I think I need to find a therapist.
I’ve said that off and on for years as I suffer through anxiety attacks and insomnia. I’ll go through bad phases where I’ll seriously consider finding a therapist, and then I’ll start to feel better and the urgency fades. I’ve realized lately, however, that I owe the previous years of coping to you. Somehow, having you to call always helped. Even if I didn’t discuss with you the actual issues stressing me out, just talking to you about anything always helped. Just knowing you were there when I needed to talk, whether or not I actually did, this did more for me than I ever realized.
“My head’s not on straight right now.”
I’ve used that phrase a lot lately, talking to family and friends. I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m not sleeping. I’m eating non-stop and I’m struggling with any level of patience. And it’s your fault. I drove around this weekend thinking about the weekends in my life I’ve done just that while talking to you. I’m not sure why, but I always liked to call you when I was driving around town. Maybe the pointless drives reminded me of you. Maybe I just liked the privacy of my car. Either way, most of our phone calls were done with me driving around Huntsville. And this weekend? I needed you. I needed to call you to tell you what’s been on my mind lately. I needed you to sigh and tell me that you didn’t know what to tell me. You were always honest that way. I needed you to bitch about the mundane in your life to make me feel better about bitching about the mundane in mine. I needed you to praise me for something. Anything, really, because I’ve been a bit down on myself. I needed you to agree with me about how hard parenting is, and about how many times we’re simply flying blind. Hoping we don’t crash into the side of any mountains. I needed you to tell me it would be okay. Or at least tell me you understood.
Your house is being auctioned on Saturday. One year after you were hospitalized with kidney failure from Multiple Myeloma. Your house, the house you died hating, will officially belong to someone else. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to drive by it to see what happens to it. I’ll probably make someone else do it a few times a year, and then have them report back to me. The Map Store down the road closed. I’d like to tell myself it’s because you were no longer there to appreciate it. Even if you never bought anything from there. I know you enjoyed it’s existence on your street.
I just miss you so much. I find myself scrolling through archives in this blog (Dear Blog, I love you.) and touching the screen when I get to pictures of you. I actually reach out and touch your face on the computer monitor. How cheesy is that? I just can’t stop myself. I’m also sleeping with my old Ewok again. You gave it to me for my 10th birthday. I always meant to ask you, “Why?” We weren’t big Star Wars fans or anything, but it became my favorite toy of my childhood. I took it to sleepovers, to trips out of town, and even to college. I slept with it even well into adulthood. Several years ago it got put in with the kids things, I guess, and I no longer needed it to sleep. But a few months ago, I decided to see if it would help me sleep better. I believe it did, a little. Sometimes I just hold it in my arms and think about how you used to come in my room in the mornings before school, take Ewok and animate him to wake me up. “Time to get up, Kim!” You would say, using Ewok as the messenger. You did that with all the stuffed animals you ever came into contact with. I do it too.
Tomorrow marks one year from when it all began. When I got the call from your doctor that would lead to you going to the hospital, getting diagnosed with cancer, and then giving up treatment to end your life in a residential hospice. February 10th. It is a day that carries with it more pain than the day you died, because that was the end of Dad as I knew you. After that you were sick. And dying. I think that’s why I’ve been in such a funk. The painful anniversaries are rolling in left and right now. Putting me right back in the same mind I was this time last year. Saying goodbye to you.
I miss you, Dad. I don’t think there will ever be a day where I don’t think it. I need your counsel. I need your advice. I need your hugs. And since you’re not here to give them to me, maybe I’ll finally look for that therapist I’ve been talking about finding for years.
Or maybe I’ll just open a beer. And only drink half of it. In your honor.