Journal Entry #7
September 10th, 2013
Twenty- seven days. Twenty-seven gut wrenching, soul stirring days since I gave birth and said goodbye in the same moment. What I felt, what I feel, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The hurt is hard. Harder than I ever expected.
I lost my father when I was fourteen to lung cancer. He didn’t even smoke, but he died a liberating death of a disease that tore my world apart at the seams.
When I say “liberating”, I mean it as such. When the Oncologist told my daddy that he had stage 4 lung cancer, he smiled. My daddy smiled at the doctor who had handed him a death sentence. He didn’t cry, ask for chemotherapy treatment, or vow to fight, he simply smiled and said aloud, “I’m ready when the Lord’s ready to take me. Life has been kind to me. It’s been VERY kind to me.” He nodded, leaning back in his chair, the rest of my family stunned as the eyes of his little girls and that of wife’s filled with tears of terror.
Three and half months later, my father died at home. My mother, my sisters, and myself surrounding his bed at a quarter after three that cold December morning, hands holding his, stroking his cheek as his final breath left his lungs. He had been unresponsive for nearly a week, hospice coming by the house several times a day to administer pain medication to keep him comfortable, but for a week I watched my father die. I watched his body fail, his spirit diminish, and as a young girl who was just learning how to cope with what the teenage years were like, I had to stand up and be strong. To be a woman of faith, when I felt like faith had failed me. My daddy faced death without an ounce of fear. I had to learn to do the same. I wanted to be like my daddy.
Now I’ve faced death again years later. Yet the loss of life is so very different this time. The taste in my mouth is one of bitterness. My only son, the one I prayed for, longed for, taken away before he ever had a chance to experience the beauty of life.
Today I wrestle with what my daddy faced. Facing death without an ounce of fear. I’m fearful. Afraid to move forward without Zach. Afraid to live a happy life with the debilitating sorrow that fills me from head to toe.
I’m afraid for my marriage. Miles and I have distanced ourselves from one another. I miss my husband. Who we were a month ago. Time heals all wounds. This is what I hear, and what I’m trying to believe. In time, we’ll find one another again. I believe that. I have to believe that.
I quit my job today. My boss understood as well as my co-workers. Sometimes life demands a change, and where I stand now, I need to find change. I can’t return to the place where my nightmare as a mother began. Find that strange, weird, or cowardly, but I know what my heart needs. It needs change. It needs change for Zach’s memory.
I carry on. Today I planted a lavender bush in the backyard by our porch. I have always loved lavender. It smells amazing. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of my son. I can see him, smell him, touch him here. Little by little, I search for any remanent of hope. Little by little, I uncover it.
Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com