It's the day after Thanksgiving and I've been decorating my house all damn day. For Christmas. I went a little overboard in the light and tree and garland department and I think it's because this December is going to be weird-ish. Some parts are going to downright suck. Lights make everything better...so it looks like a light factory threw up in my house. It's impossible not to smile when everything is lit up, you know?
My brother came home for Thanksgiving and he hasn't done that in years so that was good. I can't pretend that seeing one brother doesn't make me think of the other brother who I haven't seen or spoken to in a really long time. If I was a strong, smart person - I'd learn to accept that my family ain't the Waltons. We never were.
Someone I love a whole helluva lot is going through a helluva shitty time. I can't fix the problem and I can't take away the hurt. I can only watch her be tortured every damn day. When you add in that it's the holidays - her shitty time turns into a tornado of sewage.
And last week, I had to say goodbye - literally - to one of my favorite Uncles. He is not old by any means and while we knew he had cancer.....we were all told that chemo and radiation would work. A phone call came and those dreadful words no one wants to hear came out of my Aunt. If you want to say goodbye - come do it now....they say he won't live but a few more days.
What? How does this happen? This man has 4 kids. Two just out of college. One in college and one in high school.
So I went. I hugged his frail body. And even though I have watched at least 3 people die in front of me - not a single one of them was awake or alert enough for me to say goodbye to. My Uncle was.
Have you ever looked into a person's eyes whom you know is going to die soon and knows it? It is frightening, terrifying and horrible all at once....moreso because there is no peace when the person isn't ready to go. He's not 90 and had a good life and wants to go to Heaven.
He wants to live - longer. To walk his daughter down the aisle in 8 months. To grow old with his wife. To watch his daughters graduate from high school or college. He wants to live to see grandchildren. He does not want to die.
But he will.
He said he wasn't scared but all I saw in his eyes was fear. I can't even tell you what I saw in his wife and kid's eyes. No - death is never easy...but there are times when it is easier.
When the people I watched die - died....many of us were relieved. They were very old and had a good life and were ready and we wanted the pain to stop.
This time? There's just no f*cking explanation.
So although Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming.....you can see in every single person's eyes that they are always thinking of my Uncle and his family. You feel just a little big guilty for laughing and smiling and being with family. You're standing upright and eating food - two things my Uncle hasn't done in a week. Something feels wrong underneath all the joy of the season and we're all texting and calling and waiting - for the call that says "it's over".
When it shouldn't be. It just shouldn't be.
I told him I loved him as I kissed his pale, soft cheek. It is the last time I will ever see him alive. Ever.
The finality of that is staggeringly real.
The only thing I can do to honor him is be grateful for who I have in my life and be thankful for the blessings I have. And pray. That once he gets to Heaven - he'll finally be at peace with dying.
And pray - that some day his family will feel the same.
** Just before I hit post - my phone rang. He died today. Right now.
My God....it's just not fair.