Inconceivable Adieus

April 28, 2009
When recounting the past you often happen upon things that you would much rather forget, despairing memories in which you find their remembrance such a scything pain that to dig them into graves in the depths of your mind, protrudes as the best solution to avoid the recurrence of misery. Those memories that you bury back in your head build up as you proceed through life, and those that are strongest or commit the greatest crimes of sorrow sorely stab through their tombs. Those are the memories that penetrate a day’s dreaming while staring through a window into the passing clouds, the memories that you do not want to recall but somehow will never be forgotten; those memories of greatest impact that snap you out of your hazy eyes to realize that your life had changed so suddenly and irreversibly. Your thoughts will succumb to the replaying those moments where your heart was torn, brutally sucked into the horrors of reality, exposed bare to the chills of life as the cold itself settles into the lifeless eyes of a loved one, a rift in life that eternally will gape open; the inability to say goodbye to the lost father that you had spent mere seconds in the intervals of life getting to know and love.
As a six year old not much passed through my mind besides the fashion apparel of Barbie and the amount of Dr. Seuss books I could squeeze into my book bag, weighing myself down as I skipped through the halls of Kindergarten. Even with Halloween coming up in a few hours, the possible frightening surprises of ghouls and goblins didn’t hinder my thoughts on being directed to the mounds of candy that I so delighted to collect.
After a night of promenading through the neighborhood, trick-or-treat bag in one hand and holding my wand in the other, nothing seemed to dapple the excitement that emanated from this Hallow’s Eve. However no monster or beast, launching itself from behind a tree trunk with razor talons and blood dripping from its yellowed fangs, could prepare me for the haunting that would happen back home, a haunting that would prevail to stalk the corridors of my mind the rest of my life.
Probably having stuffed myself with as much candy as my stomach could handle without bursting through my throat, the night seemed to draw to a close with my eyes feeling droopy and my body wanting to lie down in bed dreaming of the sweet gems that now were buried in my tummy. But before such a comfortable reprieve to the fluffy down pillows could swallow the side of my head, thuds and booms were heard from the foyer. I ran into the hallway by our front door to see my dad lying at the bottom of the stairs, my eyes stricken wide by the shock and horror that clashed with the image before my eyes. Tears started to stream my face with questions popping into my head as to what had happened. My feet carried me quickly into the kitchen, and my body retched those precious stones that only minutes before seemed to be the comforting bearers of sleep and happy dreams. My grandmother, unable to react to the situation as it was such a shock to everyone, attempted to console me but nothing would ever suffice the pain and suffering that this moment had released.
The ambulance came, its blaring sirens illuminating the whole house; a red and white glow that warped the atmosphere of a home into that of an inferno. They wheeled my dad out on the stretcher and the shock of his collapse morphed into one of the last prominent memories that I have of my dad. His fall had been brought on by cardiac arrhythmia that made his heart miss a beat, causing him to black out and tumble down our front stairs. The blood stain that came from his head as it crashed onto the stairs permeated our carpet and remained a discoloration of pain.
The last time that I remember my dad is in a dismal, sterile room in the hospital. I remember him smiling and laughing, not able to speak louder than a whisper but his laugh, that laugh that reminded us all of a horse, still radiated so profoundly around the fluorescent lit chamber, bringing grins to all our faces and the sense that he would walk out of here alive to keep filling our days with humor. I remember that the nurse had brought him green beans and some other concoctions from the cafeteria and he stared at them sheepishly, commenting on how he wanted a bowl of peach cobbler or a plate of my mom’s scrumptious Swedish meatballs. When we left I remember I felt fine and even content enough to grab a Cookies n’ Crème bar from the vending machine, but this was the last thing I remember about him, with smiles erupting from his lips and laughs echoing from the depths of his stomach.
Days later I would come home to learn that he had passed away at home while sitting on the couch. His heart had given in and recessed into an eternal sleep. The memory of my mom telling me is the most painful thing I can remember, something that I barely reflect on as it brings warm droplets of moisture to the rims of my eyes. Saying good-bye to my father never had its definite stance as I refused to attend the funeral, rather laid on his side of my parent’s bed, face pressed into his pillow and heart aching. The stain on our carpet was removed as my mom had the stairs replaced with hardwood, his toiletries thrown away and his clothes packed away into chests and boxes to keep in the sake of trying to maintain his life around us. This was an attempt of our good-bye to follow the descending of his body into the Earth. But I held on and I feel that everyone who knew him still cradles his life and soul with us, all throughout life. I remember that I kept his pillow until I was probably around thirteen and only then had to abandon it as it had begun to mold. The pictures around our house still maintain his visage to lighten up our home and the homes of my family. Even when we go to the graveyard I know that I could never truly say good-bye to my dad, even with his being gone, he still survives through my mom, his friends and parents, me and even my little brother who never got to meet him. For the rest of my life these depressing memories will cause me pain as I recall those tragic events but the remembrances of his joyous spirit and the pure enjoyment he had for his life will remain the most important parts of my past, as I welcome my dad into my life never truly locking him away in caskets or photo albums but always carrying him with me, a part of me that will never say good-bye.





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