Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up just feeling as if something is off? Like something in the universe is telling you just to stay in bed because the day is going to be too heavy to handle.
I woke up Friday morning with that sickening feeling in my gut, but put the usual optimistic smile on my face because that’s who I am and that’s how I choose to take on life. But something kept tugging at me…particularly tears kept welling up and when I finally saw the date I knew why.
It was July 27th…the very day my dad died nine years prior.
I went about my day at the cafe, doing my best to put on a good show for the customers. Being in the restaurant industry is a lot like being on stage. There are no intermissions or breaks until you clock out and only then can you change out of the disguise. I came home, kissed my husband, talked about the day, loved on Lola, fed her and got her ready for her bath. I knew what I needed to do so I quietly shut the door, put Lola in the tub and finally let my eyes do what my heart had been doing all day.
I wept from every ounce of my body, my mind, my heart and my soul.
I mourned over the loss of my dad. I tried to remember what his hugs felt like, what his voice sounded like, what little nuances made him laugh, the way he smelled. I, for a moment, allowed myself to go back to the last moments we shared together before he took his last breath, where I told him not to be afraid. I sit here crying yet again reliving that time. I don’t allow myself to go there because the pain hurts too bad. It is simply too much to bear. Yet tucking away those emotions for nine years clearly hadn’t helped either. And once the tears started they wouldn’t stop. I began to weep for Lola and the difficulties she has had to face at such a young age. I wept with fear for what her future might hold and what it might not. I let the worry consume me as it once did before and while I was upset with myself for getting so worked up, I reminded myself that I am her mother and that’s what we mothers do…we worry. I begged my dad to give me a sign and show me he’s OK, that Lola would be OK, that he would watch over her, that he would give me the strength to be the best mother for her. And within seconds of my pleading, I felt a little tug at my toes that were resting on the side of the tub. My swollen eyes looked up from my tear filled palms to find two big curious eyes looking right at me. Call it serendipitous or call it coincidence, but it was the sign I needed.
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