Unconditional Love


Today we had to change insurance policies because dad’s name has to be taken off of them. And this mission… the mission of taking dad’s name off of everything is weird too because it makes his death permanent… more of a reality. Now all of the bills, including the construction bills will read “Andrea Winder,” rather than “Christopher Winder.”

Mail is something my dad has always taken weird excitement in… I mean the man would stand at the window or the mailbox everyday waiting for the mail lady to put it in the box… He’d also take a picture of every piece of mail that came in the mail for me… after he told me about it 3 times. Which is weird and controlling, but that’s pops.

I can’t pinpoint this type of pain right now either. I’ve never been in a relationship, so I don’t know what heartbreak feels like. I don’t know what it feels like for something to be over, dead and gone. Like sometimes I don’t want to eat or sometimes I eat and think, “I wasn’t even that hungry to begin with.” It’s like I feel but I still feel numb. And when I cry, my head hurts so bad because it’s like a gut wrenching cry. It comes from a different place then all of my other tears. It’s almost like pain this deep and tears this heavy are intended for purposes like this… For the purpose of death and loss and deep pain. And I so want it all to stop. I want it to end, but it can’t.

We all have to go through this time of grief. I’m learning that grief is healthy, like really healthy. It’s ok to be so angry with dad that he left mom here so young. It’s ok to want to bargain this for that because this death didn’t have to be the ultimate outcome. The ending of dad’s life could’ve been played out a million different ways… but that all came down to his choices… and right now, his choices for health suck. I mean they truly suck. Bridge told him 2 months ago, “pops, whatever you choose to do… whether it’s to fight or not, we have to live with the consequences. So either we will live with you or without you.” And… well now we have to live without him.

And I want him back. I hate hearing my sister and mom bargain more than anything. Bridge bargaining over giving dad water and ice the day he died. Mom bargaining over calling us to come home soon enough and putting him in the hospital sooner. And I haven’t given myself enough time to think about it, but maybe I should’ve been at the hospital each night. The day he died I spent the night at the house. Bridge was with him and got to spend the last night with him… and I don’t regret it, but I do halfway wish I could go back and stay up all night with him. I think mom does too. He told Bridge that morning that all he wanted was mom… “call her and tell her to get up here. No one loves me but mom.” Which is entirely untrue….

And now that I think about that moment… what did he mean exactly? Was he trying to express that no one loved him like mom? If so, then I believe that in it’s entirety. My parents had the strangest love. A love I didn’t understand when dad was alive. See for at least 10 years, my parents argued all the time. I saw so much hate and I never understood how the were married for four solid years before having me… And then when I went to college, their marriage got so much better… but I still didn’t understand at all.

Now… well.. now I get it. My parents had unconditional love for each other. They loved each other so deeply that they couldn’t even fully process it… because I am coming to learn that unconditional love is a type of love that you can’t truly wrap your mind around it. You love even when you hate. You do things that don’t make sense, and you see past mistakes…. Big mistakes. And that’s what my parents did, they loved unconditionally. Always.


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