That’s a no-brainer. To sit on a bench with my father for an hour would be a dream come true!! An hour of being comforted by the touch of his hand. An hour of letting me be exactly who I am and holding space for me to speak my truth, show my vulnerability without judgement or reaction. An hour to rest my head on his shoulder while I shed tears of love and loss, hardships and challenges. An hour to hear those Dad-isms that once made me crazy would now make me chuckle. An hour to banter with the king of sarcasm and witness his brilliant comebacks. An hour to boast over my daughters accomplishments and the compassionate loving young adults they’ve grown to be. An hour to hear him pledge his love for my mother and the many blessings of our family. An hour to soak up his words of wisdom and encouragement to never play small no matter how much it hurts. An hour to hear the same stories told repeatedly but listening as if it were the first time. An hour to be around his energy and in his presence…. an hour would never be enough time, but I’d gladly take a split second if given the chance.
The sadness of loss and grief comes in waves and it shows up differently for everyone. But sometimes as I sit in silence, alone with my breath, I feel his presence. I see him so clearly. He’s always dressed the same—in a red sweater, pair of jeans and sneakers he wore for our last deep discussion and our last photos together when he willingly smiled. It’s what every loved one prays for with a family member who suffers from Dementia—those lucid moments that if lucky enough, last a few hours. I see us on that bench, sharing all those moments I ache to experience once more and during this in-between space, somehow… my heart feels a sense of ease.