Year 1996, that was the beginning of my life – two deaths and a birth. October is supposed to be a time of fall colors, changing weather and upcoming family celebrations. For me, it has been a bittersweet month for the last 23 years.
It all started in February 1996, I found out I was pregnant. What a scary yet exciting time for me. I was 27 years old and still at that age, I didn’t think about having kids. But this miracle happened – it was all in God’s plan. During this time, my father was in remission from leukemia for 3 years. And he was extremely excited about having his first grandchild. He called her Lucky.
At the end of March, my grandmother passed away. One night, I was calling her phone for about 30 minutes. I went to her house, but my knocks were never answered. An overwhelming feeling of dread came over me. I walked to her bedroom window and peeked through her see-through curtains. There she was, lying on the bathroom floor… dead. My best friend, my only friend, was gone.
My Daddy loved my grandmother (his mother-in-law). It was during this time that his leukemia relapsed. Her death took a toll on all of us. And as the months progressed, so did my belly, and so did his leukemia. I spent so much time waddling down the Oncology Floor, the nurses knew my name. One night, I stayed at the hospital overnight because my mother had to work. The doctor pulled me outside to talk about a high chemo drug they were going to give my Daddy. They even had a crash cart just outside his door. I never let on to Daddy that there could be any complications. I do remember the awful smell of ‘burning flesh’ but I had a talk with “Lucky” and told her I know the smell is awful but we can’t be nauseated – not tonight. I was so nervous … expecting the worst. But as always, my Daddy came through.
October is here. It did not give in to the events that was going to happen. It gave no clue. If only I could have had a warning of the things that were to come. However, if I did know, I probably would have handled it much worst. God knew what He was doing.
My grandmother’s birthday was October 25th. Such a sad day because I will never get to tell her happy birthday ever again. The evening of October 26th, I called to check on my Daddy at the hospital. He was too weak to hold the phone but I heard him talking to me through Momma. A few hours later, Momma called. I could hear the nervousness in her voice, making sure my 9 month pregnant self didn’t get hysterical. She asked if I can come to the hospital. By this time, I was due in 2 weeks, barely able to walk from being so tired. But I went. When I got in his room, I saw my Daddy lying on the bed, eyes half opened and the unmistakable sound of a death rattle. I was in a state of denial because my Daddy ALWAYS pulled through. Maybe he was just having a bad night. He’ll be ok in the morning. Momma told me to go home because I was so uncomfortable (looking back, I’m thinking she didn’t want me to see my Daddy take his last breath). As the time changed for daylight savings time, so did my Daddy’s transition. October 27th, my Daddy left this earth.
I couldn’t sleep, so I got up early to go to Momma’s house to be with her. Her main focus was to clean the house because she was sure to have visitors. But I know she just needed something to do because Momma always kept a clean house. I stayed there most of the day because, well, I really didn’t want to leave. Honestly, I can’t even remember if I cried. But eventually, I made it home… exhausted. I finally was able to get some rest.
5:30 a.m. on October 28th, the labor pains started. Lucky was about to be born. My baby was about to be born and my Daddy missed it by one day. 💔 My Daddy missed my baby girl. 💔 *sniff* My beautiful daughter has arrived and Daddy wasn’t here. Oh God!
The only comfort I received was someone telling me my Daddy saw my baby as he ascended to heaven and as she was descending from heaven. I took that message and kept it with me. Because my baby and I were in the hospital, I missed my Daddy’s funeral. I never got to say goodbye. I never got closure. I was never able to completely heal that open scar.
There are so many days I want to talk to my father. To tell him he has 2 of the most intelligent grandchildren walking the earth – a beautiful granddaughter and a handsome grandson. To tell him about my husband Mark, the man my Daddy had prayed would love me the way I should and deserved be loved. To tell him I am a Mom again to another teenage boy. To tell him I moved from SC to AL! So many things to talk about, but can’t.
So as the next few days approach, I am going to try and occupy my mind with other things. I am going to celebrate my daughter’s birthday ALL day because she has literally been the joy in my sorrow.
Psalm 30:5 Weeping my endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Until next time … be blessed!