I went to a funeral today. It was for my Great Uncle Charles. He was my mom's uncle but was an uncle that, especially throughout my childhood had been great to me as well. I was a bit choked up during the service. I think most of that was because my father was supposed to go with me. He spent the night at my house last night. He woke me up yelling for me at 5:30 this morning. He was disoriented and told me he wanted me to take him home right then. He lives about forty-five minutes away. I was confused and angry and put him in the car to take him home.
On the way there my anger subsided but was replaced with deep sorrow. The father of my childhood is gone. I am now the parent. As I beat myself up for being angry I was reminded of a time when I lived in Chicago, right out of high school, and my parents bought me a plane ticket home. I got spooked by something and didn't want to fly back so he dropped everything and drove me back. I was ashamed of my groggy reaction and very sad altogether. My dad needs me to be the authority figure in his life.
It is hard because he wants independence and he wants to stay living all alone. I can't see that being possible much longer at all. I saw him in the wee hours of morning today and it frightened me. He was a scared shell of who he used to be. On the ride to his house we didn't really speak. He sat in the passenger's seat while I drove ... and cried.
I am praying about the hard times that I realize are still ahead for all of us. Things like convincing Dad that independence can no longer be had. Dealing with my siblings as we try to sell his house and purge so many of the useless things that he has collected throughout the years. Saying goodbye to the father of my youth. Saying hello to a role reversal we never want.
That is my heart today. Sad to say goodbye to Uncle Charles. Sad to say goodbye to a little more of my innocence. Here is a video that should lift you up a bit since I have been the big ole downer today: