We Just Do Life

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And then there were three….

Three of us remain… and we are supposed to be a family of four… but that’s not how life turned out… and it’s still hard…. and it’s still challenging… and it’s still emotional…

I’ve heard my mom tell a lot of stories… but this weekend is the first time I heard her tell me about the reasons she married dad… what made him stand out among everyone else she had dated and known… why him? why my dad?

And it was a fitting conversation for us to have…. considering the fact that we were at a wedding reception…. it was nice to hear her talk about how obnoxious she thought dad was when she first met him…. how he seemed like such an asshole…

She met him at a wedding… A wedding for her cousin… He didn’t even know the bride and groom…. He was invited by my mom’s cousins who did the know the bride and groom…. Cousins who probably figured Chris Winder needed to experience Natchitoches, Louisiana and some Prud’homme family traditions….

And she thought he was such a pain in the ass…. That was my mom’s first thought and memory of my dad… But they were engaged 3 months later and married 7 months after that…

To think that they met in the summer and were engaged by Thanksgiving is crazy fast to me… My mom didn’t even meet my grandparents until after they were engaged….

Until this weekend I’d never looked at my mom’s story from these perspectives…. I never really fully encompassed their love and romance… and what it must’ve been like to meet Delores Winder for the first time… She can be a little intimidating and controlling… So it must’ve been a lot for my mom… Especially since she’s so close to her mom…

And after hearing mom’s stories…. The parts of the beginning of her marriage and life with dad… well it made me excited for my future…. and it caused my great sadness at the same time…

I still hate thinking about the fact that dad won’t walk me down the aisle…. and seeing someone so close to me get married this weekend…. with her dad by her side…. and to know deep down that my dad will never, ever be able to do that for me…. well… it hurt my heart on so many levels….

I cried watching Morgan walk down the aisle…. And it wasn’t because she looked beautiful… I mean she looked gorgeous… but my thoughts instantly went from her moment to the moment I’ll never share with my father…. And then I looked up and saw my sister crying….

Standing as a bridesmaid…. I knew we were sharing the same tears… the tears that “dad will never get to do this with us. He won’t be there the day we are given away and start a new chapter in life.”

It’s still to much… Too real… And I asked mom what it like… the absence of a father at a wedding… What does it feel like? Did she cry? Was she hurting? And of course she said she was sad…. that even watching father-daughter dances today make her cry…. they make her wish… and just want her dad to be here… to have shared that moment with her on her special day with my dad…

And now I will experience the same feelings as mom… Knowing dad is gone and that it’s going to be a painful moment in that moment of new beginnings….

But I guess that’s life for you…. I can’t seem to figure it out completely… So I’ve just decided to keep riding the wave and sailing through whatever is thrown my way….

Because the most dramatic, stressful situations don’t leave me in a mess anymore… I just kind of shrug them off and move forward in the moment…. I just kind of make it work and hope it works out well… even if what I define is well doesn’t look well in the moment…

And I saw mom doing the same this weekend too… She was so calm… Much calmer than I’ve ever seen her before…. And she was on top of life like I’ve never seen her before…

Even in the lowest moment of her life… This time where she doesn’t know what’s next…. well she’s ok… We’re hurting but we’re all ok… And it’s encouraging… Encouraging and inspiring to know life does go on after death…. That it’s possible to get up every morning and move forward even when you feel like shit…

Even though the three of us don’t really know where we are going in life… and for different reasons… we do move forward… we do stay positive… we do laugh… we do cry… and we just do life as it comes at us….

And I think… right now in this moment… well, it’s the best way for us to do life right now…. to stay hopeful and helpful… and to watch out for those around us… with bigger hearts and a more understanding and possibly compassionate ear for listening…

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