called 'home,' where we can return, if we need to, to be loved and to feel that we belong. … This spot cannot be imitated.  It cannot be recreated.  There is only one spot that is ever the real spot called home.  After parents die, it's gone," page 31.  I have not lost all of these places or people, but I have lost the aspect of them that is connected to my dad.  I don't know how to navigate them without him either being with me or being able to share it with him.

I remember a number of years ago walking around Spring Meadow Lake.  It was a beautiful fall day.  At one end of the lake, I hear a bird but didn't see it.  I wondered what it could be and watched for him in the trees.  As I rounded a corner at the opposite end, a osprey flew overhead and landed in a tree next to his mate.  I was delighted and thanked God for such a beautiful site.  I finished my walk and called Dad.  "Hello, kid," he said as he answered my call.  We chatted about the birds and probably fall gardening. 

I haven't walked outside my neighborhood since Dad died.  I think I am afraid of dialing his number before I realize I can't talk to him.  This is probably the other reason I feel I have lost so much.  I am left with a horrible question.  "Who am I now that I am nobody's child?" page 44.  Dad was my directional beacon.  He was one of my best friend's.  He was my longest reigning companion.  I chat with others about gardening, but we had long conversations about it.  We talked nature.  We swapped books.  Yes, I swap books with Jerry.  Yes, people have to listen to me talk about gardening and nature, but they don't talk actively.  Where do I go from here?  I feel very lost.  My beacon's light is extinguished.

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