I've wandered through my most recent posts and I realized I hadn't posted about my father dying last year. *sigh*
This holiday season was hard on me. It was the first season without either of my parents around (my mother died in Jan, 2002). I went through a really serious bout of missing Daddy starting in November. It got so bad I was actually poking at Frank's family (who have basically disowned us because Frank, apparently, thinks he's better than them and hates them because he moved away from Long Island in 1988).
Daddy died on March 4, 2008. He died about fifteen minutes after I'd cast my primary vote for Obama. I like to think he hung on just long enough to sense that I'd voted how he wanted me to, though I know he was unconscious at the end. Even now this is hard to post about and tears threaten.
In November I started dwelling again on all the painful parts of all this. Daddy never getting another home-cooked meal, and being disappointed when my sister-in-law had promised him she'd bring him a plate of ham dinner from her house on Christmas day, then she never showed up, and never called, never apologized. I get bitter about the circumstances that led to his death, his getting sent back to his apartment before the hospital bed had arrived, which directly contributed to the fall that eventually killed him (because of the damage to his brain when he hit his head).
I'm angry at my brother for not going to see Daddy while he was still conscious and able to respond to him, and that he instead waited until Daddy was having constant seizures to show up. I -believe- that Dad was aware Shaun was there, there were some indications that he understood.
I still beat myself up that I didn't fly down there and spend his last weeks at his bedside, holding his hand and soothing him. That he died alone in a hospice room with no one to talk quietly to him while he passed. But at the same time, we were having to fly for surgery to North Carolina, and Dad didn't want us to not do that. Dad's health situation was too vague for too long for us to ever be sure if it was the right time to fly down there, and we couldn't afford a lot of time off for both seeing him and getting the surgery. We had time limits for when we had to get the surgery accomplished... intellectually I know these are all valid reasons for not going, and that Daddy never blamed me for not being there. But still my heart aches that I never got to hug him again.
It all makes me really wish that I was certain of there being an afterlife, and that Daddy was with Mom, and looking down, and just being happy that the weight of their ill health was gone, and they could be together. I just remain unconvinced of that, though.
All of this preyed on me, and made me seek out information about Frank's Nana. I just wanted to -know- once and for all, if she was still alive, and if not, when she passed away. I just didn't want to believe that Frank's mother wouldn't actually get in contact with him to tell him the woman who helped raise him, who loved him so much, had died. She got in contact with Frank when his brother in law died. This was a man that Frank had spent a total of 12 hours of his life in the presence of (and 5 of those hours were at the -wedding-, none of this was "quality" time that entailed any real relationship). Yet his mother emailed him when Gene died, like that was some news. But she couldn't tell him when Nana died.
I managed to contact Frank's paternal grandmother, who confirmed that Nana passed away in the nursing home a couple of years ago, but not exactly when, and she had no idea where Nana was buried. I got very close to trying to call Frank's mother and/or sister, but Frank managed to head me off, because that's a can of worms I really don't want to open.
Which of course leads to this nasty little part inside of me that wishes it was Frank's mother who had died, not my father. Because MY parents would NEVER have EVER done anything as vile as refuse to tell one of their children that a grandmother had died. It wouldn't matter how estranged we'd become (though my parents wouldn't ever have become estranged like that, either), they would ALWAYS have told us.
So I just drift on missing my family, and not really having anything I can do about it. I love Frank so much, and he's home to me, always has been and of course he's "family". Still, I miss family holidays, and visiting and such. I miss the extended family.
I try to stem those feelings by taking on my closest friends as family, but that can only work so well. Especially when there are scheduling problems with the holidays. :)
This year was lovely in so many ways. I had a good time, it was peaceful and calm and restorative. That was all good. Still... I feel a little petulant. I miss my Mom and Dad and wish they were around to talk to.
Enough of this. Frank's gone to bed, and I feel silly sitting here crying about this. I just wanted to get his information out there for folks who might not realize my father had died.
I've set up a memorial site for him, because he had a significant online presence and a lot of online friends. They're moving to a new server, so it'll be down for about two weeks starting on Sunday, but it'll be back again on the 18th. You can see it here: http://normanstevenson.last-memories.com/
if you want.