Everyone at some point in time experiences loss. I’ve been lucky, I have had no close personal loss until this fall as I witness my father in UNC Chapel Hill hospital receiving the best care modern medicine and caring nursing can offer. My dad is 92 and we worked together for 27 years when he then moved to NC.
This was the irrigation pond reflecting the sunset the night before I left.
Fog and smoke from wood stoves settled down upon a large field in Goldsboro, North Carolina on my way down to see dad, a spooky Civil War-looking scene. Ominous in a way. I went to college in Raleigh at NCSU, and back then the civil war was never far from my mind. It was all around us. The confederate flag was only associated with the war, not slavery (at all), and I can sympathize with confederate flag lovers when they say that it doesn’t necessarily prop up a slavery-lover’s racist angle. Only recently has that interpretation stretched into racism, although it is a very valid point. Now, when I see that flag proudly displayed, I’m immediately filled with hatred.
I have 13 hours of thinking to myself each time I go to see my parents in NC. Driving down to North Carolina has become routine, and this trip seemed to go quickly although I was in no hurry to get there in a strange sort of way. Part of me wanted to hurry, the other part slowed me down.
When I came to empty roads that curved off into the woods, it seemed that it was illustrative of what awaited me, an uncertain unknown slurry of intense emotions.
I left yesterday when it was nap time, and went to the beach to debrief myself. I watched pre-Hurricane waves roll in, and Pelicans zoom in line with each other just millimeters above the surf, an impressive feat of agility and skill, an effective predator of fish.
The sun was swallowed up by the clouds before it reached the horizon, a hint that my time at the beach had come to an end.
Peetee and I got up and stretched and left the beach to go somewhere for the night. This day will repeat itself over and over again until my reason for being here is no longer.
Post Script Tuesday, November 10th, 4:58pm:
Well, all things must, at some point, come to an end. My visit here is over now, time to return to Connecticut. It’s going to be a sorrowful drive, that’s for sure.
I was driving home through a hurricane the day after dad died, and a song came on that made me pull over. Between the lashing of the storm on the windshield, the annoying rhythm of the rental car’s cheap windshield wipers, and the mist in my eyes, I couldn’t see much. I was in no particular hurry yet wanted to get home, the same conflict I felt on the way down.
Funny it was then, that when the song ended, so did the worst of the rain. I pulled myself together and put the car in drive and headed home.
Although this song’s words don’t exactly match my experience, it matters not.
Loss of someone in your life stings, no matter how it happens.