Friday, August 25, 2006

Reality Sinks In

Last night Phill and I were reading the library books my daughters chose. Phill's voice was giving out on a book named A Dog Like Jack so I took over. That was a mistake.

In the story the dog was adopted as an older dog. The reader watches as the dog romps in the park, goes trick or treating, wears jingle bells, and plays on a beach with the young boy. As the boy grows older so does the dog, and the reader realizes that the jingle bells don't make as much noise and that the squirrels in the park are safe. The dog dies.

It wasn't the dog dying that saddened me. It was the trip to the beach (the dog Jack's favorite place) to get shells for his grave that saddened me. The paragraph in the story that made me cry was this:
The next week, even though it wasn't summer, we packed the car to go to the summer house. It felt strange to be there without Jack. I felt like everything should look different now that Jack was gone. But everything looked the same.

I felt that way and still feel that way about certain places that bring my father to my mind. They should be different, and they aren't. I couldn't finish the book. I left the room crying. Phill finished the story for the girls.

Fast forward to this morning. We were out riding bikes when Inwe, my eldest, decided to go inside for a short while. She came back out, rode bikes for a bit longer, and then asked to go inside. She began crying in earnest.

She had looked at the book about the dog and gotten sad. However, she wasn't crying for the dog. She was crying for her Pop Pop. She asked me, "Mommy if I wish enough or work hard enough can I have him back?" Can I earn him back?"

I answered with the honest, painful truth: "No, Inwe, no amount of wishing or hard work will get him back for us. He's gone forever. We won't get to see him again."

We cried in each other's arms.


Sheila said...

blogger has not been taking comments lately...

so you missed some of my earlier ones and I didn't have the heart to re-type them

I am sitting here bawling

Trax said...

Me too!

jarhead john said...

It's one thing to deal with your own loss; it's harder than hell. Trying to help your little ones takes an amount of sacrifice that many folks just don't have.

There's no amount of "chin up," "there, there," or "it'll be ok," that make a difference. Bad things happen to good people. It's a hard fact that causes countless pain to lots of folks.

I'll readily admit that your posts about your father are not pleasant to read. I keep reading them though. Mostly hoping to get yet another glimpse of what he was like. I'll say it again: I wish I could have met him. Not only was he a fellow Marine, but he was obviously a great man. Maybe not famous, but that's no measure of greatness.

wolfbaby said...

Poor thing, and i mean that for both of you... I will say though that at least she has you to cry with.. when my mom passed, my dad was kinda hard to talk with about her.. i knew it pained him and so i didn't talk with him much.. it made it harder on me in the end by trying to spare him.. that she knows she can come to you says alot about you as a parent and how you do things and it helps her..
*comfort*.. i know it's hard..